Top of the Morning: Latest on the Iran/Pakistan Earthquake; Troubles in the Central African Republic

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Massive Earthquake Strikes Iran/Pakistan Border

A 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck Iran’s southwestern border with Pakistan on Tuesday. Pakistan has reported that at least 34 people were killed on their side and 80 were injured, while reports from Iran are hazy and inconsistent. “A Pakistani policeman…said nearly three dozen homes and shops collapsed in one village in the Mashkel area, which was the hardest hit by the quake. …The Pakistani army ordered paramilitary troops to assist with rescue operations and provide medical treatment. Additional troops are being moved to the area, and army helicopters were mobilized to carry medical staff, tents, medicine and other relief items.” Iranian state media originally reported 40 deaths, but it soon backtracked and removed those figures from its website. “It also was the second deadly quake to hit Iran in less than a week after a magnitude 6.1 temblor struck near Bushehr, on Iran’s Persian Gulf coast, killing at least 37 people and raising calls for greater international safety inspectors at Iran’s lone nuclear reactor nearby.” (USA Today

CAR Troubles: Security Situation ‘Rapidly Deteriorating’ in Bangui

It’s going from bad to worse, and quite quickly. “The United Nations says it is alarmed by the ‘rapidly deteriorating’ security situation in the Central African Republic following last month’s coup d’etat. UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay says there has been a wide range of alleged rights violations including targeted killings, torture, rape, arbitrary arrests and recruitment of child soldiers. Pillay says 119 people have been killed since the fall of the government on March 24, with 20 of those deaths occurring since Saturday in the capital, Bangui.” (Voice of America