Peru was shaken to its core last night when a 7.9-magnitude earthquake rattled the country and left at least 337 dead and more than 800 injured. The quake hit Peru's coast, and people were primarily killed in the Ica region, which lies south of the country's capital, Lima. More than 200 were killed when a church collapsed in the town of Pisco as they were attending religious services. The quake struck at 6:40 p.m. Wednesday, and four aftershocks followed. It caused the Hawaii-based Pacific Tsunami Warning Center to issue warnings for South American coastlines and placed an advisory for as far away as Hawaii.
A day after one of the worst suicide bombings Iraq has seen in months, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has announced a new alliance of moderate Shiites and Kurds, which could help stabilize his crumbling government. Maliki called this a step to unblock political stagnation, but this move comes after three days of intense negotiations that did not include Iraq's Sunni vice president and his moderate Islamic party. Maliki has been criticized for having a Shiite bias and also for not keeping the sectarian violence under control in the divided and war-ravaged country.
The Army's suicide rate is the highest it has been in 26 years, and a quarter of soldiers who killed themselves did so while serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, a new report has found.
Ninety-nine soldiers committed suicide in 2006, and the study found that failed personal relationships, legal and financial problems, and stress on the job were all motivating factors. It also showed a correlation between the number of days deployed and suicide attempts. In 2005, U.S. News looked at the connection between test scores and suicide rates of those serving in the Swedish military.