A strong earthquake struck northern Myanmar early today, but no injuries were immediately reported. The magnitude-6.6 temblor hit the area at 7:42 a.m. local time, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The quake was felt in Bangkok, the capital of neighboring Thailand. It comes just a week ahead of a visit to Myanmar by President Barack Obama.
Paramilitary role grows
Bahrain’s paramilitary National Guard deployed into new areas around the violence-wracked Gulf nation Saturday in an apparent sign that authorities are stepping up efforts to quell political unrest. Wider use of the Guard could signal a tougher strategy by Bahrain’s Sunni embattled monarchy as riot police struggle to contain the Shiite majority’s 21-month uprising. A government statement said the Guard — a force separate from the regular military — will be patrolling “strategic locations” that have been scenes of arson attacks and clashes. Hadi al-Musawi, a spokesman for the main opposition group Al Wefaq, said Guard troops were seen setting up in Sitra, a center of the revolt. Previously, Guard forces have been used mainly at key sites in the capital Manama.
BBC chief steps down
The BBC’s top executive resigned Saturday night after the prestigious broadcaster’s marquee news magazine wrongly implicated a British politician in a child sex-abuse scandal, deepening the crisis that exploded after it decided not to air similar allegations against one of its own stars who police now say was one of the nation’s worst pedophiles. In brief remarks outside BBC headquarters, George Entwistle said he decided to do the “honorable thing” and step down after just eight weeks in the job. The BBC was thrown into crisis with the revelation that its Newsnight program had shelved an investigation into allegations that Jimmy Savile, the renowned BBC TV host who died last year, had sexually abused several hundred children — cajoling some into having sex with him in his car, his camper van, and even in dingy dressing rooms on BBC premises.
Compiled from wire reports.