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Six dead in Iran earthquake

AN earthquake in Iran has killed at least six people near the border with Afghanistan.

Another 14 people were injured in the 5.5-magnitude quake that hit South Khorasan province late yesterday.

Politician Javad Heravi, who represents the quake-struck region, said there was also damage to buildings and that power lines and telephone service were cut.

Even moderate quakes have killed thousands of people in the past in the Iranian countryside, where houses are often built of mud bricks.

Ship sinks in North Sea

THE Dutch coastguard is resuming the search for seven missing crew members of a sunken cargo ship after a collision in the North Sea last night.

Peter Westenberg of the Dutch Coast Guard said: "Given the water temperature and the amount of time that's passed, we don't have any hope for more survivors".

The 485ft Baltic Ace collided with the 440ft container ship Corvus J, heading from Scotland to Belgium, in darkness near busy shipping lanes 40 miles off the coast of the southern Netherlands.

The Baltic Ace, carrying a cargo of cars, had a crew of 24 which was forced to abandon ship as it sank.

Four bodies were found early today, and 11 survivors were rescued.

Nobel winner's wife speaks out

THE wife of imprisoned Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo says that her own house arrest is exacting an emotional toll on her.

In her first interview in 26 months, Liu Xia said that her house arrest is absurd. She says she is escorted to visit her husband in prison almost every month and to go shopping once a week. Other than that she is confined to the fifth floor Beijing apartment.