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NEWS CAPSULES

Around the world

QUAKE: A strong earthquake off the Pacific coast sent panicked people rushing out of swaying buildings in the capital Saturday. There were no reports of injuries. Buildings were damaged in Mexico City and in the south. At the airport in the beach resort of Zihuatanejo, 190 miles southwest of Mexico City, part of the roof collapsed and windows shattered, sending tourists scrambling outside. The quake had a magnitude of 6.3 and was centered in the ocean, 165 miles southwest of Mexico City.SOMALIA: Clan militiamen battled for a fourth day in the Somali capital Saturday, and hospital officials said more than 30 people had been killed and 130 wounded. Stray rounds hit U.N. installations in the city and the U.N. Operation in Somalia, whose 15,000-strong force is due to leave by March 31 at the end of an ill-fated mission, ordered its international civilian staff to don flak jackets and helmets.

YELTSIN: Russian President Boris Yeltsin, who went into a hospital Saturday for a minor operation, plans to return to the Kremlin next week, a senior aide said. Vladimir Ilyushin told reporters the Russian leader had undergone surgery on his nose but would continue his work in the hospital. He said Yeltsin recently had problems breathing through his nose, especially at night.

INMATES: A pro-democracy activist held in a Chinese labor camp says inmates are beaten and forced to work at least 14 hours a day, Amnesty International reported Saturday. Chen Pokong made the allegations in a letter recently smuggled out of the camp in Guangdong province, the human rights group said. Chen said he feared he might be "persecuted even more harshly" for sending the letter.

Across the nation

DUMB CROOK: A teenager who went to a hardware store in Homosassa Springs, Fla., looking for work allegedly ended up stealing two handguns and a watch. Police say he wasn't hard to find: He left his job application behind. "It was about the dumbest thing I have ever seen," hardware store manager Joe Clark. David Lee McCumsey Jr., 18, was charged with two counts of grand theft and one count of petty theft. He was released on $4,250 bail.

SHIP FIRE: A freighter was adrift without power Saturday far out in the stormy north Pacific following a fire, and Air Force and National Guard crews prepared for a possible rescue attempt with land-based helicopters. The Greek Cypriot-registered container ship Hyundai Seattle, with a crew of 27, was about 550 miles south of Adak, a Navy base in the remote Aleutian Island chain, the Coast Guard said.

POEM: A single sheet of paper bearing a handwritten copy of the classic poem that begins "'Twas the night before Christmas" sold Friday for $255,000 at Christie's auction house in New York City. Author Clement Clarke Moore left just three copies of the poem written in his own hand. This version was written in 1860 when he was 81.

POT BUST: Seven members of the Bermuda soccer team are spending their weekend in a south Florida jail on charges of trying to smuggle marijuana in their shoes. The seven were arrested Friday night as they stopped in Miami on a flight home from Jamaica, where they played in a soccer tournament.