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The latest headlines.

BILL WOLFF (Announcer): This is NPR.


A rare earthquake has struck parts of Britain. The quake had a magnitude of 5.2, and there were no reports of any deaths or serious damage. It struck about an hour after midnight, and many people reported being awaken by the tremors. Earthquakes are uncommon in the U.K., and today's was the largest there for nearly 25 years.

The European Union has fined Microsoft a whopping $1.3 billion for charging rivals too much for software information. EU regulator slap Microsoft with the fine today saying the company charge, quote, "unreasonable prices" until last October to software developers who wanted to make products compatible with the Windows operating system. Microsoft immediately contested the fines, saying these issues have since been resolved and the company is now working to make its products more open. The fine is the largest ever for a single company and the first the E.U. had penalized a business for failing to obey and anti-trust order.

The U.S. Senate has voted overwhelmingly in favor of debating a bill about a time table for troop withdrawal from Iraq. The bill would require the Bush administration to start removing troops from Iraq in 120 days and cut founding for battlefield deployments. While Senate Republicans remained opposed to any timeline for withdrawal, they say they want to use the open debate to talk about recent success in Iraq.

Florida officials today are still trying to figure out why a glitch at a power sub station triggered a blackout that cut electricity to millions across south Florida. Here's NPR's Greg Allen with details.

GREG ALLEN: The power outage hit shortly after 1:00 P.M. Tuesday. Officials with Florida Power & Light say protective devises should've isolated the problem at the sub station. Instead, the failure there immediately tripped the shut down of a nuclear power plant south of Miami. When that plant, with its twin reactors went offline, it triggered a series of outages that spread as far north as Tampa and Daytona beach. In Miami, the blackout's main impact was on traffic. With traffic lights out and people leaving work early, much of the city went to gridlock. Power companies across the state worked quickly to restore electricity. FPL says it's investigating what cause the fire and why it triggered the regional blackout.

A federally regulated agency, the North American Electric Reliability Council says it will also look at the outage and make recommendations on how to avoid similar disruptions in the future.

MARTIN: NPR's Greg Allen reporting.

(Soundbite of song, "Wonderful World")

Mr. SAM COOKE (Singer): (Singing) Don't know much about history. Don't know much biology.

MARTIN: Alas, it's true. According to a new survey, American teenagers are living in, quote, "stunning ignorance" when it comes to basic history and literature. An advocacy group called Common Core commissioned a phone survey and the released results yesterday. In this survey, 1,200 17-year olds where called in January and asked to answer 33 multiple choice questions, read to them aloud. One in four didn't know when Columbus sailed the ocean blue - 1492, by the way. And about a quarter identified Hitler as a munitions maker instead of Germany's chancellor in World War II.

That's the news, and it's always online at

WOLFF: This is NPR.

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