A magnitude 6.0 earthquake, centered in a rural area of California between San Francisco and Los Angeles, was felt along a 350-mile stretch Tuesday, but did not cause significant damage. The initial quake was followed by more than 160 aftershocks in quick succession, one with a preliminary magnitude of 5.0 and four others at 4.1 or above. A major quake in the same area killed two people last year. Because the area around tiny Parkfield, Calif., is so heavily monitored, seismologists may be able to collect more data from this quake than from any other in history, The Los Angeles Times reported.

The television networks covering Thursday night's first of three presidential debates, to be held in Coral Gables, Fla., said they'll ignore attempts by the campaigns of President Bush and John Kerry, his Democratic opponent, to stage-manage the event. The networks object to a provision, contained in 32-page agreement between the campaigns, that no reaction shots be shown of either candidate when the other is speaking. "A producer in the booth will make those determinations," said Princell Hair, CNN's general manager. The debate is scheduled for 9 p.m. Eastern time.

After a 33-year absence from the nation's capital, major-league baseball will return to Washington, a city official told the Associated Press. A formal announcement was expected later Wednesday. Plans call for relocating the Montreal Expos on a conditional basis, pending approval of city funding for a new stadium. Until a new ballpark can be built a dozen blocks south of the Capitol, the team would occupy refurbished RFK Stadium. The financially trouble Expos were bought by the 29 other major-league teams in 2002, but now will be put up for sale.

The insurance industry said it expects claims from this season's four Florida hurricanes, which have damaged one of every five homes in the state, to surpass 2 million.

Fashion designer Geoffrey Beene, who died Tuesday in New York, was known as a Southern gentleman in an intense business. His minimalist designs were hailed as marvels of cut and proportion, while his evening collections featured layers of fabrics and prints.

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