JAKARTA: A moderately strong earthquake hit eastern Indonesia on Saturday causing panic among residents, but there were no immediate reports of damage or injuries. No tsunami warning was issued. The US Geological Survey says the 6.0 magnitude quake struck Saturday evening off the eastern province of Papua. It says it was fairly shallow, just 20 kilometres beneath the sea, which often causes more shaking than deeper quakes, scientists said.
Egypt, Israel team up
CAIRO: Egypt’s military spokesman said on Saturday, Egypt coordinated its ongoing offensive in the Sinai peninsula with Israel and that the campaign does not violate the two nations’ peace treaty. Colonel Ahmed Mohammed Ali also told reporters that five weeks into the operation Egyptian forces have killed 32 people, arrested 38 and destroyed 31 tunnels along the border with Gaza. Egypt launched the offensive following an August 5 militant attack near the border with Israel and Gaza that killed 16 Egyptian soldiers. —
Govt backs down
HONG KONG: Hong Kong’s government on Saturday backed down on a plan to force school children to take Chinese patriotism classes, after weeks of protests and on the eve of crucial legislative polls. “The amendment of this policy means that we are giving the authority to schools. The schools are given authority to decide when and how they would like to introduce the moral and national education,” the city’s leader, Leung Chun-ying, said.
29 killed in floods
Hanoi : Landslides and floods in Vietnam have killed at least 29
people in recent days as heavy rain soaks northern and central areas, state media and the governmentsaid today. More rain was forecast to
strike the flood-hit Nghe An province and authorities were getting
people out of dangerous areas, the government said. In one incident, 16 people were killed in landslides while they were going to a tin mine on Friday in the mountainous northern province of Yen Bai. Another person died in hospital. The affected provinces are far from the Central Highlands coffee belt. Rice production in the Mekong Delta is also
not affected. —
Christian girl freed
ISLAMABAD: A Christian girl accused of blasphemy in Pakistan was on Saturday released on bail after more than three weeks in jail, officials said, in a case that has sparked an international outcry. Rimsha Masih was arrested on August 16.