Quake in Indonesia

JAKARTA: A moderate 5.8-magnitude quake struck Indonesia’s Papua province on the island of New Guinea on Thursday, the US Geological Survey said. The quake struck at 1211 GMT 145 km west of Jayapura at a depth of 103 kilometres. Indonesia sits on the Pacific “Ring of Fire,” where the meeting of continental plates causes high volcanic and seismic activity. A 7.6-magnitude earthquake jolted the country last month, killing 1,115 people. — AFP

France in denial

PARIS: The French military Thursday dismissed as “baseless” a British newspaper report that French troops died in Afghanistan because Italy had failed to inform them of a Taliban payoff deal. The Times of London said 10 French soldiers were killed in Sarobi district east of Kabul in August 2008 because they were not told that Italy had been paying the Taliban not to carry out attacks and failed to properly assess risks. — AFP

Typhoon Ketsana

PHNOM PENH- Flooding caused by Typhoon Ketsana prevented almost a thousand Cambodian schools from opening at the start of the academic year, keeping tens of thousands of students home, an Education Ministry official said on Thursday. month.At least 18 people have been killed and 100 others injured. — AP