TOKYO (Reuters) - An earthquake of magnitude 6 hit southwestern Japan on Thursday, bringing down some buildings and injuring dozens of people, local media reported, but the nuclear regulator reported no problems at power plants.
The initial quake struck 11 km (7 miles) east of the city of Kumamoto, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) reported. It said the magnitude was 6.2 but later revised it down. Japanese public broadcaster NHK said the quake registered 6.4.
There was no tsunami warning, but Japan's chief government spokesman, Yoshihide Suga, said several buildings had collapsed. He gave no more details.
"We intend to do the utmost to grasp the situation," Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told reporters. "I'm now planning to hear what we have gathered on the situation."
The Kyodo news agency reported that around 40 people were being treated at a hospital in Kumamoto city, some of them seriously injured.
A fire also broke out in Mashiki, a town of about 34,000 people near the epicenter of the quake. NHK showed footage of firefighters tackling a blaze at a building.
Some 16,000 households in the area were without electricity and 38,000 homes had no gas supplies in Kumamoto, Japanese media reported.
At around 1503 GMT, another tremor struck the region, according to the USGS. It was initially measured at magnitude 6.4, before being revised down to 5.9. Again, there was no tsunami warning.
After the first tremor, the Nuclear Regulation Authority said there were no irregularities at three nuclear plants on the southernmost island of Kyushu and nearby Shikoku.
Some high-speed trains were halted as a precaution.
Japanese media showed watermelons falling from shelves at a supermarket in Kumamoto.
A quake of magnitude 9 struck offshore north of Tokyo in March 2011, causing tsunami waves along the coast which killed nearly 20,000 people and triggered a meltdown at a nuclear power plant.
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Malaysia's transport minister said Monday two plane pieces found in Mozambique will be sent to Australia to verify if they belong to Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.
Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai said a part found recently by an American in Mozambique is now in Malaysia for safekeeping.
He said a Malaysian team is expected to return this week from South Africa with another part found by a family holidaying in Mozambique. The family took the piece with them when they returned home to South Africa.
Liow said both pieces will be sent to Australia to be examined by an international investigation team. The plane vanished March 8, 2014, with 239 people on board while flying from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.
"We want to be transparent and accountable in our investigation as much as possible ... that is why we want (the parts) to be verified in Australia," Liow said. He said a Malaysian team will be sent to Mozambique to comb its beaches for more possible debris.
He said French and Malaysian teams will work to verify another piece of plane debris recently recovered from Reunion Island.
"At this juncture, it has not been confirmed whether any of the recovered debris came from MH370," he said, urging the public to avoid speculation.
Liow said if the Flight 370 links were confirmed, the locations where the pieces were found would be consistent with ocean drift models done by Australia. Those models were used to determine the search area in the southern Indian Ocean.
The search is expected to end by June. A wing part found in Reunion last July is the only part so far confirmed from Flight 370.
The United States will confront China if it continues to stoke tensions in the disputed South China Sea region, the head of the U.S. Pacific fleet said Wednesday. Admiral Harry Harris also reassured allies Washington would not allow the contested territory to be controlled unilaterally.
In a speech at the Lowy Institute in Sydney, Harris said China continues to behave in an “aggressive” manner in the South China Sea.
“We will not allow a shared domain to be closed down unilaterally no matter how many bases are built on artificial features in the South China Sea,” Harris said. “We will cooperate when we can but we will be ready to confront when we must.”
China has laid claims to almost all of South China Sea, through where about $5 trillion worth of maritime trade sails every year. It has also reportedly been building runways and ports on islands in the contested waters to assert its claim over the region. Beijing has consistently defended its actions, saying it does not intend to start a conflict and that its operations will add to the safety of the region.
Following this, the U.S. carried out a series of freedom-of-navigation operations in the recent months, angering China which has blamed Washington of militarizing the disputed region.
“The U.S. fought its first war following our independence to ensure freedom of navigation,” Harris said during Wednesday’s speech. “This is an enduring principle and one of the reasons our forces stand ready to fight tonight.”
Harris also said the Pentagon will deploy F-22 Raptors as part of stepping up its presence in the South China Sea. The F-22 Raptors are considered the most sophisticated fighter jets currently in use by the U.S. military.
“My point is that you can count on America now and into the future,” Harris said. “I say that confidently because it’s in our national interest to continue our engagement in this vital region as we support the rules-based international order.”
Apart from China, Vietnam, the Philippines, Taiwan, Malaysia and Brunei also have claims over disputed territory in the region.
Akhmed Uthman, Middle East Correspondent
PARIS, NOVEMBER 16, 2016: (DGW) INFORMATION reaching our Paris news desk say no fewer than four security officials were blown to bits when a suicide bomber attacked their vehicle thus leaving behind a scene of tears , sorrow and blood in the Afghan capital of Kabul, DailyGlobeWatch Middle East correspondent, Akhmed Uthman, reports.
Eleven other people were also seriously injured by the blast, security officials also disclosed to our correspondent on condition of anonymity citing ongoing investigations.
The attack in question occurred near the Ministry of Defence compound.
Our correspondent, however, said no group has claimed responsibility as of the time of filing this report but chances are that it was carried out by Taliban insurgents who have recently stepped up attacks targeting security forces throughout the country.
The Drug Enforcement Agency said arrests took place in 16 states around the country in the past two days as part of a 15 month effort against synthetics, linked to a rise in overdoses and drug deaths.
The operation seized some 10,000 kilograms of raw and packaged synthetic cannabinoids—often called synthetic marijuana—as well as $15 million in assets and 39 weapons.
The DEA said the drugs, many which are often chemically structured to just fall outside of US bans, are mostly imported from China and openly sold in convenience shops, gas stations and other outlets.
But investigators have found that the proceeds are often sent to the Middle East, the DEA said.
“For the past several years, DEA has identified over 400 new designer drugs in the United States—the vast majority of which are manufactured in rogue labs in China,” it said in a statement.
“Abuse of these psychoactive substances has resulted in ever-increasing numbers of overdose incidents and deaths.”
The investigation into the industry, meanwhile, “continues to reveal the flow of millions of dollars in US synthetic drug proceeds to countries of concern in the Middle East.”
The agency did not identify which countries, but in the past two years DEA officials have made reference to Yemen and Syria, among others.
“The availability and illicit marketing of synthetic drugs creates the impression that they are safe and legal, when in fact they are neither,” said Sarah Saldana, director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which was also involved in the investigation.
In a coordinated move, the US Treasury hit with sanctions Nanjing, China-based Bo Peng and his company Kaikai Technology, who it said had “significant role” in trafficking synthetic drugs internationally.
“Today’s action exposes Bo Peng’s illicit synthetic drug operations and cuts off his access to the international financial system. Treasury is committed to working with the DEA and our other law enforcement counterparts to disrupt this dangerous industry.”
Date created : 2015-10-16
Taiwan should abandon its “hallucinations” about pushing for independence, as any moves towards it would be a “poison”, Chinese state-run media said after a landslide victory for the island’s independence-leaning opposition.
Tsai Ing-wen and her Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) won a convincing victory in both presidential and parliamentary elections on Saturday, in what could usher in a new round of instability with China, which claims self-ruled Taiwan as its own.
Tsai pledged to maintain peace with its giant neighbour China, while China’s Taiwan Affairs Office warned it would oppose any move towards independence and that Beijing was determined to defend the country’s sovereignty.
Reacting to Tsai’s victory, China’s government-controlled media used noticeably less shrill language than that levelled at Chen Shui-bian, the DPP’s last president, and noted her pledges for peace and to maintain the “status quo” with China.
But the official Xinhua news agency also warned any moves towards independence were like a “poison” that would cause Taiwan to perish.
“If there is no peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait, Taiwan’s new authority will find the sufferings of the people it wishes to resolve on the economy, livelihood and its youth will be as useless as looking for fish in a tree,” it said.
China called Chen, who led Taiwan from 2000-2008, a troublemaker and a saboteur of cross-strait ties, even as he tried to maintain stable relations with Beijing.
Warns of ‘crossing the red line’
The Global Times, an influential tabloid published by the ruling Communist Party’s official People’s Daily newspaper, said in an editorial that if Tsai’s administration sought to “cross the red line” like Chen, Taiwan would “meet a dead end”.
“We hope Tsai can lead the DPP out of the hallucinations of Taiwan independence, and contribute to the peaceful and common development between Taiwan and the mainland,” it added.
In Taiwan, the China-friendly China Times called on Tsai to be a “dove for cross strait peace”.
“Peace across the Taiwan Strait is the most important external factor for Taiwan’s stable development,” it said in an editorial.
Tsai won 56 percent of the vote to sweep aside rival Eric Chu of the China-friendly Nationalist Party that had ruled Taiwan under incumbent president Ma Ying-jeou since 2008.
Tsai’s DPP also made huge gains in the parliamentary polls to gain an absolute majority with 68 seats in the 113-seat legislature, giving her administration a far stronger policy-making lever over the next four years, and potentially more leverage over Beijing on cross-strait deals and affairs.
‘Only one China’
China’s Foreign Ministry, in its reaction to her victory, said Taiwan was an internal matter for China, there is only one China in the world and the island’s election neither changes this reality nor international acceptance of it.
“There is only one China in the world, the mainland and Taiwan both belong to one China and China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity will not brook being broken up,” the ministry added.
“The results of the Taiwan region election does not change this basic fact and the consensus of the international community.”
Tsai has been thrust into one of Asia’s toughest and most dangerous jobs, with China pointing hundreds of missiles at the island it claims, decades after the losing Nationalists fled from Mao Zedong’s Communists to Taiwan in the Chinese civil war in 1949.
The White House said on Saturday it congratulated Tsai and said the United States maintained a “profound interest” in peace between Taiwan and China.
Seoul (AFP) - South Korea, Japan and the United States on Tuesday warned North Korea of harsher sanctions and deeper isolation if it went ahead with a fifth nuclear test or other provocations.
The warning, which followed a trilateral meeting of top diplomatic officials, came amid growing speculation that Pyongyang is in the final stages of preparing an underground nuclear detonation at its Punggye-ri test site.
Such a move would be a dramatic act of defiance by North Korea in the face of strong UN sanctions imposed after its most recent nuclear test in January.
"If North Korea conducts another provocation despite the international community's repeated warnings, it will face even stronger sanctions and deeper isolation," said South Korea's Vice Foreign Minister Lim Sung-Nam.
Lim was briefing reporters after talks with his US and Japanese counterparts, Tony Blinken and Akitaka Saiki.
"We will not tolerate another provocation by North Korea," Lim said.
South Korean President Park Geun-Hye told her cabinet Monday that intelligence sources had detected signs that Pyongyang was preparing a new test, an assessment echoed the same day by her defence ministry.
North Korea is gearing up for a rare and much-hyped ruling party congress early next month, at which leader Kim Jong-Un is expected to take credit for pushing the country's nuclear weapons programme to new heights.
Numerous analysts have suggested the regime might carry out a fifth nuclear test as a display of strength just before the congress opens.
Describing North Korea as the region's "most acute threat," Blinken said the US and its two key Asian allies had agreed to expand cooperation on sanctions implementation in response to the North's "provocative and destabilising behaviour."
The sanctions agreed by the UN Security Council after the North's January 6 test were the toughest imposed to date on North Korea over its nuclear weapons programme.
Blinken said the measures were only just beginning to bite and it would take time for North Korea to really feel the extra pressure.
"If North Korea undertakes additional provocations, the existing Security Council resolutions call for additional significant measures ... so that's exactly what the international community would do," he added.
It marks an unusual case in a country where rates of violence against women are high
(ISLAMABAD) — A woman in Pakistan was arrested for allegedly throwing acid on a man who refused to marry her, police said Friday, marking an unusual case in a country where rates of violence against women are high.
Local police official Bashir Ahmed said the 32-year-old woman, Monil Mai, was arrested Thursday, hours after she attacked her boyfriend Sadaqat Ali when he went to her home in the Mukhdoom Rashid neighborhood of Multan, a city in central Pakistan.
Ahmed said that Mai had been having an affair with Ali for several years. She wanted him to marry her so that she could divorce her husband, he said.
Ali was being treated at a hospital in Multan, in the eastern Punjab province, Ali said.
Acid attacks and other so-called honor crimes against women are not unusual in Pakistan, but women are rarely the perpetrators of such attacks.
“It is a rare incident in which a woman has been accused of throwing acid on a man,” said Zohra Yusuf, who heads the independent Human Rights Commission of Pakistan. She urged the government to take steps to stop the sale of acid to unauthorized persons.
“There is a need to make checks on the availability of acid to common people to prevent such future attacks against men or women,” Yusuf said. Acid is easily available at markets in many parts of Pakistan, although the government says it was tightening controls to stop illegal sale of chemicals.
PARIS, MAY 19, 2016: (DGW) - Japanese survivors of the atomic bomb have said that an apology from the USA for dropping the bomb on two Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945 would be welcome but insist the USA and other countries with nukes must denuclearize to make the world safe for all.
President Obama will be visiting the pearl of the East, Hiroshima to be precise thus making him the first incumbent US president to pay such a visit where America killed thousands of souls in a nuclear holocaust.
For making nuclear non-proliferation as the centrepiece of his administration agenda, the first Black African US president was awarded the prestigious Nobel Peace Price.
America has consistently said the dropping of the bomb was necessary and justified at the time thus making the proposed visit hotly contested back home which should not be misinterpreted as an apology from the US
Terumi Tanaka, a native of Nagasaki who was 13 when the bomb hit, said on Thursday an apology for the human suffering would be welcome.
His words, "We would definitely like an apology to people who lost their lives, those who lost loved ones, parents who lost their children,"
"The strongest feeling of survivors is that this should not become a barrier to getting rid of nuclear weapons," he said.
The bomb dropped on Hiroshima killed thousands of people instantly and about 140,000 by the end of the year. About 27,000 people were killed instantly in Nagasaki and about 70,000 by the end of the year.
Japan having seen the devastating effect of the bomb on Nagasaki had no option but to unconditionally surrender six days after.