Thu, Oct 04, 2018 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take

Agencies

INDONESIA

Eruption in quake-hit area

A volcano erupted yesterday morning on the same central island as an earlier earthquake and authorities warned planes about ash. Mount Soputan in North Sulawesi Province spewed ash 6km into the sky. No evacuations were immediately ordered. A government volcanologist said it is possible the eruption was accelerated by the 7.5 magnitude earthquake in Central Sulawesi on Friday last week. Nazli Ismail, a geophysicist at University of Syiah Kuala, Banda Aceh, said there was no concrete evidence to show they are linked. “People talk about the butterfly effect,” he said. “So it is possible for the earthquake to trigger the volcano eruption, but it’s not conclusive.” Soputan’s eruption status was raised from an alert to standby 4km from the summit and up to 6.5km to the west-southwest.

SOUTH AFRICA

Bag designer named envoy

A luxury handbag designer in Palm Beach, Florida, has reportedly been chosen by US President Donald Trump as the next US ambassador. The appointment of Lana Marks, whose products sell for US$10,000 to US$400,000, would be likely to cause some surprise: Marks was born in South Africa, but has not lived there for more than 40 years. The post has been vacant since former US ambassador Patrick Gaspard resigned in 2016. Trump’s choice would still have to be approved by the US Senate. News reports appear to be based on an unusual leak from within the Department of International Relations and Cooperation.

AFGHANISTAN

Suicide attack kills 13

A suicide attack on a political rally on Tuesday killed at least 13 people, officials said, as the nation braces for an escalation in violence ahead of this month’s legislative election. The attack is the first suicide assault since campaigning officially began on Friday last week for the long-delayed ballot. More than 40 people were wounded, some critically, when the militant blew himself up in Nangarhar Province among supporters of candidate Abdul Nasir Mohmmand, provincial governor spokesman Ataullah Khogyani said. Mohmmand survived the attack, Khogyani said, but did not specify if the candidate had been hurt. The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attack, SITE Intelligence Group reported.

AUSTRALIA

‘Tampon tax’ rescinded

After almost two decades of political wrangling, the so-called “tampon tax” was scrapped yesterday. When a goods and services tax was introduced in 2000, health products such as condoms and sunscreen were exempt from the 10 percent charge, along with most foods, but women’s hygiene products were not. Years of outcry followed, with “stop taxing my period” campaigns and staunch activism from groups like the “menstrual avengers.” However, a meeting of state and territory treasurers yesterday agreed unanimously to scrap the tax as of January next year.

THAILAND

‘The Beach’ bay closes

Maya Bay, immortalized in the 2000 movie The Beach, is to be closed indefinitely to allow it to recover from the impact of tourists, an official said yesterday, as a temporary ban on visitors expired. It was in June shut for four months due to beach erosion and pollution as the white-sand paradise sagged under pressure from thousands of day-trippers. However, a survey of the problem made clear that the short-term fix was not going to work and that the damage was worse than originally thought.

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