Tue, Jul 16, 2019 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take



Aftershocks rock Malukus

The Maluku Islands yesterday were hit by scores of aftershocks after an earthquake on Sunday killed at least two people. Rescue teams were struggling to reach parts of the area hit by the magnitude 7.2 quake, due to its remote location, warning that the death toll could rise. The quake hit at a shallow depth of 10km on the southern part of Halmahera in the North Malukus. About 2,000 people had been displaced, while at least 58 houses had been damaged, Indonesian National Disaster Mitigation Agency spokesman Agus Wibowo told reporters in Jakarta. As of yesterday afternoon, 66 aftershocks had been recorded, he said.


Security being boosted

Authorities have boosted security to prevent a further escalation of tribal violence, after at least 24 people were killed last week in Hela Province, officials said yesterday. The killings of women and children marked a deadly departure from a cycle of killing in which the vulnerable are usually off limits. Police Minister Bryan Kramer said immediate intervention was needed in Hela to prevent the latest bout of violence becoming the new norm. He said the massacre of women and children was “the worst pay back killing in our country’s history.” A defence force platoon and a mobile police squad had been stationed at a local primary school “to provide around the clock security, to prevent any further escalation of violence,” and authorities would use “drone technology and satellite surveillance” to track down the perpetrators, he added.


Humanitarian aid drying up

A leading advocacy group for refugees yesterday that with half of the year gone, humanitarian organizations have received only 27 percent of the money needed to provide relief to people affected by crises worldwide this year. Norwegian Refugee Council secretary-general Jan Egeland said “the current lack of funding is alarming.” Egeland said a total of US$26 billion is required this year to provide relief for about 94 million people in need. However, donor countries have contributed only US$7 billion, or US$2 billion less than for the same period last year, he said, citing the UN’s financial tracking service. “Let’s not be fooled into believing that the amount needed is too high or the job too difficult. It is a question of priorities,” Egeland said. The world’s total military expenditure last year increased to “a whopping $1.8 trillion,” citing figures from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. “The cost of closing the humanitarian funding gap and providing people with basic support equals to just about 1 percent of this,” he said.


Student’s body found

The body of a man, believed to be the missing Indian student Poshik Sharma, was found yesterday morning in regional Victoria. Sharma, 21, was reported missing after he left the Duck Inn about 4:30pm on Thursday. Police said his death was not being treated as suspicious. Meanwhile, New South Wales police announced that human bones discovered last month near Port Macquarie belonged to Erwan Ferrieux, a 21-year-old French national who went missing along with his British friend Hugo Palmer in February. “We believe from the DNA comparisons that it belongs to Erwan Ferrieux,” Superintendent Paul Fehon said. Another human bone was discovered in the same area on Sunday, but police said it was too early to say whether it belonged to either Ferrieux or Palmer.

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