Top Asian News 8:12am GMT

162 dead when quake in Indonesia collapsed houses, buildings and roads

CIANJUR, Indonesia (AP) — Rescuers searched Tuesday in the rubble of buildings that collapsed in an earthquake that killed at least 162 people and injured hundreds more on Indonesia’s main island of Java for bodies and survivors, overwhelming hospitals. Excavators, trucks and other heavy equipment sent overnight reached the hard-hit city of Cianjur, south of Jakarta. The city in the country’s most densely populated province, West Java, was near the epicenter of a magnitude 5.6 quake on Monday afternoon that drove terrified residents onto the streets, some covered in blood and debris. One woman told The Associated Press that when the earthquake struck her home in Cianjur, the building “began to tremble as if it were dancing”. “I cried and immediately grabbed my husband and children,” said the woman, who only gave her name as a partinem.

EXPLAINER: Why was the Indonesian shallow earthquake so deadly?

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — A magnitude 5.6 earthquake killed more than 160 and injured hundreds as buildings on Indonesia’s main island of Java collapsed and terrified residents ran for their lives. On Tuesday morning, more bodies were pulled from the rubble in the hardest-hit city of Cianjur, which is located in the most densely populated province of West Java and about 217 kilometers south of the capital Jakarta. A number of people are still missing. While the magnitude would normally cause minor damage to buildings and other structures, experts say proximity to fault lines, the quake’s shallowness and inadequate infrastructure unable to withstand earthquakes all contributed to the damage.

Strong earthquake shakes Solomon Islands and drives people to flee

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — A powerful 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck the Solomon Islands on Tuesday afternoon, knocking over tables and sending people to higher ground. There were no immediate reports of widespread damage or injuries, although Australia’s Prime Minister said a roof at his High Commission had collapsed. An initial tsunami warning was withdrawn after the threat passed. Solomon Islands government spokesman George Herming said he was in his office on the second floor of a building in the capital Honiara when the quake struck the city. He said he crawled under his desk. “It’s a huge thing that shocked everyone,” Herming said.

Insurgents, neglect impacted flood relief in Pakistan province

GANDAKHA, Pakistan (AP) — Maryam Jamali should have prepared for an audit. Instead, the teenager from Pakistan’s flood-hit Balochistan province helped organize postpartum clinics and shelters for people neglected by the relief effort. Balochistan is Pakistan’s largest and poorest province, plagued by underdevelopment, poor governance, corruption and a long-running insurgency. When catastrophic floods devastated much of Pakistan this summer, about 75% of Balochistan’s population was affected, the largest proportion of any province in the country. But recovery has been slower here, and residents say they are paying the price of years of neglect by local and central government.

US Vice President Harris flies to the Philippine island near the disputed sea

PUERTO PRINCESA, Philippines (AP) — U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris flies to an island province in western Philippines bordering the South China Sea on Tuesday to bolster American support for his treaty partner and U.S. interest in freedom of navigation in the disputed area to underscore waters where it has repeatedly punished China for acts of war. Ahead of her visit, a new confrontation erupted in the contested waterway when the Philippine Navy claimed a Chinese Coast Guard vessel forcibly seized Chinese missile debris as Filipino sailors towed it to their island. The long-simmering territorial disputes between China, the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan and Brunei have long been seen as an Asian flashpoint and thorny fault line in the US-China rivalry in the region.

China’s antivirus dampening stokes fears of global economic impact

BEIJING (AP) — Antivirus controls confining millions of Chinese families to their homes and closing shops and offices are raising fears of further damage to already struggling global business and trade. The ruling Communist Party pledged on November 11 to reduce disruption to its “zero-COVID” strategy by making controls more flexible. But the latest spate of outbreaks calls that into question, prompting major cities like Beijing to shut down populous districts, close shops and offices, and order factories to isolate their workforces from outside contacts. On Tuesday, the government reported that 28,127 cases, including 25,902 with no symptoms, had been found in areas across China over the past 24 hours.

6 Apple Daily employees plead guilty to Hong Kong collusion

HONG KONG (AP) – Six former executives of a now defunct pro-democracy newspaper in Hong Kong on Tuesday pleaded guilty to charges of collusion under the National Security Law, which has silenced and jailed most opposition voices in the southern Chinese territory. Apple Daily staff were arrested last year during a crackdown on dissidents after Beijing imposed the Comprehensive Security Law in response to widespread anti-government protests in 2019. They have been accused of conspiring to collude with foreign forces to endanger national security. The law criminalizes succession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces. His maximum sentence is life imprisonment.

Seoul: Kim’s daughter, revealed last week, is his 2nd child

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s daughter, who was recently seen publicly at a missile launch site for the first time, is his second child, aged about 10, South Korea’s spy agency told lawmakers Tuesday as speculation whirled about his subjects to draw the attention of the outside world to them. On Saturday, North Korea said Kim watched the launch of the country’s most powerful ICBM — Hwasong-17 — with his wife Ri Sol Ju and their “beloved daughter” the day before. State media released photos showing Kim walking hand-in-hand with a young girl in a white coat and red shoes by a massive rocket placed on a launch cart and watching a high-flying gun from afar.

Focus on Malaysia’s king to break election stalemate

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Malaysia’s electoral uncertainty deepened on Tuesday after a political bloc refused to back either reformist leader Anwar Ibrahim or rival Malay nationalist Muhyiddin Yassin as prime minister, three days after divisive polls showed no clear winner . The standoff put the spotlight on the nation’s ceremonial king, who must find a way out of the impasse. Anwars Pakatan Harapan, or Alliance of Hope, led Saturday’s election with 83 seats in parliament but failed to reach the 112 needed for a majority. He was embroiled in a struggle to form a majority government with former Prime Minister Muhyiddin, whose Malaysian-centric Perikatan Nasional, or National Alliance, won 72 seats.

US, allies clash with Russia and China over North Korea tests

UNITED NATIONS (AP) – The United States and its allies on Monday strongly condemned North Korea’s latest ICBM test and called for measures to limit its nuclear and missile programs, but Russia and China resisted any fresh pressure and sanctions against Pyongyang. US Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield told an emergency UN Security Council meeting that the Biden administration would circulate a planned presidential statement condemning North Korea “for all of its unlawful launches of ballistic missiles and other dangerous and destabilizing activities” as a prompt Pyongyang to comply with UN sanctions banning all ballistic missile and nuclear weapons testing.

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