Another quake claims lives in Indonesia
PALU, Indonesia -- An earthquake today collapsed homes on Indonesia's Java island, killing at least three people, and shook the tourist hotspot of Bali, two weeks after an earthquake-tsunami disaster in a central region of the archipelago.
Indonesia's disaster agency said today's quake was centered at sea, 34 miles northeast of Situbondo city, and was also felt in Lombok. The U.S. Geological Survey said it had a 6.0 magnitude.
The agency said the worst affected area was in the Sumenep district in East Java where three people died and several homes were damaged.
It said "the earthquake was felt quite strongly by people in Sumenep and Situbondo for 2-5 seconds."
The International Monetary Fund and the World Bank are holding annual meetings on Bali through Sunday.
The country is still working to recover from the Sept. 28 quake and tsunami that killed more than 2,000 people and left perhaps thousands more buried in mud in some neighborhoods of Palu city in central Sulawesi.
Disaster agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said Wednesday that the death toll from the double disaster on Sept. 28 has risen to 2,045, with most of the fatalities in the coastal city of Palu. More than 80,000 people are living in temporary shelters or otherwise displaced, he said.
Israel defends barring of U.S. student
JERUSALEM -- Israel defended on Wednesday its handling of the case of an American graduate student detained at the country's international airport for the past week over allegations that she supports a boycott against the Jewish state.
Lara Alqasem, a 22-year-old American citizen with Palestinian grandparents, landed at Ben-Gurion Airport last week with a valid student visa and was registered to study human rights at Israel's Hebrew University in Jerusalem. But she was barred from entering the country and ordered deported, based on suspicions that she supports the Palestinian-led boycott movement.
An Israeli court has ordered that she remain in custody while she appeals, although Israel says she can leave the country. The weeklong detention is the longest anyone has been held in a boycott-related case. Her case is set to be heard at a Tel Aviv court today.
Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan said Wednesday that Israel had the right to protect itself and decide who enters its borders despite growing international criticism.
His remarks come after the The New York Times published an opinion piece by columnist Bret Stephens and editor Bari Weiss critical of Israel's handling of Alqasem's case. More than 300 academics penned a letter Wednesday in the British Guardian calling the case "an attack on academic freedom."
Bangladesh issues 19 death sentences
DHAKA, Bangladesh -- A Bangladeshi court sentenced 19 people to death and the son of the opposition leader to life imprisonment on Wednesday over a deadly 2004 attack at a political rally held by current Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
The grenade attack killed two dozen people and wounded about 300 others. Hasina narrowly escaped, having been whisked away by party members to a waiting car from a dais in front of the headquarters of her Awami League party near where several grenades exploded.
Judge Shahed Nuruddin delivered the verdicts -- interrupted twice by power cuts -- at the court in Dhaka for 49 defendants facing multiple charges stemming from the attack.
Nuruddin said the attack was intended to eliminate the Awami League's leadership, including Hasina.
Lutfuzzaman Babar, one of two former Cabinet ministers among the 19 condemned to death, told reporters after the verdict that he was innocent. "God knows everything. I was not behind it," he said.
Tarique Rahman, the oldest son of opposition leader Khaleda Zia, received a life sentence for each of two conspiracy charges stemming from the attack. He lives in London and was tried in absentia. Eighteen others also were sentenced to life imprisonment, and 11 received six months to two years in prison.
55 bus riders killed in Kenya accident
NAIROBI, Kenya -- Fifty-five people were killed when their bus left the road, rolled down a slope and crashed in western Kenya, an official said Wednesday, with the roof of the bus ripped off.
"The information we have is that the driver lost control," Kericho County police commander James Mugera said.
There were about 15 survivors, officials said. There was a dire need of blood for transfusions as most needed surgery, Kericho Gov. Paul Kiprono Chepkwony said.
The bus had been traveling from the capital, Nairobi, to the western town of Kakamega when the accident occurred around 4 a.m., Rift Valley regional police boss Francis Munyambu said.
Nine children were among the dead, he added.
The bus was not licensed to operate at night and its owners will face charges, regional traffic police boss Zero Arome said. "It is very unfortunate what has happened and action will be taken," he said.
Police and rescuers work Wednesday near a fatal bus crash in Kericho County in western Kenya.
A Section on 10/11/2018
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