Davao, Oct 29 (AP/UNB) — A powerful earthquake shook the southern Philippines on Tuesday, killing one person, injuring dozens and sending people dashing out of homes and buildings in a region still recovering from recent strong quakes.
The 6.6 magnitude earthquake was caused by movement in a local fault about 7 kilometers (4.3 miles) deep about 25 kilometers northeast of Tulunan town in Cotabato province, the Philippine Institute of Seismology and Volcanology said. The U.S. Geological Survey had the same measurement, adjusted from a preliminary 6.8.
The Office of Civil Defense reported a 66-year-old man died from head injuries apparently after being hit by a falling object in South Cotabato province's capital city of Koronadal, where 30 other people were injured as they dashed out of homes, offices and shopping malls as the ground shook.
More than a dozen people were injured in M'lang town in Cotabato and Cagayan de Oro province, according to OCD.
Several cities and towns suspended classes to allow inspections of school buildings. At least three government and privately owned buildings damaged in another quake earlier this month sustained further damages and remained off limits to the public.
The 6.3-magnitude earthquake Oct. 16 killed five people and damaged schools, hospitals, malls and other commercial buildings.
In July, two earthquakes hours apart struck a group of sparsely populated islands in the Luzon Strait in the northern Philippines, killing eight people.
The Philippines lies in the so-called Pacific "Ring of Fire," an arc of faults around the Pacific Ocean where most of the world's earthquakes occur.
A magnitude 7.7 quake killed nearly 2,000 people in the northern Philippines in 1990.
Srinagar, Oct 29 (AP/UNB) — A group of European Parliament members has arrived in disputed Kashmir, the first foreign delegation to travel to the region since India stripped it of its semi-autonomous status and imposed a harsh crackdown in early August.
The group is meeting government and military officials. They met with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi on Monday.
Since imposing the crackdown, India has denied access to the region to foreign journalists and some of its own members of Parliament.
The visit comes a day after gunmen killed the fourth truck driver in the last three weeks in the region.
Gunmen have targeted apple traders and truck drivers about to drive away with the apple consignment from the southern Shopian area in Kashmir, whose apple industry is vital to its economy.
Hong Kong, Oct 29 (AP/UNB) — Hong Kong authorities barred high-profile pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong from an election, and the city's leader ruled out political solutions before the end of the violent protests gripping the semi-autonomous Chinese territory.
The developments Tuesday were likely to further widen divisions in Hong Kong, which has been wracked by more than four months of unrest driven in part by demands for political reform. Hong Kong's leader, Carrie Lam, also warned that the Asian financial hub was on the brink of an economic recession.
A returning officer notified Wong his nomination as a candidate in next month's elections was ruled invalid, according to a copy of the letter Wong posted on his Twitter account .
"The decision to ban me from running for office is clearly politically driven," Wong told reporters. He said Beijing was pressuring Hong Kong election officials to carry out political screening but it would backfire.
"It will just trigger more and more Hong Kongers to take to the street and also vote in the election."
Wong, 23, became known as the young face of Hong Kong's "Umbrella Movement" that peacefully occupied streets for 79 days in 2014, and he has since been repeatedly arrested and jailed. He has been less important to the current protest movement, which has been leaderless and whose participants have sought to remain anonymous.
His activities have nonetheless made him a target of China's communist leaders, who have used him to accuse foreign powers of colluding with anti-China separatists to foment unrest.
The government confirmed Wong's disqualification, without identifying him.
The returning officer said in the letter that Wong's embrace of the concept of self-determination includes Hong Kong's independence, which goes against a requirement to promise to uphold its constitution. But Wong denied that, saying his answers to the officer's questions were twisted.
Wong and other pro-democracy activists were disqualified from running in previous elections. But the others have been approved for the Nov. 24 local district council elections, making him the only one to be banned.
Neighborhood councilors and half of Hong Kong's legislature are directly elected, but the rest are chosen by trade and industry groups while the top leader is handpicked by an elite pro-Beijing panel. The protesters' demands include full democracy.
The disqualification came as Lam ruled out finding a political resolution before ending protest violence.
"For the government to resort to measures that will appease the violent rioters, I don't think that is the solution," she told reporters.
"Until and unless we tackle the violence and put an end to it, it is very difficult to continue the political dialogue we have done," Lam said.
Hong Kong has been gripped since early June by the political crisis, with peaceful but often unauthorized marches descending into chaos as hardcore demonstrators hurling fire bombs and bricks battle police firing tear gas, rubber bullets and water cannon. Both sides blame each other for using increasingly aggressive tactics.
Lam said the city is at risk of falling into a recession as it enters its fifth month of protests, which has punished the city's tourism and retail industries.
"If this quarter's growth rate, compared to the second quarter's growth rate, is negative, it will be the second decline in a row. Then it can be said that we have entered a technical recession," she said, adding that the economy could end up contracting for the year as a whole.
Guiyang, Oct 29 (Xinhua/UNB) -- Eight people were killed and two injured in a construction site collapse in southwest China's Guizhou Province Monday, local authorities said Tuesday.
An underground car park under construction in Guanshanhu District of Guiyang, the provincial capital of Guizhou, collapsed at 4:21 p.m. Monday, said the information office of the district government.
A total of 14 people were working at the site at the time of the accident. Three escaped, one was immediately rescued and the rest 10 were trapped.
By 3 a.m. Tuesday, the trapped workers had been found, with eight dead and two injured but in stable condition.
An investigation into the cause of the collapse is under way.
Beijing, Oct 29 (Xinhua/UNB) -- The People's Bank of China (PBOC), the country's central bank, continued to skip reverse repos on Tuesday.
The decision was aimed at maintaining reasonably sufficient liquidity in the banking system, as increased fiscal expenditures near the month end could offset the effect of such factors as maturing reverse repos, the PBOC said in a statement.
The central bank skipped reverse repos on Monday, also citing abundant liquidity.
A reverse repo is a process by which the central bank purchases securities from commercial banks through bidding, with an agreement to sell them back in the future.
China vowed to keep its prudent monetary policy "neither too tight nor too loose" while maintaining market liquidity at a reasonably ample level in 2019.