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Sun, 08 Dec 2019
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Indonesian quake triggers tsunami fears

JAKARTA, Indonesia - An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.1 struck off Indonesia's Sulawesi island on Sunday, causing residents to flee coastal areas in fear of a tsunami.

Indonesian officials - who have been under fire for failing to warn people ahead of last week's deadly tsunami on Java island - recorded the quake at 6.6 and said it had the potential to trigger destructive waves.

They later said no tsunami was generated and told residents to return home.

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Death toll at 22 after heavy rains, mudslides in Japan

TOKYO - Three more people have been found dead in southwestern Japan following floods and mudslides triggered by torrential rain, raising the death toll to at least 22.

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Europe sweats and soaks as storms puncture deadly heatwave

PARIS - Europe sizzled and soaked alernately as a deadly heatwave broke down into storms over parts of the continent amid warnings that temperatures would peak again.

The sweltering weather hit particularly hard in France, where the government issued warnings on radio and television after the number of reported deaths attributable to the heat reached 22.

The death toll raised memories of a fatal bout of baking temperatures that killed 15,000 people in France and more than twice as many across Europe in 2003.

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At least 19 dead in China earthquake

At least 19 people died and 106 were injured in an earthquake which caused 1,400 houses to collapse in a mountainous region of southwestern China.

Xinhua news agency said Saturday another 38,000 buildings were damaged by the quake measuring 5.1 on the Richter scale which shook Yanjin county in Yunnan province at 9:10 am (0110 GMT).

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Denver choking on near record smog levels

DENVER - Colorado is suffering through a summer of smog.

With temperatures topping 100 degrees this month in Denver and elsewhere along the populous Front Range, routine activities like filling up at the gas station or mowing the lawn are releasing fumes into a perfect cauldron for creating ozone, a major component of smog.

Activists are sounding the alarm. Government officials are keeping watch. Nobody's breathing easy.

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Europe swelters in continuing heatwave

Vast swathes of Europe have baked in tropical temperatures that have claimed nine lives in France alone, but summer thunderstorms brought some welcome relief.

A 32-year-old man died in Spain after suffering heatstroke while working on a farm in Caceres in the east, local health authorities said on Thursday. He was Spain's third heatwave victim after a builder died in Murcia in the south on Sunday and a 44-year-old man died on Tuesday in Galicia in the northwest.

Sixteen people have died so far across Europe, where thermometers have hovered over the 30 degrees Celsius mark (86 degrees Fahrenheit) for several days, but authorities in France said that measures implemented following the 2003 heatwave had averted another disaster.

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Avian Flu Numbers Increase Across SE Asia

Thai authorities have announced two suspected cases of avian-influenza infection in a pair of sisters hospitalized earlier this week, local media has reported.

The sisters, from the northern province of Phichit, were hospitalized after displaying symptoms similar to those seen in bird-flu sufferers, local health authorities told the Thai media.

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Fires Rage In Indonesian Borneo And Sumatra

More than 1,500 firefighters are battling scores of forest fires raging on Indonesian Borneo and Sumatra island as a haze envelops neighboring Malaysia and Thailand, forestry officials said Wednesday.

Satellite images showed some 567 "hot spots" from fires and underground heat centres in Riau province on Sumatra as well as Kalimantan in Borneo, a spokesman from Indonesia's forestry ministry Masyud told AFP.

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St. Louis Storms cut power, snap trees, topple trucks across region

A powerful summer storm slammed into the St. Louis area Wednesday evening, toppling buildings, street lights, tractor trailers and hundreds of trees.

At least 476,000 customers lost power, Metrolink was shut down and just one-third of flights were getting in and out of Lambert Field.

"This is one of the worst storms we can all remember to hit the city of St. Louis in recent years," St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay said at a hurriedly called news conference.

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Earth facing 'catastrophic' loss of species

The Earth is on the brink of "major biodiversity crisis" fuelled by the steady destruction of ecosystems, a group of the world's most distinguished scientists and policy experts warn today.

Nineteen leading specialists in the field of biodiversity, including Robert Watson, chief scientist at the World Bank, and Professor Georgina Mace, director of the Institute of Zoology, are calling for the urgent creation of a global body of scientists to offer advice and urge governments to halt what they call a potentially "catastrophic loss of species".