World briefs

China EarthquakeCHINA An earthquake that struck southern China last night destroyed almost 7,000 homes and injured 324 people, the official Xinhua News Agency said yesterday. The 6.6-magnitude quake in Yunnan province killed one person and the likelihood of major casualties is low, the Ministry of Civil Affairs said in a statement on its website. Premier Li Keqiang ordered a “whole-hearted” rescue effort, the State Council said in a statement on its website. The epicenter was 460 km southwest of Kunming.

AFGHANISTAN A Kabul police chief says Afghan authorities have executed five men convicted of armed robbery and gang rape in a case that galvanized the nation this summer. Gen. Mohammad Zahir Zahir says the men were hanged yesterday in the Puli Charkhi prison. Former President Hamid Karzai had approved and signed the execution order last month, on his last day in office. In August, eight men, some dressed in police uniforms, stopped an Afghan family’s car outside Kabul and sexually assaulted four of the women in the family, including one who was pregnant. Three of the suspects remain at large.

AUSTRALIA will soon introduce a system to ban foreign “hate preachers” from entering the country and will attempt to outlaw the radical Islamic group Hizb-ut-Tahrir under proposed tougher counterterrorism laws, the prime minister says.

JAPAN Evening viewers in much of Asia and early risers in parts of the Americas were treated to a stunning lunar eclipse last night, though clouds obscured it for some. Lucky ones saw the moon turn orange or red in what is known as a “blood moon.” The hue results from sunlight scattering off Earth’s atmosphere.

THAILAND Human rights group Amnesty International calls on Thai authorities to launch an independent investigation into allegations that police tortured a pair of suspects who reportedly confessed to killing two British tourists on a southern island last month.

Thomas Eric DuncanUSA A Dallas hospital spokesman says the first Ebola patient diagnosed in the United States has died. Wendell Watson of Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital says Thomas Eric Duncan died yesterday morning. Duncan arrived in Dallas Sept. 20 from Liberia and fell ill a few days later. Others in Dallas could be in danger as officials try to contain the virus that has ravaged West Africa, killing thousands of people. Officials say 10 people had direct contact with Duncan while he was contagious.

UKRAINE At least 331 deaths have been reported in eastern Ukraine since last month’s cease-fire deal between Russian-backed separatists and government troops, the United Nations said yesterday. Hostilities are persisting in the main rebel-held city of Donetsk, as well as around the towns of Debaltseve and Schastye.

SWEDEN An invention that promises to revolutionize the way the world lights its homes and offices, and already helps create the glowing screens of mobile phones, computers and many TVs, earns a Nobel Prize for two Japanese scientists and a Japanese-born American.

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