Donate

PBS NewsHour

Video: Indonesians dig out from widespread earthquake destruction

Reuters correspondent Kanupriya Kapoor describes in a Skype interview the widespread destruction caused by Wednesday’s earthquake in Indonesia.

In the early morning hours Wednesday, Indonesia was hit by a 6.5-magnitude earthquake, which collapsed buildings, ripped apart streets and sent people to area hospitals. Nearly 100 people were killed.

“A lot of people, when they felt it, they went sort of panicking into the streets and that’s when a lot of buildings came down,” said Reuters correspondent Kanupriya Kapoor in a Skype interview.

Within hours, the Indonesian government dispatched workers to the region to dig people out of the rubble. They mostly suffered from broken bones and gashes, Kapoor said.

The destruction was concentrated in Pidie Jaya in the Aceh region — an area hard hit by the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and subsequent tsunami.

All photos by Reuters. We’ll have more about the earthquake on Wednesday’s PBS NewsHour.

The post Video: Indonesians dig out from widespread earthquake destruction appeared first on PBS NewsHour.

U.S., western nations demand immediate cease-fire in Aleppo

Residents walk near damaged buildings in the Old City of Aleppo, Syria. REUTERS/Abdalrhman Ismail/File Photo

Residents walk near damaged buildings in the Old City of Aleppo, Syria. REUTERS/Abdalrhman Ismail/File Photo

WASHINGTON –” The United States and five other Western powers on Wednesday called for an immediate cease-fire in the Syrian city of Aleppo and accused Russia of blocking efforts to halt the bloodshed.

In a joint statement, the leaders of Britain, Germany, Italy, France, Canada and the U.S. demanded that Syria’s government address the humanitarian crisis by allowing United Nations aid in to eastern Aleppo. They said the U.N. should investigate reports of war crimes committed in Syria.

“We condemn the actions of the Syrian regime and its foreign backers, especially Russia, for their obstruction of humanitarian aid,” the leaders said, adding that hospitals and schools appeared to have been targeted “in an attempt to wear people down.”

“We condemn the actions of the Syrian regime and its foreign backers, especially Russia, for their obstruction of humanitarian aid,” the leaders said, adding that hospitals and schools appeared to have been targeted “in an attempt to wear people down.”

The display of diplomatic unity appeared intended to build support for a five-day cease-fire for eastern Aleppo that several Syrian rebel groups proposed Wednesday in hopes of allowing civilians to flee, including the sick and wounded.

The White House didn’t immediately say whether the leaders were endorsing that specific cease-fire proposal. But the calls for a pause in fighting have grown more urgent as Syrian government troops and their allies push farther and farther into Aleppo, forcing rebels to retreat and civilians to leave their homes.

Syria’s government and Russia rejected a previous cease-fire for Aleppo while continuing to try to oust rebels from the city. The top U.S. and Russian diplomats planned to discuss the crisis further during talks Wednesday in Germany.

The Western leaders reserved some of their harshest condemnation for Russia, the Syrian government’s strongest ally. They charged that Moscow was blocking action at the U.N. Security Council intended to stem the violence.

The Syrian government’s “refusal to engage in a serious political process also highlights the unwillingness of both Russia and Iran to work for a political solution despite their assurances to the contrary,” the leaders said.

The post U.S., western nations demand immediate cease-fire in Aleppo appeared first on PBS NewsHour.

Death toll likely to rise after 6.5-magnitude quake hits Indonesia

Indonesian rescue workers carry a survivor from a fallen building after an earthquake in Ulee Glee, Pidie Jaya, in the
         northern province of Aceh, Indonesia December 7, 2016. Antara Foto/Ampelsa/via REUTERS

Indonesian rescue workers carry a survivor from a fallen building after an earthquake in Ulee Glee, Pidie Jaya, in the northern province of Aceh, Indonesia December 7, 2016. Antara Foto/Ampelsa/via REUTERS

At least 97 people are dead after a 6.5-magnitude earthquake struck Indonesia early Wednesday, and officials said they will likely find more bodies in the aftermath.

The quake struck shortly after 5 a.m. local time 11 miles beneath the surface of waters north of Reuleut, a town in northearn Aceh province, according to the Associated Press.

Injured people receive medical attention at a hospital following a Dec. 7 earthquake in Sigli, Pidie regency, in the
         northern province of Aceh, Indonesia. Antara Foto/Irwansyah Putra/via REUTERS

Injured people receive medical attention at a hospital following an earthquake in Sigli, Pidie regency, in the northern province of Aceh, Indonesia December 7, 2016 in this photo taken by Antara Foto. Antara Foto/Irwansyah Putra/via REUTERS

Rescue efforts are underway to retrieve survivors, and hospitals are overwhelmed while treating the wounded in Aceh province, the Associated Press reported. Officials with Indonesia’s National Disaster Mitigation Agency said more than half the country’s 250 million people live in areas that regularly experience earthquakes.

Motorcyclists pass a damaged section of a road following a Dec. 7 earthquake in Meuredu, Pidie Jaya, in the northern
         province of Aceh, Indonesia.  Antara Foto/Irwansyah Putra/via REUTERS

Motorcyclists pass a damaged section of a road following a Dec. 7 earthquake in Meuredu, Pidie Jaya, in the northern province of Aceh, Indonesia. Antara Foto/Irwansyah Putra/via REUTERS

Officials said no risk of a tsunami followed the quake, the Associated Press reported. In 2004, more than 130,000 people died in Aceh province after a massive earthquake triggered a tsunami that swept the region. In the years that followed, people in the region combatted mental health issues and faced rising religious intolerance with the onset of Sharia law.

People walk near a collapsed mosque following a Dec. 7 earthquake in Meuredu, Pidie Jaya in the northern province of
         Aceh, Indonesia.  Antara Foto/ Irwansyah Putra/via REUTERS

People walk near a collapsed mosque following a Dec. 7 earthquake in Meuredu, Pidie Jaya in the northern province of Aceh, Indonesia. Antara Foto/ Irwansyah Putra/via REUTERS

Rescue workers try to remove a victim from a collapsed building following a Dec. 7 earthquake in Lueng Putu, Pidie Jaya
         in the northern province of Aceh, Indonesia. Antara Foto/Irwansyah Putra/via REUTERS

Rescue workers try to remove a victim from a collapsed building following a Dec. 7 earthquake in Lueng Putu, Pidie Jaya in the northern province of Aceh, Indonesia. Antara Foto/Irwansyah Putra/via REUTERS

Injured people receive medical attention at a hospital following a Dec. 7 earthquake in Sigli, Pidie regency, in the
         northern province of Aceh, Indonesia. Antara Foto/Irwansyah Putra/via REUTERS

Injured people receive medical attention at a hospital following a Dec. 7 earthquake in Sigli, Pidie regency, in the northern province of Aceh, Indonesia. Antara Foto/Irwansyah Putra/via REUTERS

The post Death toll likely to rise after 6.5-magnitude quake hits Indonesia appeared first on PBS NewsHour.

News Wrap: In final national security speech, Obama touts fight against terror

U.S. President Barack Obama waves after speaking about counter-terrorism
         during his visit to MacDill Air Force Base, home to U.S. Central Command and U.S. Special Operations Command, in Tampa, Florida,
         U.S. December 6, 2016. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque - RTSUZ6F

Watch Video | Listen to the Audio

HARI SREENIVASAN: In the day’s other news: President Obama defended his record fighting terrorism in his last major national security speech before leaving office.

Mr. Obama traveled to MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida, home to the Special Operations and Central Commands. The president told the troops that he’s led a relentless assault on the Islamic State, but he also warned against targeting Muslims in the name of battling extremism.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: The United States of America is not a place where some citizens have to withstand greater scrutiny or carry a special I.D. card or prove that they are not an enemy from within.

We’re a country that has bled and struggled and sacrificed against that kind of discrimination.

HARI SREENIVASAN: The president also denounced any use of torture, defended drone strikes and urged again that the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, be closed.

JUDY WOODRUFF: In Iraq, army units made a new push toward the center of Mosul today. Islamic State fighters had tied up the Iraqi forces on the southeastern side of the city for nearly a month. But, this morning, an armored division launched a fresh assault. A senior commander says they moved within a mile of the Tigris River, backed up by U.S. airstrikes.

HARI SREENIVASAN: A human rights group is accusing China’s Communist Party of systematically using torture and coerced confessions against members accused of corruption. It’s part of President Xi Jinping’s sweeping anti-graft campaign, now in its fourth year.

Human Rights Watch says it found widespread abuse at interrogation and detention sites that are outside China’s official criminal justice system.

JUDY WOODRUFF: Back in this country, crews have now searched nearly all of the Oakland, California, warehouse that went up in flames during a music party, leaving at least 36 people dead. Officials say they do not expect to find more bodies.

Overnight, firefighters stabilized parts of the gutted building to continue the search today. They say they hope to finish the job tonight. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

HARI SREENIVASAN: The U.S. Supreme Court sided today with Samsung, in a high-profile patent fight with Apple. All eight justices voted to throw out a $399 million judgment against Samsung for copying features of Apple’s iPhone. The high court said the award was too large, and ordered a federal appeals panel to come up with a new amount.

JUDY WOODRUFF: Wall Street edged higher again today, with telecom companies leading the way. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 35 points to close at 19251. The Nasdaq rose 24, and the S&P 500 added seven.

The post News Wrap: In final national security speech, Obama touts fight against terror appeared first on PBS NewsHour.

BBC News

Card queen

Not many professional gamblers are bipolar women, but Cat Hulbert was one of the best - and she delighted in winning money from men.

Aleppo battle: Syria rebels call for truce to evacuate civilians

Syrian rebels call for truce to allow civilian evacuations after withdrawing from Aleppo's old city.

Italy's Renzi hands in resignation amid political turmoil

Italy's PM hands his resignation to the president, three days after losing a key referendum vote.

First photos from Cassini Saturn probe's new orbit

The Cassini spacecraft has sent back the first views from its new orbit around Saturn.