Quake, Tsunami in Indonesia: Death toll tops 1,200
Indonesia on October 1 scrambled to get help into quake-hit Sulawesi island as survivors streamed away from their ruined homes and accounts of devastation filtered out of remote areas, including the death of 34 children at a Christian camp. Rescuers are racing against time to reach victims still trapped under rubble three days after the disaster. At least 1,200 people have been killed and hundreds more feared buried in landslides from the 7.5-magnitude earthquake that hit Central Sulawesi on Friday, which was followed by several aftershocks, a tsunami as high as six metres (20 feet) and mudslides, according to data from the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB), reported The Jakarta Post. Nearly three days after the quake, the extent of the disaster was not known with authorities bracing for the toll to climb - perhaps into the thousands - as connections with remote areas up and down the coast are restored.
Merkel warns Trump against destroying UN
German Chancellor Angela Merkel on October 1 warned US President Donald Trump against "destroying" the United Nations. "I believe that destroying something without having developed something new is extremely dangerous," Merkel said at a regional election campaign event in Bavaria. The veteran leader -- a close ally of Trump's bugbear Barack Obama while he was president -- added that she believed multilateralism was the solution to many of the world's problems. The veteran leader -- a close ally of Trump's bugbear Barack Obama while he was president -- added that she believed multilateralism was the solution to many of the world's problems. In his second appearance before the UN's annual gathering last week, Trump told the General Assembly that he and his administration "reject the ideology of globalism, and we embrace the doctrine of patriotism".
Frenchman in Nobel scandal jailed for two years for rape
A Swedish court on October 1 sentenced a Frenchman at the heart of a Nobel scandal to two years in jail for rape in a scandal that emerged during the #MeToo campaign. An influential figure in Stockholm's cultural scene, 72-year-old Jean-Claude Arnault went on trial last month on two counts of rape relating to incidents dating back to 2011. Prosecutors had called for a minimum sentence of three years in what was one of the first big trials to come out of the #MeToo movement. Arnault is married to a member of the Swedish Academy which selects the Nobel Literature Prize winner, with the scandal prompting the postponement of this year's award. The scandal erupted in November 2017, one month after rape and sexual abuse accusations surfaced against Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein.
'Chinese Debt Trap': Pakistan rethinks Silk Road projects
After lengthy delays, an $8.2 billion revamp of a colonial-era rail line snaking from the Arabian Sea to the foothills of the Hindu Kush has become a test of Pakistan's ability to rethink signature Chinese "Silk Road" projects due to debt concerns. The rail megaproject linking the coastal metropolis of Karachi to the northwestern city of Peshawar is China's biggest Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) project in Pakistan, but Islamabad has balked at the cost and financing terms. Resistance has stiffened under the new government of populist Prime Minister Imran Khan, who has voiced alarm about rising debt levels and says the country must wean itself off foreign loans. Pakistan's new government had wanted to review all BRI contracts. Officials say there are concerns the deals were badly negotiated, too expensive or overly favoured China.