TANJUNG, Indonesia (AP) — The Indonesian island of Lombok was shaken by a third big earthquake in little more than a week Thursday as the official death toll from the most powerful of the quakes topped 300. The strong aftershock, measured at magnitude 5.9 by the U.S. Geological Survey, caused panic, damage to buildings, landslides and injuries. It was centered in the northwest of the island and didn't have the potential to cause a tsunami, Indonesia's geological agency said. Videos showed rubble strewn across streets and clouds of dust enveloping buildings. In northern Lombok, some people leaped from their vehicles on a traffic-jammed road while an elderly woman standing in the back of a pickup truck wailed "God is Great." An Associated Press reporter in the provincial capital, Mataram, saw people injured by the quake and a hospital moving patients outside.
KAYANGAN, Indonesia (AP) — Falling rubble instantly paralyzed Mary Andoni from the waist down when Indonesia was shaken by one of its deadliest earthquakes in years. But there was nobody in her destroyed village to get her the help she needed. There were too many other injured and dead. "It was overwhelming," Andoni's 35-year-old brother-in-law, Ilham, said of the chaotic aftermath of Sunday's magnitude 7.0 earthquake on the island of Lombok. "There was no way to get her out." On Thursday, paramedics finally evacuated Andoni to a hospital in the city of Mataram. But her experience underscores the challenges facing this devastated region: Four days after the earthquake killed hundreds of people and displaced 270,000 more, injured survivors in remote areas cut off by landslides and broken bridges are still emerging from the ruined countryside, struggling to reach the doctors they desperately need.
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — With the Koreas, there's no separating their sports from their politics. The war-separated rivals will take their reconciliation steps to the Asian Games in Jakarta and Palembang, Indonesia, where they will jointly march in the opening ceremony and field combined teams in basketball, rowing and canoeing. "Sports have played the role of peacemaker between the Koreas," said Kim Seong-jo, vice chairman of South Korea's Olympic committee and the country's chef de mission at the Asian Games. "If the combined teams put out good performances and win medals, that would be putting the cherry on the top." North and South Korea have used sports diplomacy this year in a bid to decrease animosity and initiate a new round of global diplomatic efforts to resolve the nuclear standoff with Pyongyang.
BEIJING (AP) — Authorities in northwestern China were poised to begin demolition of a mosque Friday despite protests by hundreds of members of the country's Muslim Hui ethnic minority determined to preserve the newly built structure. A crowd gathered Thursday outside the towering Grand Mosque in the town of Weizhou in the Ningxia Hui autonomous region and was being watched closely by police, Hong Kong's South China Morning post said. No clashes were reported. It wasn't immediately clear if the plan to begin the demolition Friday would proceed according to schedule. The SCMP said an alternative plan had been floated to remove eight of the nine domes on the massive structure, which was completed last year but never obtained proper construction and operating permits.
JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Indonesian President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has formally registered as a candidate in 2019 elections and has chosen a conservative Islamic cleric as his running mate. Jokowi, the first Indonesian president from outside the military and political elite, announced his vice-presidential candidate, Ma'ruf Amin, on Thursday after weeks of fevered speculation in local media. Amin heads the influential Indonesian Ulema Council and the advisory council of Nahdlatul Ulama, the world's largest Muslim organization. Jokowi's pick disappointed liberals but analysts say it shores up his position among conservative Muslims who demonstrated their political power last year with the ouster of Jakarta's minority Christian governor who was later imprisoned for blasphemy.
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — The rival Koreas plan to hold high-level talks on Monday to prepare for a third summit between their leaders, as Pyongyang called on the United States to reciprocate its "goodwill measures" by easing sanctions and stopping demands that the North denuclearize first. The plans by the Korean leaders to meet come as Washington and Pyongyang try to follow through on nuclear disarmament vows made at a U.S.-North Korea summit in June between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. In the most recent sign of growing frustration between Washington and Pyongyang, North Korea criticized senior American officials for insisting that North Korea give up its nuclear weapons first before easing sanctions.
BANGKOK (AP) — A former Buddhist monk infamous for a jet-set lifestyle was sentenced Thursday to more than 100 years in prison in connection with funds he fraudulently raised from followers. Wirapol Sukphol caused a scandal when he appeared in a 2013 YouTube video in his monk's robes aboard a private jet wearing aviator sunglasses with a Louis Vuitton carry-on by his side. He was defrocked amid accusations that he had sexual relations with several women — a major violation of the precepts guiding monks' behavior — and had impregnated one. There were also allegations he had sex with a 14-year-old girl.
YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — Myanmar sharply rejected an attempt by the International Criminal Court to consider the country's culpability for activities that caused 700,000 minority Rohingya Muslims to flee to Bangladesh for safety last year. The office of the nation's leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, said in a statement posted online Thursday that the court in the Netherlands has no jurisdiction over Myanmar because it is not a member state. It also offered procedural reasons for why it would not respond formally to the court's request for its views on the exodus of the Rohingya, and said the question "is meritless and should be dismissed." The ICC did not immediately respond to an Associated Press request for comment.
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Afghan officials say the Taliban has launched massive attacks on the Ghazni provincial capital. Latifa Akbari, head of the provincial council, said intense gunbattles raged Friday morning and several shops had burned. The attack was launched in the eastern province around 2 a.m. Defense Ministry spokesman Mohammad Radmanish said the army helped the police and the city was under control of government forces. Baz Mohammad Hemat, the head of a hospital in Ghazni city, says nine security forces wounded in the attacks were being treated at the hospital. Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid claimed parts of the city had been seized and scores of people killed.
CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Five former dual nationals have been stripped of their Australian citizenship due to their involvement with the Islamic State group overseas, a government minister said Thursday. A total of six people have now lost their Australian citizenship since the law was changed in 2015 to enable dual nationals to lose their citizenship rights for actions contrary to their allegiance to Australia, Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton said. "I can confirm that five more individuals have ceased to be Australian citizens because of their involvement with Islamic State offshore," Dutton said in a statement. Dutton did not identify the five.