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Powerful earthquake shakes Afghanistan, Pakistan, India

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At least two people have been killed and hundreds injured in northern Pakistan after a magnitude 6.5 earthquake hit areas across Afghanistan and Pakistan, with tremors felt as far as the Indian capital New Delhi, Al Jazeera news reported.

The earthquake’s epicentre was 40km (25 miles) south-southeast of the Afghan town of Jurm, near the borders with Pakistan and Tajikistan, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) said on Tuesday.

Separately, Pakistan’s Meteorological Department put the magnitude slightly higher at 6.8, and later reported a 3.7 aftershock in the Hindu Kush region along the country’s border with Afghanistan.

At least two people, including a child, were killed in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province as a result of the earthquake, rescue officials have told Al Jazeera.

“A 10-year-old girl in Swat, and a 24-year old man in Lower Dir died when the walls of their houses collapsed,” Bilal Faizi, spokesperson for the Rescue 1122 service in the northwestern province, told Al Jazeera.

According to Faizi, landslides have caused damage in Swat district, 180km (112 miles) northwest of the capital Islamabad.

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Political parties urged to publish their National Socio-economic Recovery Programmes 

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A public appeal has been made to several mainstream political party leaders to  immediately publish their respective National Socio-economic Recovery Programmes for social discourse.

The request has been formally addressed to the political party leaders of the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP), Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB), the National People’s Power (NPP), United National Party (UNP), Tamil National Alliance (TNA) and the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC).

The full context of the public appeal is as follows : 

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Govt. to provide free fertilizer to all paddy farmers

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Minister of Agriculture and Plantation Industries – Mahinda Amaraweera has said that the government has decided to provide MOP fertilizer free of charge to all the paddy farmers in Sri Lanka during the 2024/25 Maha season and 2025/26 Maha season.

Sri Lanka will thus receive 55,000 metric tons of MOP fertilizer as requested by the government from the UN Food and Agriculture Organization.

The Minister of Agriculture and Plantation Industries, Mr. Mahinda Amaraweera, expressed his views on this in a meeting held in Tissamaharama today (June 24).

(dailynews.lk)

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8 arrested over gang rape of teen, remanded

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Eight youths who were arrested in connection with the alleged gang rape of a 16-year-old girl in the Jalthara area of Hanwella, have been remanded until June 28.

The suspects were produced before the Homagama Acting Magistrate Padmasiri Jayawardena today (June 24).

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