Quake stikes NZ’s Kermadec Island region
An earthquake of 7.1 magnitude struck the Kermadec Islands region in New Zealand on Thursday, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) said.
The quake was estimated at a depth of 10 km the USGS added.
A tsunami warning was issued after the quake, the U.S. Tsunami Warning System said.
Rahul Gandhi gets 2-yr jail term
Indian opposition leader Rahul Gandhi has been sentenced to two years in prison in a criminal defamation case.
Mr Gandhi was convicted by the court in Gujarat state for 2019 comments about Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s surname during an election rally.
He will not go to jail immediately – he has been given bail for 30 days and can file an appeal against his conviction.
The Congress party MP was present in court for sentencing, which comes a year before general elections are due.
Speaking at an election rally in Karnataka state ahead of the 2019 general election, Mr Gandhi had asked why all thieves have “Modi” as a common surname – according to media reports from the time, he was referring to fugitive diamond tycoon Nirav Modi and former Indian Premier League chief Lalit Modi.
The case was filed on the basis of a complaint by Purnesh Modi, a lawmaker from India’s governing Bharatiya Janata Party, who said that Mr Gandhi’s comments had defamed the entire Modi community.
Mr Gandhi’s lawyers had argued that the right legal procedures had not been followed in the case. They also said that Narendra Modi should have been the complainant as Purnesh Modi was not the target of Mr Gandhi’s speech.
The Congress party tweeted that Mr Gandhi will file an appeal and “we will fight and win”.
Mr Gandhi has not commented publicly yet but has tweeted a quote in Hindi from Mahatma Gandhi: “My religion is based on truth and non-violence. Truth is my God, and non-violence the means to get it.”
Chinese President holds talks with Russian counterpart
China’s President Xi Jinping is in Moscow for a two-day visit and talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
It is Xi’s first visit to Russia since Russian troops invaded Ukraine in 2022 – he’s due to have lunch with Putin later, and hold formal talks on Tuesday.
The trip is taking place days after the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for President Putin for an alleged war crime.
Beijing has described it as a trip “for friendship and peace”, with Russia saying the leaders will discuss a “comprehensive partnership and strategic co-operation”.
Last month Beijing offered proposals to end the war in Ukraine, to which the West has given a lukewarm reception.
Western countries have previously warned Beijing against supplying Moscow with weapons.
Millions of fish die in Aussie town (Video)
Residents in a regional Australian town have woken to find millions of dead fish in their river.
The large-scale fish deaths were first reported on Friday morning in the New South Wales’ (NSW) town of Menindee.
The state’s river authority said it was a result of an ongoing heatwave affecting the Darling-Baaka river.
Locals say it is the largest fish death event to hit the town, that experienced another significant mass death of fish just three years ago.
In a Facebook post, the NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) said the heatwave put “further stress on a system that has experienced extreme conditions from wide-scale flooding”.
Heatwaves have become more frequent, more intense, and last longer because of human-induced climate change. The world has already warmed by about 1.1C since the industrial era began and temperatures will keep rising unless governments around the world make steep cuts to emissions.
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