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Deadly earthquake hits southern Philippine island of Mindanao

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Strong, deadly earthquake rocks southern Philippines

At least four dead after magnitude 6.6 quake struck southern Philippines with epicentre reported at Tulunan town.

At least four people were killed after a 6.6-magnitude earthquake struck the southern Philippines on Tuesday, just over a week since a strong tremor jolted the same area and left seven people dead.

The quake’s epicentre was located inland northeast of Tulunan town in Cotabato province, 972km (604 miles) south of Manila, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology said.

Seismology experts said there were no threats of a tsunami.

A 15-year-old high-school student from Davao del Sur province was confirmed dead after being hit by a hollow blocks during the quake, the public information office of Magsaysay town in the province was quoted by news reports as saying.

CNN Philippines is also reporting that a 66-year-old man died in Koronadal City, South Cotabato after sustaining head injuries during the incident.

A father and his child was also killed in the town of Arakan, Cotabato, according to ABS-CBN News.

A Manila-based radio station also reported that several children in Tulunan were injured when their school collapsed.

The quake was initially reported as magnitude 6.8 but was later downgraded to 6.6.

The quake struck at 9:04am (0104 GMT), rattling buildings and forcing people to rush out of offices, schools and hospitals in the affected areas, according to initial information from the institute and videos shared on social media.

Photos posted on social media also showed a collapsed school building in Tulunan and several injured students.

In an interview with Manila-based radio station DZMM, Renato Solidum, head of the country’s earthquake monitoring agency, warned of more aftershocks.

Tulunan Mayor Reuel Limbungan said he had ordered classes and work to be suspended to allow engineers to check buildings.

“All patients in hospitals should also be moved outdoors for now,” he told Manila radio station DZMM. “This was a stronger earthquake from last time.”

Dibu Tuan, mayor of the neighbouring town of T’boli, South Cotabato described the earthquake on Tuesday as “stronger” than the tremor that hit earlier this month.

On October 16, a 6.3-magnitude quake struck almost the same area, with the epicentre located southwest of Makilala town in nearby North Cotabato province.

Seven people were killed in that quake, which also left 215 people injured, disaster relief officials said.

The Philippines is located on the Pacific Ring of Fire, where about 90 per cent of the world’s earthquakes strike.

The last major quake to hit the country was a 7.1-magnitude tremor that killed more than 220 people in the central Philippines in October 2013.

In July 1990, more than 2,400 people were killed in the northern island of Luzon in a magnitude-7.8 quake, one of the strongest ever to hit the country.

 

 

SOURCE: aljazeera.com   AL JAZEERA AND NEWS AGENCIES

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9-year-old genius to graduate university

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Laurent Simons

(CNN) – A child prodigy from Belgium is on course to gain a bachelor’s degree at the tender age of 9.

Laurent Simons is studying electrical engineering at the Eindhoven University of Technology (TUE) — a tough course even for students of an average graduate age.

Described by staff as “simply extraordinary,” Laurent is on course to finish his degree in December.

He then plans to embark on a PhD program in electrical engineering while also studying for a medicine degree, his father told CNN.

His parents, Lydia and Alexander Simons, said they thought Laurent’s grandparents were exaggerating when they said he had a gift, but his teachers soon concurred.

“They noticed something very special about Laurent,” said Lydia.

Laurent was given test after test as teachers tried to work out the extent of his talents. “They told us he is like a sponge,” said Alexander.

While Laurent comes from a family of doctors, his parents have so far not received any explanation as to why their child prodigy is capable of learning so quickly.

But Lydia has her own theory.

“I ate a lot of fish during the pregnancy,” she joked.

The TUE has allowed Laurent to complete his course faster than other students.

“That is not unusual,” said Sjoerd Hulshof, education director of the TUE bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering, in a statement.

“Special students that have good reasons for doing so can arrange an adjusted schedule. In much the same way we help students who participate in top sport.”

Hulshof said Laurent is “simply extraordinary” and praised the youngster.

“Laurent is the fastest student we have ever had here,” he said. “Not only is he hyper intelligent but also a very sympathetic boy.”

Laurent told CNN his favorite subject is electrical engineering and he’s also “going to study a bit of medicine.”

His progress has not gone unnoticed and he is already being sought out by prestigious universities around the world, although Laurent’s family wouldn’t be drawn on naming which of them he is considering for his PhD.

“The absorption of information is no problem for Laurent,” said his father.

“I think the focus will be on research and applying the knowledge to discover new things.”

While Laurent is evidently able to learn faster than most, his parents are being careful to let him enjoy himself too.

“We don’t want him to get too serious. He does whatever he likes,” said Alexander. “We need to find a balance between being a child and his talents.”

Laurent said he enjoys playing with his dog Sammy and playing on his phone, like many young people.

However, unlike most 9-year-olds, he has already worked out what he wants to do with his life: develop artificial organs.

In the meantime, Laurent has to finish his bachelor’s degree and choose which academic institution will play host to the next stage in his remarkable journey.

Before that, he plans on taking a vacation to Japan for an undoubtedly well-deserved break.

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New award to honor arts and activism named after Lena Horne

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Lena Horne

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Gang members slam BMW into rival and his 8-year-old son in Harlem

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Gang members slam BMW into rival and his 8-year-old son in Harlem

Two gangbangers aimed their BMW like a missile at a father and his 8-year-old son on a Harlem sidewalk in a horrifying incident captured by video distributed by police Thursday.

The BMW — driven by a man police believe is a member of the Gorilla Stone Bloods Gang — was zeroed in on the father, a rival gang member, said cops.

Around 3:45 p.m. Nov. 6, the boy and his father were walking on W. 112th St. by Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd. when the BMW jumped the sidewalk and slammed into them both, said cops.

Father and son were both knocked through a gate.

The BMW driver then backed up — and its driver and passenger, also believed to be a gang member, jumped out of the car and ran toward the father and the son.

One of the attackers slashed the father, identified by sources as 32-year-old Brian McIntosh, who’s served prison time for robbery and bail jumping.

McIntosh and his son went to Harlem Hospital. Miraculously, the boy escaped serious harm.

McIntosh was so adamant about refusing to help police catch his attackers that the young boy’s mother had to file a police report alleging he was the victim of a crime, police sources said.

Cops released video of the attack, and ask anyone with information about the suspects to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS.

Source nydailynews.com/

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