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Indonesia rocked by powerful 7.5 quake, tsunami warning called off

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Indonesia was struck by a powerful 7.5 magnitude earthquake Friday, the US Geological Survey said, but there were no immediate reports of deaths or injuries.

The country’s national disaster agency briefly issued a tsunami warning before cancelling it.

The strong quake hit central Sulawesi island at a shallow depth of some 10 kilometres (six miles), just hours after a smaller quake killed at least one person in the same part of the country.

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The latest quake was a higher magnitude than those that killed hundreds on the island of Lombok earlier this year.

Friday’s tremor was centred 78 kilometres north of the city of Palu, the capital of Central Sulawesi province, but was felt some 900 kilometres south in the island’s largest city Makassar.

Lisa Soba Palloan, a resident of Toraja, around 175 kilometres south of Palu, said locals felt several quakes Friday.

“The last one was quite big,” she said.

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“Everyone was getting out their homes, shouting in fear.”

Indonesia is one of the most disaster-prone nations on earth.

The archipelago nation lies on the Pacific “Ring of Fire”, where tectonic plates collide and many of the world’s volcanic eruptions and earthquakes occur.

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A series of quakes that struck Lombok this summer killed about 500 people and forced hundreds of thousands into evacuation shelters or tents.

In 2004, a tsunami triggered by a magnitude 9.3 undersea earthquake off the coast of Sumatra in western Indonesia killed 220,000 people in countries around the Indian Ocean, including 168,000 Indonesians.

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MSNBC’s Morning Joe explains how Fiona Hill’s testimony obliterates Trump’s defense in Ukraine scandal

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MSNBC's Joe Scarborough said President Donald Trump and Rudy Giuliani were increasingly exposed to legal jeopardy -- and neither man seems to understand their precarious position.

The "Morning Joe" host and NBC News reporter Julia Ainsley agreed that congressional testimony by former White House aide Fiona Hill had blown apart many of the president's defenses in the Ukraine scandal.

"We don't need to hear anymore of this, because what's fascinating and what Rudy still doesn't understand is, they went to the lawyers right after the meeting," Scarborough said. "They've got the transcripts, they've got all the details. He can go on any, like, Trumpist crank's talk radio show -- they've got the transcripts, they've got the evidence."

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Syria Kurds defend key town as Turkey ignores US

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Kurdish forces held out in a key border town Tuesday seven days into a deadly Turkish invasion of northeastern Syria that has caused mass displacement and reshaped the political map.

The United States slapped sanctions on its NATO ally in a bid to stop an assault that its own troop withdrawal from the area triggered but Ankara showed no sign of relenting.

Using a dense network of tunnels, berms and trenches, Kurdish fighters from the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have been mounting a desperate defense of Ras al-Ain.

They launched "a large counterattack against Turkish forces and their Syrian proxies near Ras al-Ain," the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

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No ‘artwash’ for Bush’s crimes, says CodePink in protest of exhibit of former president’s paintings of veterans in war he started

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"Why are we celebrating the guy who took these people to war?"

Activists from anti-war group CodePink on Sunday protested an exhibit of paintings of veterans by former President George W. Bush at the Kennedy Center, calling the decision to feature the work an example of "artwash."

Bush's paintings have been controversial over his post-presidency, with much of the criticism focusing on the appearance of the former president using as subjects the men who went to war in Iraq because of fase claims about Iraq.

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