Strong earthquake cracks streets in western Japan, injures 5

A photo by Shimane Nichinichi Shimbun via Jiji Press shows a damaged tarmac at a street in Oda, Shimane prefecture. Officials have warned stronger tremors could come in the days ahead. (Shimane Nichinichi Shimbun via Jiji Press / AFP)
Updated 09 April 2018
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Strong earthquake cracks streets in western Japan, injures 5

TOKYO: A strong earthquake hit western Japan early Monday, cracking streets, cutting water and power to a number of homes and injuring five people.
The Meteorological Agency said the magnitude 6.1 quake struck 12 kilometers underground near Ohda city, about 800 kilometers west of Tokyo.
Five people sustained injuries, but most of them were minor and not life-threatening, the Fire and Disaster Management Agency said.
The quake also rattled nearby Izumo, home to one of Japan’s most important Shinto shrines. No damage was reported at the shrine.
The Fire and Disaster Management Agency said roads were cracked in some locations, while more than 1,000 households lost water supplies and dozens of homes were without electricity. Local officials said dozens of trains in the region were delayed or suspended.
There was no danger of a tsunami.


Pakistan Cabinet reverses Sharif prison trial decision

Updated 47 min 59 sec ago
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Pakistan Cabinet reverses Sharif prison trial decision

  • The government decided to hold open trial of ex-Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, his daughter and son-in-law, who were awarded jail terms by accountability court on July 6 in Avenfield properties corruption case
  • The former ruling family faces two more corruption cases against them in Al-Azizia Steel Mill and Flagship Investment references pending verdict

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s caretaker federal Cabinet on Wednesday reversed a decision to hold the trial of convicted former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, his daughter and political heir-apparent Maryam Nawaz, and son-in-law Muhammad Safdar Awan in prison.
The cabinet meeting was chaired by interim Prime Minster Nasirul Mulk.
Sharif is also facing a verdict in the Al Azizia and Flagship Investment corruption cases.
The former premier, his daughter and son-in-law were convicted in the Avenfield case earlier this month and sentenced to a 10, seven and one-year prison term, respectively.
The accountability court also fined the three-times former prime minister £8 million and his daughter £2 million.
The three are being held at the Central Jail Rawalpindi, known as Adiala, a notorious maximum-security prison. Following their complaints about the “abysmal” condition of their holding cells, better facilities were provided.
A member of Sharif’s defense counsel, led by Khawaja Harris, said the Cabinet had taken the decision “under pressure” following accusations of harassment, mistreatment and inadequate jail facilities.
Senior Advocate Sharafat Ali, assisting Sharif’s legal team, told Arab News: “The notification to conduct a jail trial of Nawaz Sharif who appeared over 100 times in the accountability court, was a hasty decision of the interim government.
“Prison trials are held due to high security, often of those involved in terrorist activity. To withdraw from its previous order is a step to do right to a wrong already done.”
The three prisoners filed two petitions in the Islamabad High Court hoping to overturn the verdict and transfer the remaining two corruption cases to another accountability court, but the higher forum on Tuesday adjourned the hearing till after the July 25 general elections.