Strong earthquake hits off central Indonesia

Updated 17 December 2012
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Strong earthquake hits off central Indonesia

JAKARTA: A strong 6.1-magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of central Indonesia Monday, the US Geological Survey said, sending panicked people rushing into the streets but there was no tsunami alert.
The quake struck at 0916 GMT more than 160 kilometers (99 miles) south-southeast of Gorontalo in central Indonesia’s Sulawesi island at a depth of 18 kilometers.
The Indonesian Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics agency (BMKG) measured it at 6.0 at a depth of 10 kilometers.
“The epicenter was in the sea but it doesn’t have the potential to trigger a tsunami,” BMKG official Agung Utomo told AFP. “We haven’t received any report of damage so far.”
The National Disaster Mitigation Agency said the ground shook for several seconds.
“The quake was quite strong and all the guests here — about 30 people — panicked and ran out into the street,” said Rudi Gowarno, manager of Ramayana hotel in the town of Luwuk.
Indonesia sits on the Pacific “Ring of Fire” where continental plates collide, causing frequent seismic and volcanic activity.


Bolton, Mattis meet at Pentagon

U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis (L) talks with National Security Adviser John Bolton. (Reuters)
Updated 24 min 16 sec ago
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Bolton, Mattis meet at Pentagon

  • When Mattis first met Bolton at the Pentagon last month, the defense secretary jokingly said: “I’ve heard that you’re absolutely the devil incarnate and I wanted to meet you.”
  • The two men decided to have “regular” meetings

WASHINGTON: US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis met with John Bolton, the new national security adviser to President Donald Trump, at the Pentagon on Wednesday, a spokeswoman said.
The breakfast meeting came amid US media reports that Mattis risks being isolated by Trump’s more bellicose coterie of advisers, including Bolton, an Iraq War-era hawk who has advocated for military action in both Iran and North Korea.
Bolton “was here this morning,” Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White said.
The two men decided to have “regular” meetings, she added, noting that CIA Director Mike Pompeo, Trump’s pick to run the State Department, could join them.
When Mattis first met Bolton at the Pentagon last month, the defense secretary jokingly said: “I’ve heard that you’re absolutely the devil incarnate and I wanted to meet you.”
Mattis, a retired four-star Marine general, is one of a dwindling pool of original Trump picks not to have drawn negative attention from his mercurial boss.
According to multiple reports, after a suspected chemical attack in Syria this month, he successfully pushed Trump to only taking limited action in response, while Bolton wanted a larger operation.
Mattis used to meet regularly with Rex Tillerson, who was fired last month from his position as secretary of state.
Pompeo is seen as being more hawkish than Mattis, further raising the possibility of the Pentagon chief’s influence waning.