Mon, 01 Mar 2021

JAKARTA -- The number of casualties in Indonesia's 6.2-magnitude quake that jolted West Sulawesi province on Friday rose to 42 with hundreds of people wounded, an official and two top rescuers said.

More than 10,000 people were forced to evacuate as the quake destroyed houses, office buildings, hotels, hospitals and shopping malls in Mamuju city and Majene district, the National Search and Rescue Agency's Head Bagus Puruhito said. (Indonesia-Earthquake-Casualties)

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HONG KONG -- The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government has started to require all civil servants to swear to uphold the HKSAR Basic Law and bear allegiance to the HKSAR.

The Civil Service Bureau (CSB) issued a circular Friday to all government agencies and departments that civil servants appointed to their positions before July 1, 2020 should sign a declaration within four weeks and those in senior positions will be additionally required to take oath. (HK-Civil Servants-Allegiance)

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HONG KONG -- The Office of the Commissioner of the Chinese foreign ministry in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) on Friday refuted an annual report of the U.S. Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC), stressing that "a lie told a thousand times remains a lie."

The CECC report, full of lies and bias, tried to exert pressure on the HKSAR government and even threatened to provide shelter for offenders from Hong Kong based on U.S. domestic law, a spokesperson of the commissioner's office said in a statement. (HK-U.S.-Commissioner's Office)

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HONG KONG -- Asia-Pacific countries reported more COVID-19 cases on Friday as Indonesia announced the highest daily spike of 12,818 infections, bringing the national total to 882,418.

The health ministry also reported 238 more fatalities, bringing the country's coronavirus death toll to 25,484. Meanwhile, 7,491 more patients were discharged from hospitals, taking the total number of recoveries to 718,696. (Asia-Pacific-COVID-19)

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