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Magnitude 6.4 earthquake strikes Philippines

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Manila: A magnitude 6.4 earthquake struck central Mindanao in the southern Philippines on Wednesday, opening cracks in some buildings, sending residents running from shops and offices and knocking out power. At least five people were killed and 60 injured after a magnitude-6.4 earthquake hit the island of Mindanao, southern Philippines, on Thursday.

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) registered the earthquake on Wednesday at 7.37 pm local time (11.37 GMT) at magnitude-6.3 at a depth of 15 km.

The quake was followed by some 246 aftershocks, including two tremors above magnitude-5, according to Phivolcs.

In Magsaysay, most homes were “totally destroyed,” said city hall spokesman Anthony Allada.

In General Santos, also in Davao del Sur, a shopping center caught fire after the earthquake, although an official casualty count has not been disclosed.

The Philippines sits on the so-called Pacific Ring of Fire, an area of great seismic and volcanic activity that is shaken by about 7,000 tremors a year, mostly moderate.

This year the country has suffered several earthquakes of over magnitude-5.

The deadliest occurred in the province of Pampanga last April, which left 16 dead, and another last July in Batanes on the northern tip of the country, leaving nine dead.

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Without a China trade deal, the U.S. will hike tariffs

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Washington: U.S. President Donald Trump said on Tuesday that he would raise tariffs on imports of Chinese goods if no trade deal is reached with Beijing to end a tit-for-tat trade war that has roiled markets and damaged growth worldwide.

“China is going to have to make a deal that I like. If they don’t, that’s it,” Trump told reporters on Tuesday. “If we don’t make a deal with China, I’ll just raise the tariffs even higher.”

US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross was more measured in his comments, saying that the White House remains “optimistic” that an agreement can be reached.

US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Monday that he still expects a deal to be reached, but he also anticipated an additional 15 per cent tariff to be placed on about US$156 billion of Chinese imports on December 15 if there is no agreement.

“I have every expectation if there’s not a deal, those tariffs would go in place. But I expect we’ll have a deal,” Mnuchin

Predictions of a resolution have come and gone repeatedly as Trump veers from hints of imminent deals to declaring his satisfaction with the current standoff, because the United States is pulling in billions of dollars in trade tariffs.

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