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International news brief: Earthquake in Afghanistan, Russian captures more settlements

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Islamabad, Jun 22: Russian forces have captured several settlements near the embattled cities of Lysychansk and Sievierodonetsk in the Luhansk region, while an earthquake of magnitude 6.1 hit parts of Afghanistan and Pakistan in the early hours of Wednesday.

International news brief: Earthquake in Afghanistan, Russian captures more settlements

Earthquake in Afghanistan, Pakistan

An earthquake struck eastern Afghanistan early Wednesday, killing at least 920 people and injuring 600.Information remained scarce on the magnitude 6.1 earthquake that struck Afghanistan's Khost and Paktika provinces. Neighbouring Pakistan's Meteorological Department said the epicentre was in Paktika province, just near the border and some 50 kilometers southwest of the city of Khost.

Relief efforts are likely to be complicated as the international community has largely left Afghanistan after the Taliban takeover last year amid the chaotic withdrawal of the Western military.

Senators reach a bipartisan compromise on gun violence bill

Senate bargainers reached an agreement Tuesday on a bipartisan gun violence bill, potentially teeing up final passage by week's end on an incremental but landmark package that would stand as Congress' response to mass shootings in Texas and New York that shook the nation. Lawmakers released the 80-page bill nine days after agreeing to a framework for the plan and 29 years after Congress last enacted major firearms curbs.

Biden nominates Indian-American as top science advisor

US President Joe Biden on Tuesday nominated Indian-American scientist Dr Arti Prabhakar as Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). If confirmed by the Senate, Dr Prabhakar would make history as the first woman, immigrant, or person of colour to head OSTP.
France rules against burkini swimwear for religious reasons

France's top administrative court ruled against allowing body-covering "burkini" swimwear in public pools for religious reasons, arguing that it violates the principle of government neutrality toward religion. While worn by only a small number of people in France, the head-to-ankle burkini draws intense political debate in the country.

Russian forces capture several more settlements in Ukraine's Luhansk region

Russian forces have captured several settlements near the embattled cities of Lysychansk and Sievierodonetsk in the Luhansk region, the regional governor and Ukraine's general staff told Rueters.

Luhansk Governor Serhiy Gaidai told Ukraine's national broadcaster that Russian forces had captured the settlement of Toshkivka to the south of Sievierodonetsk, confirming previous reports.

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