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Why multiple earthquakes are rattling one Indonesian island

The Indonesian holiday island of Lombok has been hammered by a series of powerful earthquakes in the past three weeks that have killed more than 500 people and left hundreds of thousands homeless. The archipelago nation sits on the so-called Pacific "Ring of Fire", where tectonic plates collide and many of the world's volcanic eruptions and earthquakes occur. But it is rare for one island to be hit so hard and so often. Here are some questions and answers: What caused a string of earthquakes on Lombok?…

China boosts defence spending, rattling its neighbours’ nerves

BEIJING: China unveiled its largest rise in defence spending in three years on Monday, setting a target of 8.1 percent growth for this year, fuelling an ambitious military modernisation programme and making its neighbours nervous. The 2018 defence budget will be 1.11 trillion yuan ($175 billion), according to a report issued at the opening of China’s annual meeting of parliament. The defence spending figure is closely watched around the world for clues to China’s strategic intentions as it develops new military…