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6.2-magnitude Earthquake hits Kerman Province in southeast Iran

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A 6.2-magnitude earthquake has hit Kerman Province in southeast Iran, state media has reported.

Iranian television said the quake hit near the town of Hejdak, around 400 miles (700km) south of the capital Tehran, but there is no word so far on any potential deaths or injuries.

The US Geological Survey recorded its magnitude as 6.1, saying the quake struck at a depth of 35 miles (57km).

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Another earthquake – measured at 6.0 – hit Kermanshah in western Iran on Monday, the same region where a magnitude 7.3 quake killed more than 600 people last month.

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President Hassan Rouhani has championed his government’s work in bring aid and temporary housing to the victims of the deadly quake, but critics say the response was not quick enough.

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Iran is prone to near-daily earthquakes because it sits on major fault lines. In 2003, a 6.6 magnitude tremor destroyed the historic city of Bam, killing 26,000 people.

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24 Hours Across Africa

Tunisia: former President Ben Ali confirmed dead

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All time, former Tunisia’s President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali has died in exile aged 83, his family says.

Ben Ali led the country for 30years and was credited with delivering stability and some economic prosperity.

But he received widespread criticism for suppressing political freedoms and for widespread corruption.

In 2011, he was forced from office following mass street protests. This triggered a wave of similar uprisings across the Arab world.

At least half a dozen countries in the region saw their president fall or conflicts break out in the wake of the former Tunisian leader’s downfall, in what became known as the Arab Spring.

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24 Hours Across Africa

Gantz refuse’s Netanyahu offer on unity government

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After a vote tally showing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tied with his main rival.

Israel’s weakened Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu saw his offer on Thursday for a coalition with his strongest political rival,  Gantz, swiftly rebuffed after failing to secure a governing majority in a tight election.

Netanyahu’s surprise move was an abrupt change of strategy for the right-wing leader. Its rejection could spell weeks of wrangling after Tuesday’s election, which followed an inconclusive national ballot in April.

Gantz’s centrist Blue and White party emerged from the second round of voting this year slightly ahead of Netanyahu’s Likud, but also short of enough supporters in the 120-member parliament for a ruling bloc.

Netanyahu, Israel’s longest-serving leader, said in a video clip in which he urged Gantz, the country’s former military chief, to meet him “as soon as today”, that he had pledged during the election campaign to form a right-wing, Likud-led government.

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