April 18, Thursday, 2024

1. A magnitude 6.6 earthquake rocked western Japan late Wednesday night. No tsunami was triggered. The tremor struck at around 11:14 p.m. It was strongest in the Shikoku region’s Ehime and Kochi prefectures. Officials say it clocked a lower 6 on Japan’s zero to seven seismic scale, making it the area’s strongest quake since the current scale system was introduced in 1996.
2. Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio says he is determined to maintain and strengthen a free and open international order, based on the achievements of his recent visit to the United States.
3. Australia has announced a new defense strategy, including a substantially bigger budget. The new plan is aimed at protecting the country in the medium and long term. It accuses China of “coercive tactics,” and calls for stronger deterrence.