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Afghanistan earthquake

In Afghanistan, five more people have died in an aftershock in almost the same area as a major quake in the east on Wednesday. That adds to over a thousand people killed on the day the natural disaster happened. There has been no immediate word on the extent of new damage and injuries. The country’s disaster ministry says over 2,000 were injured on Wednesday. It also says around 10,000 houses were partially or completely destroyed. Authorities have ended a search for survivors. The 6.1 magnitude quake was the strongest to hit Afghanistan in over two decades. Officials say the country lacks the necessities to treat the injured or provide the survivors with food, water, and shelter. Many countries have offered emergency aid. Three humanitarian aid flights from Iran have landed in Afghanistan.

US economy

The International Monetary Fund slashes its economic growth forecast for the United States, saying the country is facing an increased risk of recession. The IMF says the economy is expected to grow by 2.9% which is less than its recent forecast of 3.7%. IMF chief Kristalina Georgieva is also warning that there is a narrowing path for the US to avoid recession. Earlier, the Federal Reserve introduced the biggest rise in its benchmark lending rate in nearly 30 years to tame the rallying prices. US inflation is now at a four-decade high. This is squeezing American families struggling with inflated costs of fuel food and housing.

Ecuador protests

Anti-government protests are growing increasingly violent in Ecuador with the latest rallies leaving at least one person dead. Dozens were also injured on Friday. It marked the 12th day of the protests that have left several people dead. In the capital Quito, police fired tear gas to disperse demonstrators, seeking to storm the congress building. Clashes were also reported in other cities. Six of the country's provinces are under a state of emergency and a night-time curfew is in place in Quito. The government says the protesters are not interested in a negotiated agreement. The Ecuadorian president has even accused them of plotting a coup.

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