US military says Russian air defenses shot down unarmed drone near Libyan capital: report

The U.S. military believes the unarmed drone that went missing over the Libyan capital last month was actually shot down by Russian air defenses. The U.S. Africa Command is demanding the return of the aircraft’s wreckage, which had been part of an operation conducted in Libya to assess the area’s security and monitor for violent extremist activity. The command didn’t give a reason for the drone loss after the Nov. 21 incident, but they had been investigating, Reuters reported. Army General Stephen Townsend told the outlet he believed Russia’s air defense operators…

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UK Brexit envoy in DC quits, slams government for ‘half truths’ days before election

The woman in charge of promoting the divorce between the United Kingdom and the European Union in Washington has quit from her post because she no longer wants to “peddle half-truths on behalf of a government I do not trust.” Alexandra Hall Hall resigned as the embassy’s Brexit counselor with a letter slamming Britain’s Conservative government for using “misleading” arguments and its reluctance to “address honestly” the challenges and trade-offs involved in the U.K.’s departure from the European bloc. Alexandra Hall Hall, the Brexit envoy for the United Kingdom in…

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Wastewater pipeline still spewing virus-infected blood into bay two years later

Conservationist Tavish Campbell first captured the blood spewing out back in 2017 (Picture: Tavish Campbell) A wastewater pipeline is still churning streams of blood and guts out into Canada’s largest wild salmon migration route. Footage of the red plume billowing from the pipe’s mouth sparked outrage when it was first captured by photographer Tavish Campbell back in 2017. He initially suspected a nearby salmon processing plant was pointing its waste pipe into the waters of the Discovery Passage channel, where sockeye salmon swim, Vice reported. Mr Campbell sent a sample…

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Woman whacks man with rose bouquet in mass brawl at Sydney races

A Sydney racing event turned into chaos on Saturday (Picture: Getty Images) Dramatic pictures show a heated brawl between punters as they poured out of a Sydney racing event. The Australian Turf Club Christmas was a ticketed event that offered guests the chance to ‘ring in the festive season amongst the buzz and excitement of live thoroughbred racing’. Santa photos, Christmas treats and jolly music were all up for grabs. However, attendees were pictured coming to blows outside the gates of Rosehill Racecourse, with a group of people punching each…

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US graduate student released from Iran highlights cases of Americans detained by Tehran

A Chinese-American graduate student is on his way back to the United States after he was released from an Iran prison in exchange for an Iranian scientist who was held by the U.S. The release of Xiyue Wang, who was detained in 2016 and sentenced to 10 years in prison for allegedly “infiltrating” the country and sending confidential material abroad, on Saturday put a spotlight on the detention of at least four other Americans in Iran. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo acknowledged on Saturday that the Trump administration’s top priority…

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World’s first monkey-pig hybrids born in Chinese lab

The piglets died within the week of their birth (Picture: State Key Laboratory of Stem Cell and Reproductive Biology) Two chimera piglets carrying monkey DNA have been born in China following an experiment that has created a rift among scientists. Researchers hoped the move would enable the growing of human organs inside animals for transplantation. But others have warned against playing God and say the ethical implications of such an experiment ‘scares them’. It took more than 4,000 embryos to create the piglets, which had genetic material from cynomolgus monkeys…

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Russian village under siege from hungry polar bears searching for food

The WWF says global warming is to blame for polar bears getting closer to the village (Picture: AFP) A small village in far east Russia is in lockdown as at least 56 ravenous polar bears close in. All public end-of-year events in Ryrkaypiy have been cancelled and children are being bussed to and from school, where guards are posted outside. Special patrols are trying their desperately to keep the bears as far away from residential areas as possible. So far they are only on the outskirts of the village of…

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US and Taliban reopen peace talks for first time since Trump declared potential deal dead

U.S. peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad held on Saturday the first official talks with Afghanistan’s Taliban since President Donald Trump declared a near-certain peace deal with the insurgents dead in September. The talks will initially focus on getting a Taliban promise to reduce violence, with a permanent cease-fire being the eventual goal, said a U.S. statement. Khalilzad is also trying to lay the groundwork for negotiations between Afghans on both sides of the protracted conflict. The meetings being held in the Middle Eastern State of Qatar, where the Taliban maintain a…

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‘Firenado’ tears across Australian bush as toxic smoke shrouds Sydney

A firenado in the Australian bush is one of 140 fires across eastern Australia A ‘mega blaze’ is raging across a 37-mile front close to Sydney and cannot be put out, officials have warned. Thousands of firefighters are currently battling over 140 bushfires down the east coast of Australia, including several close to the nation’s most-populous city. The country is braced for a heatwave next week and thousands of people were told today to flee their homes. Bushfires are common in Australia but scientists say this year’s season has come…

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American graduate student held in Iran on spy charges since 2016 to be released

An American graduate student held in Iran has been released in exchange for an Iranian scientist held by the U.S., officials confirmed. Iran’s foreign minister and the White House both announced that Princeton University graduate student Xiyue Wang will be exchanged for scientist Massoud Soleimani. “After more than three years of being held prisoner in Iran, Xiyue Wang is returning to the United States,” President Trump said in a statement released by the White House on Saturday. “The highest priority of the United States is the safety and well-being of…

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