Science

New Zealand election stalemate leaves populist Winston Peters as kingmaker

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New Zealand’s cliffhanger election ended in a stalemate Saturday, leaving maverick populist Winston Peters of the New Zealand First party to decide whether conservative Prime Minister Bill English or his youthful challenger Jacinda Ardern forms government.

Mr English delivered an unexpectedly strong performance to claim 46 percent of the vote, while the much-hyped “Jacinda-mania” surrounding Ms Ardern, a former policy advisor to Tony Blair, fell short as she finished on 36.

“Of course we were hoping for higher… obviously we hoped for better,” said Ms Ardern, the 37-year-old who had looked set for an upset win after taking over the centre-left Labour Party last month.

It could be another two weeks before the outcome is known, with Mr Peters saying he was in no hurry to decide who to support.

The major parties must forge coalitions to reach a majority under New Zealand’s proportional voting system, but all of the existing groupings fell short.

On the final count, Mr English’s National Party and current ally ACT had 59 seats, two shy of the 61 needed to win.

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Forgotten student trapped in cave for three days without food and water  

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A US student was trapped in a cave for three days without food or water after he was left behind on a group excursion.

Lukas Cavar, a first year student at Indiana University, was on a spelunking trip when he became separated from the rest of the group.

The terrified 19-year-old survived by licking the moisture off the cave walls and left messages to his family and friends on his phone fearing he wouldn’t make it out alive.

When the forgotten student reached the entrance of the cave he found it was padlocked shut. He couldn’t get any reception on his phone and shouted for hours trying to attract the attention of passers-by.

“I managed to get some water from the cave walls, by basically licking the moisture off the wall,” he told Reuters.

“My biggest worry was not making it out alive. I was afraid I would never see my friends or family again.”

The teenager was eventually rescued after 60 hours when other members of the caving club and his parents reported him missing.

He didn’t require any medical attention and said the first thing he wanted to do after being rescued “was eat and drink and put on some warm clothes”.

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North Koreans celebrate Kim Jong-un’s denunciation of Donald Trump as a ‘dotard’ in huge Pyongyang rally

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Tens of thousands of Pyongyang residents were gathered in the capital’s Kim Il-Sung Square Saturday to laud leader Kim Jong-un’s denunciation of US President Donald Trump.

Such set-piece rallies, organised by the authorities, are a regular feature of political life in Pyongyang, and are intended as a physical demonstration of popular support for the leadership.

Students in white shirts and red ties held up the red flag of the ruling Workers’ Party, with a yellow ink brush representing intellectuals, a hammer for the workers, and a sickle for the peasantry.

Ranks of workers and residents listened, their fists clenched, as speakers repeated Mr Kim’s denigration of Mr Trump as “mentally deranged” and a “dotard”.

The US president dubbed Mr Kim “Rocket Man” in a speech at the United Nations last week in which he threatened to “totally destroy” the North if it attacked the US or its allies.

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Elvis Presley impersonators gather for festival in Porthcawl, in pictures

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Photographer Gareth Cattermole travelled to Porthcawl to try and capture the spirit of Elvis Presley at the annual gathering of Elvis fans and tribute artists which takes place every September. The event consists of hundreds of shows celebrating the King of Rock’n’Roll across 20+ venues in the South Wales seaside town.

Lee Alexander, 47, a decorator from Surrey

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Tailbacks on M3 as bomb disposal units rush to reports of ‘potential hazardous material’

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Witness Jenna Keating, 31, a writer from Windsor, said: “There are lots of people stranded here, people have got out of their cars to stretch their legs and things, but some are just turning round and going back down the hard shoulder.

“We actually spoke to police about this to see whether this was something we could do in the circumstances and they said ‘absolutely not’.

“They also said the delay had been quite well advertised, although none of the four of us in the car saw anything until we were in it.

“We’re one of the lucky ones, we’ve only been here for 40 minutes although we’ve basically only crawled forward into space probably left by those who are trying to turn around.

“I can’t think it’s a good idea to use the hard shoulder – there have been a couple of unmarked vehicles with sirens blaring coming up and using it, so it’s pretty dangerous if there are cars coming in the other direction.”

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Miss Turkey 2017 stripped of her crown over ‘unacceptable’ tweet  

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“I got my period on the morning of the July 15 martyrs’ day. I’m marking the day by bleeding as a representation of the martyrs’ blood,” she wrote, according to Turkish media reports.

However, organisers only became aware of the tweet after crowning her winner of the competition.

Can Sandikcioglu, who heads the Miss Turkey Organisation, said the now-deleted tweet was “unacceptable” and confirmed it was posted from the teenager’s account following an investigation.

“We are sad to announce that we have reached the conclusion that the tweet was posted by Itir Esen,” he said.

“It is not possible for the Miss Turkey Organisation, whose aim is to promote Turkey worldwide and to contribute to its image, to accept such a posting.”

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British teacher murdered by Amazon pirates refused offer of help from locals to accompany her as she canoed dangerous stretch of river

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Ringleader Evanilson Gomes da Costa, 24, died Wednesday after being shot by rival gangsters.

And one local who knows da Costa – known by his nicknamed Baia – said the gangster spoke to him in the early hours of the morning following Ms Kelty’s death last Wednesday night, revealing what they had done.

The man, who didn’t want to be named, said: “He said he was one of four men. The woman had put up her tent on the beach in exactly the area where the Colombia drug traffickers go through, and which is crawling with pirates who wait for them to arrive to attack.

“These men aren’t pirates though, they are just drug users. We are all shocked that these men from our community did such a terrible thing to this woman.

“When the men saw her tent they thought it belonged to a Colombian with drugs, so they started firing from about 50 metres away. The woman was hit in the arm. She started waving frantically and screaming for help.”

He said that when the four men saw that she was a woman they attacked her and, still believing she was carrying drugs, cut off her hair with a knife while demanding to know where the drugs were.

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Earthquake in North Korea was natural, South Korean agency says

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South Korea’s weather agency said a magnitude 3.0 earthquake was detected in North Korea on Saturday around where the country recently conducted a nuclear test, but it assessed the quake as natural.

The quake was detected in an area around Kilju, in northeastern North Korea, and about 12 miles southeast of where the North conducted its sixth and most powerful nuclear test on September 3, according to an official from Seoul’s Korea Meteorological Administration.

China’s official Xinhua News Agency said earlier that the country’s seismic service detected a magnitude 3.4 quake in North Korea and saw the likely cause as an explosion. 

But the official from the South Korean agency said the analysis of seismic waves and the lack of sound waves clearly showed that the quake wasn’t caused by an artificial explosion. She spoke on condition of anonymity, citing office rules.

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Iran defies Trump and tests new missile that could hit Israel

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They say Iran has stuck to its commitments – as repeatedly stated by the International Atomic Energy Agency.

They say that the nuclear deal was never intended to address other issues.

At Friday’s military parade, President Hassan Rouhani vowed that Iran would press ahead with its missile programme regardless of the warnings from Washington.

“We will strengthen not only our missiles but also our air, land and sea forces… When it comes to defending our country, we will ask nobody for their permission,” he said.

Revolutionary Guards aerospace commander General Amir Ali Hajizadeh said the new Khoramshahr missile has a range of 2,000 kilometres (1,250 miles) and can carry multiple warheads.

Iran says all of its missiles are designed to carry conventional warheads only and has limited their range to a maximum of 2,000 kilometres, although commanders say they have the technology to go further.

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White House leeks: Melania Trump goes gardening

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