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U.S. adds 200 military personnel to Syria anti-IS campaign - Carter

U.S. Defense Secretary Carter attends a meeting with Japan's Defense Minister Inada at the Defense Ministry in TokyoMANAMA (Reuters) - The United States is sending 200 additional military personnel to Syria to help the campaign to drive the Islamic State militant group from Raqqa, U.S. Defense Secretary csaid on Saturday. Speaking in Bahrain at the Manama Dialogue conference on Middle East security, Carter said the 200, including special forces trainers, advisers and explosive ordnance disposal teams, would join 300 U.S. special forces already in Syria. ...

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'I had to do it,' accused gunman says of South Carolina church attack

Police lead suspected shooter Dylann Roof into the courthouse in ShelbyRoof told investigators after his arrest for the June 17, 2015, massacre at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston that he estimated he had killed five people as retribution for perceived racial grievances. "I had to do it because somebody had to do it," Roof said in the taped confession.


Murdoch's Twenty-First Century Fox bids $14 billion for UK's Sky

The flag of the Twenty-First Century Fox Inc is seen waving at the company headquarters in the Manhattan borough in New YorkBy Jessica Toonkel, Kate Holton and Pamela Barbaglia NEW YORK/LONDON (Reuters) - Rupert Murdoch's Twenty-First Century Fox Inc has struck a preliminary deal to buy the 61 percent of British pay-TV firm Sky Plc it does not already own for around $14 billion, five years after a political scandal wrecked a previous bid. The proposed offer of 10.75 pounds a share in cash, which is backed by Sky's independent directors, would strengthen the position of James Murdoch - who is both chief executive of Fox and chairman of Sky - in his 85-year-old father's media empire. People familiar with the matter said Fox had pounced after Britain's vote to leave the European Union in June sent the pound down about 14 percent against the U.S. dollar and Sky's share price tumbling.


U.S. allies caution Trump on Syria strategy

A member of Forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad carries his weapon as he walks past damaged buildings in a government held area of AleppoBy Warren Strobel, Yara Bayoumy and John Irish WASHINGTON/PARIS (Reuters) - Key U.S. allies in Europe are quietly expressing concern over President-elect Donald Trump's approach to Syria, warning that his pledge to work more closely with Russia, Damascus' main backer, will do little to diminish the terrorist threat emanating from Syria. The diplomatic persuasion campaign has taken on new importance in recent days as the Syrian army, backed by Russia, Iran and Shi'ite militias, appears poised to retake all of Aleppo city in a major defeat for Western-backed rebels. Moscow and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad are expected to cast Aleppo's fall as the end of a revolt against Assad that began in March 2011, although Western analysts predict the civil war, which has killed more than 300,000 people and made more than half of Syrians homeless, will continue, perhaps for years.


Record-equalling Howell scorches into Hong Kong Open contention

David Howell shot a record-equalling 63 at the Hong Kong Open, December 10, 2016David Howell came from nowhere to shoot a record-equalling 63 at the Hong Kong Open Saturday, as the former Ryder Cup player rediscovered long-lost form to surge up the leaderboard. The 41-year-old world number 228, who defeated then world number one Tiger Woods to win the inaugural HSBC Champions in Shanghai in 2005, scorched to seven-under at par-70 Fanling to put himself in contention. Howell, who matched the course record held jointly by Chris Wood and Lucas Bjerregaard, arrived at the European Tour 2017 season-opener after taking six weeks off to recover from a foot injury.


Samsung to disable Note 7 phones in the U.S. via software update

A customer uses his Samsung Electronics' Galaxy Note 7 as he waits for exchange at company's headquarters in Seoul(Reuters) - Samsung Electronics Co Ltd said on Friday that a software update for Galaxy Note 7 smartphones will be released mid-December in the United States preventing them from charging and functioning as mobile phones, rendering them useless. The smartphone maker said that more than 93 percent of all recalled Galaxy Note 7 devices had been returned as a part of its exchange program in the United States. http://bit.ly/2glcQtG The U.S. ...


Senate passes funding bill, Obama signs into law

File general view of the U.S. Capitol dome in the pre-dawn darkness in WashingtonBy Susan Cornwell and Valerie Volcovici WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Senate passed legislation on Friday to fund the government through April and President Barack Obama promptly signed it into law, after Democrats who had sought more generous healthcare benefits for coal miners stopped delaying action on the measure. Many government services and operations would have been closed or suspended at midnight, when current funding authority expired, if the Senate had not approved the bill. The House of Representatives passed the legislation on Thursday.


Remarkable feathered dinosaur tail found in chunk of amber

A chunk of amber - fossilized resin - spotted by a Chinese scientist in a market in Myitkyina, Myanmar last year shows the tip of a preserved dinosaur tail sectionBy Will Dunham WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Some 99 million years ago, a juvenile dinosaur got its feathery tail stuck in tree resin, a death trap for the small creature. Researchers said on Thursday a chunk of amber - fossilized resin - spotted by a Chinese scientist in a market in Myitkyina, Myanmar, last year contained 1.4 inches (36 mm) of the tail of the dinosaur, complete with bones, flesh, skin and feathers. The dinosaur itself was no more than 6 inches (15 cm) long, about the size of a sparrow.





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