Israeli drone ‘shot down over Lebanon’ as Hezbollah militants blamed

An Israeli drone is reported to have been shot down by Hezbollah militants over southern Lebanon.

In a tweet, Israel Defence Forces (IDF) wrote: "A short time ago, during routine border security operations, the IDF skimmer fell near the border on the Lebanese side."

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De Blasio treats our children ‘as if they don’t exist’: Success Academy CEO

Mayor de Blasio continued his refusal to utter the name of charter-school operator Success Academy — just hours after he walked past its demonstrators who claim he’s ignoring them.

The verbal sidestep came Monday night when de Blasio discussed with NY1’s Errol Louis his fight with Success over space promised the charter network in 2017.

“It’s like we’re being very clear, DOE is being very clear, they will have a space,” he told Louis. “If the charter organization prefers a different option, they can go rent something of their own.”

At another point, the mayor reiterated that “state law says that any charter organization like that one, if we don’t have a space that works for them” they can be reimbursed for rental space.

Success CEO Eva Mos­kowitz said de Blasio’s choice of language signals indifference to the network’s kids. “Maybe it helps him justify treating our children as if they don’t exist,” she said.

A de Blasio spokesperson said his phrasing Monday was benign with no slight intended.

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Monkey horror laboratory exposed as expert reveals ‘worst abuse I’ve ever seen’

Animal experts have slammed horror footage from a laboratory showing the alleged abuse of monkeys.

Scenes reportedly filmed at the German laboratory in Neu Wulmstorf, Lower Saxony, show screaming monkeys strapped to metal harnesses.

British primatologist Dame Jane Goodall said: "The footage shows some of the worst abuse I've ever seen on testing with animals."

Activists from Soko Tierschutz and Cruelty Free International say they filmed the video after one of them went undercover getting a job at the lab.

After the video was released, authorities in the Harburg region carried out a spot check of the Laboratory of Pharmacology and Toxicology (LPT) facility and confirmed the allegations made by animal rights activists.

  • Horror footage shows monkeys screaming in pain and vomiting in sick experiments

Photos from the lab show monkeys strapped to seats in rows on the wall, while others have their heads in restraints as they desperately try to escape.

Cats were also experimented on at the lab, which works with major companies to test the "safe" amounts of toxic substances for humans.

According to the undercover activist, the animals are treated with violence by the workers, who are no even trained animal carers.

Dr Goodall added: "Some of the monkeys were lying huddled on the wire floor of their tiny prisons, while others showed stereotypical behaviour, turning in circles and pacing back and forth indicative of extremely high levels of stress."

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She went on: "Some cowered at the approach of a human showing pronounced fear response and sometimes screaming.

"Each monkey had a metal collar tied around the neck. Some shots showed monkeys forced to stand upright, legs tied together, and arms outstretched, virtually crucified.

"One shot showed a monkey's mouth being forced open while a tube was pushed down into the stomach and liquid injected into the tube."

She concluded: "What I have seen in this video is some of the most callous, inhumane and brutal behaviour by humans towards the primates, dogs and cats kept at this laboratory. It is nothing but a living hell."

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Activist Friedrich Mulln from Soko Tierschutz said: "In 2013, we also tried to get a job there, but were not successful. From December 2018 to March 2019 the undercover investigator working in the lab."

He added that the worst treatment was reserved for the monkeys.

The undercover workers said as well as monkeys, beagles were reportedly abused by having pipes forced down their throats, and were often left bleeding following the experiments.

LPT is now under further investigation and faces having its license taken away if the allegations are proven.

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London's black cabs turn green! Officials approve new electric taxi

London’s black cabs turn green! Officials approve new all-electric taxi that can travel 187 miles on a single charge

  • The Dynamo taxi has now been given the green light by Transport for London 
  • Black cabs cause 16 per cent vehicle nitrogen oxide emissions in central London
  • TfL began adding hybrid taxis to fleet in 2017 but they have 1.5-litre petrol engine
  • The £55,495 Dynamo, which is based on a Nissan e-NV200, is solely electric 

It can travel 187miles on one charge, so even longer fares shouldn’t be a problem for the new all-electric black cab.

The Dynamo taxi has been given the green light by Transport for London as part of an attempt to slash carbon emissions in the city.

The capital’s 21,000 black cabs account for 16 per cent of all vehicle nitrogen oxide emissions in central London.

The Dynamo taxi (pictured) has been given the green light by Transport for London as part of an attempt to slash carbon emissions in the city

TfL began adding hybrid taxis to the fleet in 2017, but these have a 1.5-litre petrol engine to extend their range.

The £55,495 Dynamo, which is based on a Nissan e-NV200, is solely electric.

Fully electric cabs first appeared in London in 1897. However, the firm behind the the 10mph Bersey taxis collapsed just two years later.

The Dynamo will be unveiled today at the International Clean Air Conference in London.

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Stella Artois bosses offer Brits £77k for advice on tackling binge drinking

The makers of Stella Artois are asking Brits for help to stop people binge drinking.

Brewery bosses are offering £77,000 for suggestions on how best to tackle alcohol-related problems.

Stella was launched in Britain with the slogan: “Reassuringly Expensive”, but gained the infamous nickname “wife beater” as a link was suggested between drinking the strong lager and domestic violence.

Now Budweiser UK & Ireland chiefs are inviting British start-up companies to take part in the firm’s “smart drinking” initiative.

The brewer aims to “help consumers make sensible drinking choices, manage their intake and avoid bingeing on alcohol”.

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It is part of the company’s 100+ Accelerator programme, designed to bring about “environmental and societal change”.

The beer giant produces Stella at its Magor plant in South Wales.

Group head Paula Lindenberg said: “I look forward to seeing what innovative start-ups across the UK come up with.”

She added: “I am proud of our 100+ Accelerator and the work it has done to drive progress and innovation.

“It creates the opportunity for start-ups to help effect real societal change.”

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Neighbour ‘from hell’ leaves locals rejoicing as she puts £1m home on market

Residents of a leafy British street are rejoicing after a "neighbour from hell' is putting her house on the market for £1million.

Julie Rankine earned the title of "neighbour from hell" after a 10-year war waged against her neighbours that included hitting one with a walking stick and threatening another with an axe.

Now, the residents of leafy Streetly Lane, Sutton Coldfield, can sleep easy because the luxury five-bedroom property is on the market.

The 56-year-old's soon to be former neighbours have said they are "delighted" at the news and will celebrate when she's finally gone.

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One of Ms Rankine's neighbours said: "She's blighted this area for about 10 years now.

"It has been absolute hell living near her.

"We are overjoyed she is moving out.

"I think there will be a lot of people celebrating when she's finally gone.

"I just feel for the people who she ends up moving in next to.

"I don't want to sound elitist but you hear of these things happening on council estates, not in an area like this.

"We never expected this when we moved to Sutton.

"But we're delighted its coming to an end.

"My wife has had sleepless nights over her behaviour and she's caused a lot of people a great deal of stress."

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In 2017, Ms Rankine appeared at Birmingham Magistrates Court following three occasions when she poked people during a boundary dispute.

The court heard the incidents were "the tip of an iceberg" of a nine-year campaign of harassment she waged against her neighbours.

During sentencing District Judge Ian Strongman described her as an "unpleasant woman" who caused her neighbours "lives to be hell."

He said: "This was part of an ongoing dispute with your neighbours, which had been distressing them for many years.

"You have caused your neighbours great distress and this is your comeuppance."

Rankine was handed a 22-week sentence in 2017 for attacking three neighbours but she suffered a stroke one day into the sentence and the judge suspended the jail term.

  • 'If I hadn't moved to Jaywick I'd be dead' says semi-reformed dad of ten

Of the property, Estate Agent Quantrills on Rightmove said: "This is a very impressive double-fronted period family residence, occupying a mature setting in this sought-after and convenient residential location opposite Sutton Park.

“Most attractive in appearance with classic double fronted elevations, the property stands well back from the road behind a deep front garden with gated driveway providing extensive parking for up to 12 cars.

“The spaciously arranged elegantly proportioned family accommodation retains many of is delightful features.”

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Warren joins striking Chicago teachers as negotiations stall

CHICAGO — Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren called for people across the country to support striking Chicago teachers after joining educators picketing outside an elementary school on Tuesday, the fourth-day classes have been canceled in the nation’s third-largest school district.

The Massachusetts senator took photos with teachers gathered outside the West Side elementary school and told the crowd that her experience in a New Jersey teaching job makes her appreciate their work and support the strike.

“I’m here because the eyes of this nation are upon you,” Warren said. “They have turned to Chicago, for you to lead the way, for you to show how the power of standing together is the power of making real change in this country.”

The Chicago Teachers Union’s 25,000 members and Chicago Public Schools remain at odds over teacher pay, limits on class sizes and additional support staff in schools. Thousands of support staff also are on strike alongside teachers.

Negotiators reported some progress over the weekend but on Monday night union leaders said talks had stalled and blamed Mayor Lori Lightfoot.

Earlier Monday, Lightfoot sent a letter to union leaders asking for teachers to return to work without a deal as contract talks continued and reiterated her concern that teachers’ demands are unaffordable for the district.

CTU President Jesse Sharkey described Monday’s talks as “taking a turn for the worst,” and said city and district negotiators were following the mayor’s lead.

“She wants us to simply give up on some of the most basic things that we’re asking for and that’s not the way that labor negotiations work,” he said on Tuesday morning.

Lightfoot defended her approach and said she will continue talking about hardships that the strike causes for families, including student-athletes who are prevented from practicing or competing during a walkout and high school students trying to meet college application deadlines.

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“What we’re seeing is real, human cost for this work stoppage,” Lightfoot said.

She added that the district’s finances still are shaky and heavily dependent on borrowing. The district has estimated all of teachers’ demands would add $2.5 billion to the district annual budget and officials call that unaffordable.

“This idea that we’re flush with cash and just sitting on it and not spending it on the things that we both agree matter just isn’t true,” said Janice Jackson, the district’s chief executive officer.

Lightfoot, a Democrat who was elected on a progressive platform, said she expects all members of her party “to support workers” but dismissed a suggestion that visits like Warren’s could shape contract talks.

“People are going to come in to catch a moment and then they’re going to leave,” she said. “What’s most important is that the people of Chicago know about what’s going on.”

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7,000 Syrian refugees arrive in Iraq in 7 days: UN

Over 7,100 refugees arrived in Iraq from Syria within seven days, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said on Tuesday, as Turkish forces targeted Kurdish regions after the U.S. withdrew troops.

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A majority of the people — three out of four — are women and children, including unaccompanied minors, UNHCR spokesperson Andrej Mahecic said at a press briefing in Geneva. Mahecic added that many “require psycho-social first aid” and that some witnessed the violence that has been occurring in the region this month.

The people crossed from northeast Syria into Iraq between last Monday, Oct. 14, and this Monday, Oct. 21. They are primarily being held at a camp at Bardarash, Iraq, which is being managed by the local Board of Relief and Humanitarian Affairs, a UNHCR partner.

The arrivals detailed in this UNHCR report began a week after President Donald Trump announced U.S. troops would be withdrawing from northeast Syria, leaving behind Kurdish forces with whom they had been allied with in the fight against ISIS.

Two days after Trump’s announcement, on Oct. 9, as U.S. troops were withdrawing, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced a Turkish operation had begun in northeast Syria with the stated intention of ridding the area of terrorist threats. The operation targeted many of the Syrian-Kurdish forces the U.S. had supported.

Following international outcry, Vice President Mike Pence announced in Turkey on Thursday, Oct. 17, that Turkey and the U.S. had agreed to a 120-hour “ceasefire,” giving Kurdish forces time to withdraw from a 20-mile-deep “safe zone” on the Turkish-Syrian border to be controlled by Turkey.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said it was a “pause in Turkey’s operation” and “not a ceasefire.”

By Friday morning, eyewitnesses reported that violence was still ongoing as it appeared Turkish artillery continued shelling Ras al-Ayn, a Syrian city on the Turkish border.

Trump said on Twitter Friday that Erdogan told him “there was minor sniper and mortar fire that was quickly eliminated.”

The 120-hour “pause” expires Tuesday night.

Mahecic of the UNHCR said the refugees are being provided hot meals, transportation, shelter and identification of unaccompanied minors, among other resources, and that the camp at Bardarash has “a water network, an electricity grid and a sewage system.”

However, Mahecic said, those networks at the Bardarash camp need to be expanded as more people arrive.

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Model stabbed to death and had eyes gouged out by sister jealous of her looks

A woman consumed by jealousy has been jailed for stabbing her sister at least 189 times and severing her ear.

Elizaveta Dubrovina, 22, massacred her sibling Stefania after years of trying to copy her looks, including her hair and make-up.

Stefania, 17, was the victim of a savage assault at her lover’s home in the Russian city of St Petersberg.

Her vital organs were knifed, her eyes gouged out and she died from blood loss at the scene.

A court has now found Elizaveta Dubrovina guilty of ‘murder with particular cruelty’ following the death in 2016.

A video showed her being led away to the cells in handcuffs showing no express.

A statement by the city’s prosecutor’s office said: ‘Due to personal hostile relations, the defendant stabbed her sister at least 189 times with a knife into her vital organs and cut off her right ear.

‘The victim died at the scene from multiple wounds and blood loss.

‘The court found Dubrovina guilty and sentenced her to 13 years in a penal colony.’

Stefania was killed at the home of her boyfriend Alexey Fateev, now 44, while he had gone out shopping.

He told how he found Stefania’s naked body and managed to detain Elizaveta – then 19 – to stop her fleeing.

The killer was arrested and sent for compulsory psychiatric treatment.

But a court ruled she was fit to face trial and has now been convicted.

The prosecutor added that Elizaveta ‘scoffed at her sister, causing her to endure excruciating pain because of her dislike.

‘During the massacre, she inflicted at least 189 stabs on her sister – in the head, neck, torso, arms and legs.

‘Elizaveta copied the image of her younger sister – the same hair colour, the same lipstick.

‘There are photographs of both sisters hugging each other but there is no doubt that the elder sister envied the younger one.’

Reports at the time suggested that Elizaveta would try to blame Mr Fateev for the death, claiming he was jealous because Stefania had posed for naked modelling photos.

Mr Fateev went on Russian TV to deny having anything to do with Stefania’s death and the prosecution said he was a witness not a suspect.

The girls’ spent time in orphanages as children but their mother Oksana Dubrovina backed Elizaveta.

Their aunt Ekaterina Dubrovina called Stefania’s death a ‘shocking tragedy’.

She added: ‘My blood turns to ice.’

St Petersburg showman Stas Baretsky, 45, who had known the sisters, called the jail ‘too much’ and claimed there had been a miscarriage of justice.

He said: ‘I hope that the sentence to be reconsidered, as I believe she is not guilty.’

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Thai king strips 'ungrateful' mistress of official concubine title over 'ambitious' efforts to replace queen

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The King of Thailand has stripped his official mistress of her title, just months after making the rare appointment, over accusations that she was “disloyal” to the crown and attempted to “rise to the level of the queen”.

King Maha Vajiralongkorn, also known as King Rama X, named Major-General Sineenat Wongvajirapakdi, 34, the official Royal Noble Consort just months after his own coronation in May and marriage to his fourth wife, former consort and Thai Airways flight attendant, General Suthida Vajiralongkorn.


But on Monday, a two-page statement from the Royal Palace revealed that Sineenat had been stripped of her title and military ranks after she breached the code of conduct in her “ambitious” efforts to be named queen.

This undated photo posted Monday, Aug. 26, 2019, on the Thailand Royal Office website shows Major General Sineenatra Wongvajirabhakdi, the royal noble consort of King Maha Vajiralongkorn.(Thailand Royal Office via AP)

“Royal Noble Consort Sineenat is ungrateful and behaves in ways unbecoming of her title,” the statement read, in a translation from Reuters. “She is also not content with the title bestowed upon her, doing everything to rise to the level of the queen.”

The statement claimed she took advantage of her position by falsely claiming royal prerogatives to order people around, "making people misunderstand her position to gain profit and popularity for herself."

This undated photo posted Monday, Aug. 26, 2019 on the Thailand Royal Office website shows King Maha Vajiralongkorn with Major General Sineenatra Wongvajirabhakdi, the royal noble consort.
(Thailand Royal Office via AP)

The statement said that Sineenat opposed the crowning of Suthida, 41, as queen because she had hoped to be given the appointment herself. Instead, she was named chief concubine in July, making her the first official mistress of the king since the end of Thailand’s absolute monarchy in 1932.


“She lacks the understanding of the good traditions of the royal court. She displays disobedience against the king and the queen,” the statement continued.

Since taking over the throne following the 70-year rule of his father, King Bhumibol Adulyadej, Rama X’s personal life has become the subject of public discussion — but often in hushed tones because speaking poorly of the royal family is a crime punishable by up to 15 years in prison.

This undated photo posted Monday, Aug. 26, 2019, on the Thailand Royal Office website shows King Maha Vajiralongkorn with Major General Sineenatra Wongvajirabhakdi, the royal noble consort. (Thailand Royal Office via AP)

It was not immediately clear if Sineenat would be punished for her insubordination to the crown.


Rama X, 67, has been married 4 times. He married his first cousin, Princess Soamsawali Kitiyakara, in 1977 and had one child. They later divorced but not before he fathered five children with Yuvadhida Polpraserth, who eventually became his second wife. They married in 1994 but divorced two years later. In 2001, Rama X married his third wife and they had one child in their 13-year marriage before divorcing in 2014.

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