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Israel bombs Syria in 'first strike' since air defences were upgraded

Israel bombs Syria in 'first strike' since air defences were upgradedIsrael struck several positions south of Damascus in the first strikes since Syrian air defences were upgraded following the accidental downing of a Russian plane in September, a war monitor said Friday. Damascus claimed its air defence systems shot down all "hostile targets" late Thursday. Israel did not confirm carrying out raids but denied any losses. According to the Syria Observatory for Human Rights, the strikes hit two positions in the south of Damascus province, including an area believed to be an Iranian weapons depot near the capital. "Israeli forces bombarded for an hour," Observatory chief Rami Abdel Rahman said. Two missiles hit "weapons depots belonging to the Lebanese Hezbollah (militant group) as well as Iranian forces" in Kisweh. Another missile hit the area of Harfa, where there is a Syrian military base, the Britain-based monitor said. In Kisweh, "the depots that were targeted are used to temporarily store rockets until they are taken somewhere else," Abdel Rahman said. "It appears the Israelis had intelligence that weapons had arrived there recently," he said. The state news agency said the attack was foiled and did not admit to any losses. "Our air defences fired on hostile targets over the Kisweh area and downed them," SANA said, citing a military source. A military source quoted by the pro-government Al-Watan daily said "the aggression, despite its intensity, was not able to implement any of its goals and all enemy bodies were downed." Initial reports by the Observatory suggested there were no casualties. The Israeli military denied any of its assets were hit but stopped short of denying it had conducted strikes at all. "Reports regarding an IDF (Israeli military) aircraft or an airborne IDF target having been hit are false," it said in an English-language statement. It said a Syrian surface-to-air missile was fired in the direction of an open area of the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights but it was unclear if it had hit Israeli-held territory.



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New Zealand's 'First Baby' Neve makes history with United Nations debut alongside Jacinda Ardern

New Zealand's 'First Baby' Neve makes history with United Nations debut alongside Jacinda ArdernNew Zealand’s so-called “First Baby” – the three-month-old daughter of prime minister Jacinda Ardern -  has made her debut on the international political stage, appearing at a peace summit at the United Nations with her mother. Ms Ardern kissed Neve Te Aroha before addressing the summit, during which the baby was held by Clarke Gayford, Ms Ardern’s partner. Mr Gayford sent an image of his daughter’s United Nations security pass, which playfully listed her title as “First Baby”. "Because everyone on Twitter's been asking to see Neve's UN ID, staff here whipped one up," he wrote. "I wish I could have captured the startled look on a Japanese delegation inside the UN yesterday who walked into a meeting room in the middle of a nappy change. Great yarn for her 21st." Because everyone on twitter's been asking to see Neve's UN id, staff here whipped one up. I wish I could have captured the startled look on a Japanese delegation inside UN yesterday who walked into a meeting room in the middle of a nappy change. Great yarn for her 21st. pic.twitter.com/838BI96VYX— Clarke Gayford (@NZClarke) September 24, 2018 Ms Ardern, 38, is her country’s youngest leader and the first to take maternity leave. She is only the second leader in modern history to give birth while in office, after Pakistan's Benazir Bhutto in 1990. Ms Ardern said she and her partner made “a very practical decision” to take Neve with them into the United Nations summit in New York. “Neve is actually nearby me most of the time in New Zealand, she's just not always caught,” she said. Clarke Gayford holds baby Neve while Jacinda Ardern speaks at the Nelson Mandela Peace Summit Credit:  CARLO ALLEGRI/REUTERS  "But here when she's awake we try and keep her with me so obviously that was the occasion.” A United Nations spokesman, Stephane Dujarric, said the organisation was delighted to see Neve in the General Assembly hall. “Prime Minister Ardern is showing that no one is better qualified to represent her country than a working mother,” he said. “Just five  percent of the world’s leaders are women, so we need to make them as welcome here as possible.” Jacinda Ardern addresses the Nelson Mandela Peace Summit Credit: TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP Ms Ardern has been feted by the United States media during her visit and appeared on NBC’s Today Show shortly after her arrival. She joked that taking her daughter on a seventeen-hour flight “at the time felt on par” with running the country. "But between Clarke and I we managed it," she said. "You don't know until you are there of course, but [motherhood] has met my expectations, the joy though has far surpassed my expectations."



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Schiff: Nunes didn't share intel, 'first that we've heard about' FBI information

Schiff: Nunes didn't share intel, 'first that we've heard about' FBI informationRep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), ranking member on the House Intelligence Committee, tells Chuck Todd that his counterpart, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), didn't share information he received from the FBI.



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Melania Trump's office calls Ivana's 'first lady' comment 'self-serving noise'

Melania Trump's office calls Ivana's 'first lady' comment 'self-serving noise'“She plans to use her title and role to help children,” a spokeswoman for Melania Trump said Monday, “not sell books.”



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Incredible 'first ever' photos capture wild lioness nursing leopard cub 

Incredible 'first ever' photos capture wild lioness nursing leopard cub Astonishing photos show a wild lioness suckling a leopard cub in a “truly unique case” in the African Serengeti. A guest staying at a safari lodge in Tanzania’s Ngorongoro Conservation Area captured the images of a five-year-old lioness, known locally as ‘Nosikitok,’ nursing a three-week-old leopard. An incredibly rare sight Credit: Joop van der Linde/Ndutu Safari Lodge via AP Dr Luke Hunter, president of Panthera, a wild cat conservation organisation, said the behaviour was “mystifying”. “I know of no other example of inter-species adoption or nursing like this among big cats in the wild,” he said. “This lioness is known to have recently given birth to her own cubs, which is a critical factor. She is physiologically primed to take care of baby cats, and the little leopard fits the bill – it is almost exactly the age of her own cubs and physically very similar to them. “She would not be nursing the cub if she wasn’t already awash with a ferocious maternal drive,” he added. “It is quite possible she has lost her own cubs, and found the leopard cub in her bereaved state when she would be particularly vulnerable.” The photographs were taken by a guest at a lodge in Tanzania Credit: Joop van der Linde/Ndutu Safari Lodge via AP Dr Hunter believes the leopard may struggle to survive if it remains in the pride, explaining: “It is very unlikely that the lioness' pride will accept it.” He added: “Lions have very rich, complicated social relationships in which they recognise individuals—by sight and by roars—and so they are very well equipped to distinguish their cubs from others. If the rest of the pride finds the cub, it is likely it would be killed.” “Even its early exposure to lion society would not override the millions of years of evolution that has equipped the leopard to be a supreme solitary hunter. “I am sure it would go its own way.” Unusual animal friendships, in pictures The collar was placed on Nosikitok by KopeLion, a Tanzanian conservation group supported by Panthera. This adorable orphaned raccoon thinks it’s a dog Unlikely animal friendships – in 60 seconds 01:12



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