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Last updateSun, 20 Aug 2017 6pm

World News

Trump backs down on border wall funding

Donald Trump has indicated he will ditch plans to find cash for his border wall in this week's spending bill. The president's close adviser, Kellyanne Conway, said funding for the wall would be left out of a budget measure that must pass by Friday. Building the wall, paid for by Mexico, was a key campaign promise. Democrats had threatened to block the bill if money was earmarked for the wall, so its omission may now avert a government shutdown.(BBC)

Hollande calls for unity at tribute to slain officer Jugelé

French President François Hollande has used a ceremony to honour a police officer slain in Paris last week to call for unity in the "long and difficult fight against terrorism". He awarded Xavier Jugelé, 37, the Legion of Honour, one of France's highest honours. The two candidates to succeed Mr Hollande, Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen, both attended. They will face off at a second round of voting on 7 May.(BBC)

North Korea tensions: US submarine arrives in South Korea.

A US submarine has arrived in South Korea, amid worries of another North Korean missile or nuclear test. The missile-armed USS Michigan is set to join an incoming group of warships led by aircraft carrier Carl Vinson. North Korea is celebrating its army's 85th founding anniversary on Tuesday.


A caterpillar that munches on plastic bags

Scientists say that a caterpillar that munches on plastic bags could hold the key to tackling plastic pollution,
Researchers at Cambridge University have discovered that the larvae of the moth, which eats wax in bee hives, can also degrade plastic.
According to scientists, experiments show the insect can break down the chemical bonds of plastic in a similar way to digesting beeswax.
Each year, about 80 million tonnes of the plastic polyethylene are produced around the world.
The plastic is used to make shopping bags and food packaging, among other things, but it can take hundreds of years to decompose completely.
However, caterpillars of the moth (Galleria mellonella) can make holes in a plastic bag in under an hour.
Dr Paolo Bombelli is a biochemist at the University of Cambridge and one of the researchers on the study.

France's mainstream turns on Le Pen.

France's beaten mainstream parties have lined up behind Emmanuel Macron to try to stave off a victory for the far-right's Marine Le Pen in the final round of the presidential election. The Republicans' François Fillon and Socialist Benoît Hamon urged supporters to vote for Mr Macron on 7 May.


French election: Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen to fight for presidency

Centrist Emmanuel Macron has gone through to the second round of the French election, where he will face far-right leader Marine Le Pen. Mr Macron, a former banker, is seen as a political newcomer - and ran without the backing of an established party. After topping Sunday's vote, he is now favourite to win the run-off on 7 May. It is the first time in six decades that neither of France's main left-wing or right-wing parties has had a candidate in the second round.

Britain marks the first coal-free day since Industrial Revolution

Britain National Grid says the country went a full day without using coal to generate electricity for the first time since the Industrial Revolution. The energy provider said Friday's lack of coal usage was a "watershed" moment. Britain's longest continuous energy period without coal until now was 19 hours - first achieved last May, and again on Thursday.


Policeman and suspected gunman shot dead in Paris 'terror attack'.

One policeman has been shot dead and two others wounded in central Paris, French police say, with their suspected attacker killed by security forces. A lone gunman opened fire before being killed as he fled the scene, police say. The Champs-Elysees was sealed off.


Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif survives corruption ruling

Pakistan's Supreme Court has ruled there is insufficient evidence of corruption to remove Nawaz Sharif from the role of prime minister.It instead ordered a further investigation into money transfers. Questions arose over the business dealings of Mr Sharif's family when three of his children were linked to offshore accounts in the Panama Papers leaks in 2015. Mr Sharif and his family have denied any wrongdoing. They have dismissed the claims as politically motivated.(BBC)

Australia unveils major changes to citizenship process

Australia will make it more difficult to gain citizenship in a major overhaul of its migration process .Aspiring citizens will undergo tougher tests on their English language skills and ability to demonstrate "Australian values", PM Malcolm Turnbull said . Applicants must also have completed four years as a permanent resident - three years longer than at present.

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