Panda 'fakes pregnancy to get more food'

A live broadcast of a panda giving birth was cancelled when experts discovered the "mother" was faking her pregnancy to get more food.

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Some 500 earthquakes hit Iceland volcano within hours

Around 500 earthquakes have rocked a rumbling volcano in Iceland since midnight, adding to fears that an eruption could be sparked at any moment.

The country has issued an orange aviation alert - the second highest - warning of possible disruption to air traffic should the Bardarbunga volcano blow.

Warning signs block the road to the Bardarbunga volcano
Warning signs block the road to the Bardarbunga volcano Credit: Reuters

Seismic activity and magma movement as close as 10km beneath ground level has been reported in the region since the middle of August. However, the Met Office has downgraded its alert from red to orange, saying an eruption was no longer considered to be imminent.

Roads are still closed in the region.

It comes after tens of thousands of flights were grounded when Iceland's Eyjafjallajokul volcano erupted in 2010, creating an enormous ash cloud which experts feared would damage jet engines.

Islamist fighters 'take control of Syria border crossing'

Al Qaida's Syrian branch Nusra Front and other Islamist fighters have taken control of a border crossing dividing Syria from the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, a monitoring group has said.

Smoke billows on the border between Syria and the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.
Smoke billows on the border between Syria and the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. Credit: RTV

The fighters, who have vowed to "liberate" the area, captured the Quneitra post on the Syrian side from forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad following fierce clashes, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

Stray fire from Syria wounds Israeli soldier near border

Stray fire from Syria wounded an Israeli soldier in the occupied Golan Heights, the Israeli military has said, as fighting between rebels and the Syrian army approached the border area.

Israeli emergency services said the soldier was wounded by errant mortar shell and evacuated to a local hospital.

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Earlier today, fire from Syria injured an IDF officer. In response, we struck 2 Syrian military positions in the Golan Heights.

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Earlier today, an IDF officer was moderately injured as a result of errant fire from Syria. The officer was evacuated for medical treatment.

Local media reported shortly after the incident that Syrian rebels had taken hold of the Quneitra border crossing.

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Doctor warns Ebola outbreak is a 'time bomb'

A doctor who quarantined herself for three weeks after helping to treat Ebola patients in Africa has returned to work, with a stark warning that the situation is spiralling out of control.

Specialist registrar Nathalie MacDermott, who works at the neonatal unit in Singleton Hospital in Swansea, said being there felt like "sitting on a time bomb".

Of the 0 to 100 patients she treated while out there, Dr Nathalie MacDermott said just three survived
Of the 0 to 100 patients she treated while out there, Dr Nathalie MacDermott said just three survived Credit: Reuters

She flew to Liberia with charity Samaritan's Purse to care for people affected with the deadly virus.

Of the 50 to 100 patients she treated while out there, she said, just three survived.

It felt like we were sitting on a time bomb which was slowly exploding under us and there was nothing we could do.

It's hard for a doctor to know that they won't be able to save the vast majority of their patients, but I already knew that when I went to Liberia.

There is so much work to be done and if I could get leave I would definitely go out there and help again. They need healthcare staff to not only care for patients but help to contain the spread of infection.

– Health worker Nathalie MacDermott

Gun instructor accidentally shot dead by 9-year-old girl

Footage showing a firearms instructor teaching a nine-year-old girl moments before she accidentally killed him has been released.

Charles Vacca, 39, was shot in the head at a shooting range in Arizona on Monday after the girl lost grip of the Uzi, a high-powered submachine gun.

The video, released by Mohave County Sheriff's Department, shows Vacca instructing the girl to take a single shot, before the gun is switched to automatic and she appears to lose control.

Chemical bombs 'used eight times' in one month in Syria

Barrel bombs filled with chemicals were dropped in Syria eight times in April, according to a UN report which points the finger of blame at government helicopters.

UN investigator Carla Del Ponte, who spent months researching the war, said both Islamic State insurgents and the Syrian government were guilty of war crimes in the conflict.

She has now called on world leaders to refer the findings to the international criminal court.

UN investigator Carla Del Ponte called for the war crimes in Syria to be referred to the international criminal court
UN investigator Carla Del Ponte called for the war crimes in Syria to be referred to the international criminal court Credit: Reuters

The report found that chemical agents - most likely chlorine - were dropped on several occasions, with "reasonable grounds" to believe they came from Syrian government helicopters.

It also revealed Islamic State forces had carried out public executions, displayed bodies on crucifixes, and stoned women, and said analysis of 27,000 photographs apparently taken in Syrian jails supported the UN's "longstanding findings of systematic torture and deaths of detainees".

Islamic State is one of several groups fighting the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Russian soldiers 'cross Ukrainian border in vehicles'

A group of Russian soldiers have crossed the Ukrainian border in armoured vehicles and entered the town of Amvrosiyivka, a Ukrainian military spokesman said.

The report comes amid talks between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukraine's Petro Poroshenko aimed at trying to end the five-month conflict between pro-Russian separatists and Ukraine.

Footage of four men, believed to be Russian paratroopers, saying they crossed the Ukrainian border "by accident" was released by the Ukrainian military yesterday.

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