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South African president Jacob Zuma relinquishes power

Cyril Ramaphosa will be South Africa’s next president, after the scandal-tarnished incumbent, Jacob Zuma, announced Wednesday that he would step down, effective immediately. A protégé of Nelson Mandela, Ramaphosa, 65, grew up in Soweto, Johannesburg’s notoriously impoverished segregated township. He became one of South Africa’s richest men, but his toughest years may lie ahead. Nelson Mandela and Cyril Ramaphosa in 1994. Walter Dhladhla / AFP/Getty Images file The 75-year-old Zuma, who had been in office since 2009, had refused to relinquish his grip on power for more than a week.…

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Top Stories World 

Cyril Ramaphosa to be South Africa’s next president as Jacob Zuma resigns

Cyril Ramaphosa will be South Africa’s next president, after scandal-tarnished President Jacob Zuma announced Wednesday that he would step down, effective immediately. A protégé of Nelson Mandela, Ramaphosa, 65, grew up in Soweto, Johannesburg’s notoriously impoverished segregated township. He became one of South Africa’s richest men, but his toughest years may lie ahead. Nelson Mandela and Cyril Ramaphosa in 1994. Walter Dhladhla / AFP/Getty Images file The 75-year-old Zuma, who had been in office since 2009, had refused to relinquish his grip on power for more than a week. He…

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Top Stories World 

EPA head Scott Pruitt says he flies first class due to security concerns

WASHINGTON — The head of the Environmental Protection Agency has broken months of silence about his frequent premium-class flights at taxpayer expense, saying he needs to fly first class because of unpleasant interactions with other travelers. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt spoke about his flight costs on Tuesday in a pair of interviews in New Hampshire, following a first-class flight to meet with the state’s Republican governor and tour a toxic waste site. Pruitt told the New Hampshire Union Leader he had some “incidents” on flights shortly after his appointment by…

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Florida school shooting: Mother’s harrowing account as daughter ‘trapped’ in building

Police surrounded the school in Parkland, Florida after as the gunman opened fire.  Between 20 to 50 people are thought to have been injured, and the gunman has now been caught by police.  Margate Fire Department told CBS Miami there are between 20 and 50 victims while a local fire chief told the Miami Herald at least one person has been killed. Pupils barricaded themselves inside classrooms as SWAT teams descended on the school.  Speaking to ABC news, a mother gave a harrowing account as her daughter was still inside the school. …

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A tale of two cities and murder

Two American cities, separated by just 200 miles along the Northeast corridor, tell two very different stories about the crime of murder. Just look at last year’s numbers, their raw inverted symmetry, each historic and jaw-dropping: Baltimore, population 615,000, had 343 murders last year. That’s a murder rate of 55.8 per 100,000 people, the highest the city has ever seen. Recommended: In Pictures Policing America New York, population 8.5 million, had 290 murders last year. That’s a murder rate of 3.3 per 100,000 people, and the lowest the city has…

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Science 

Benjamin Netanyahu Says He’s Done Nothing Wrong. Will Israel Believe Him?

Israeli police recommended the Israeli Prime Minister be charged with bribery, fraud and breach of trust More A day after Israeli police recommended that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu be charged with bribery, fraud and breach of trust, the embattled leader responded with the same incredulity and air of suspicion that have characterized his fight for political survival ever since the police investigations began a year ago. On Wednesday morning, Netanyahu compared the police recommendation – which he tried to block through controversial legislation last year – to Swiss cheese. “After…

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BREAKING: South African President Jacob Zuma announces his resignation

The 75-year-old’s resignation caps the end of a tumultuous decade in which he has survived several no-confidence votes in parliament, a string of corruption allegations and street protests against his rule. The announcement eventually came in a televised address to the nation. Mr Zuma said no leader should stay beyond the time determined by the people they serve. But in his 30-minute farewell speech to the nation, he made it clear he disagreed with the way the ANC had pushed him towards an early exit after the election of Cyril…

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Macron’s FAILURE: French president admits failing on campaign pledge

Speaking to reporters on a visit to Orléans in central France last July, the young centrist had pledged to turn 62 budget Formule 1 hotels into shelters and provide “worthy” housing conditions for about 6,000 homeless people, including migrants and refugees. He said at the time: “I want emergency shelters everywhere. I don’t want men and women in the street.” However, in an address to the presidential press corps on Tuesday, Mr Macron confessed his government had not managed to fulfil its key campaign promise to put a roof over…

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Why it’s so hard to make a better flu vaccine

Every year, flu kills between 12,000 and 56,000 people, the CDC says. This year is shaping up to be on the high end of that range. That’s why teams of scientists are working on what’s called a universal flu vaccine. The hope is to develop a formulation that will recognize something a little deeper than just the “face” of the flu virus — something that doesn’t change from one virus to another, and that doesn’t mutate over time. That could lead to a flu vaccine that people would just have…

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