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Melbourne Zoo: Baby elephant stands up after rare tendon condition

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The three-week-old elephant, who is fighting for her life at the Melbourne Zoo, stood up for the first time on Tuesday as she battles a rare tendon condition that prevents her from walking.

A baby Asian elephant, diagnosed with congenital carpal flexure, a condition that causes the animal’s feet to curl backwards leaving it unable to stand up, was able to stand for short periods of time on Tuesday after medical staff removed casts from its front legs.

The prognosis for the baby elephant has remained unclear since its birth. The rare condition has never before been documented in captive elephants.

The elephant has received round-the-clock care since she was born. If left untreated, the animal would have died.

As she is unable to stand to feed from her mother, zookeepers have been bottle feeding her with a milk formula instead as well as giving her intensive physiotherapy.

Melbourne Zoo’s senior veterinarian Michael Lynch said the elephant’s condition had improved and the casts were no longer needed.

“Once we took that cast off, she actually stood up with us balancing her for a short period of time, She’s showing some strength but she can’t consistently stand up unaided.”

Lynch said the elephant was still in a critical condition despite these small improvements. “It’s still a struggle to get her feeding consistently, she’s nutritionally not receiving adequate oral nutrition.”

“It’s very difficult to raise these Asian elephant calves and keep them in a good nutritional balance. She’s actually gotten a little weaker over this time and that’s our problem now.

“Whilst we’ ve fixed the legs, we have a calf that’s quite weak and we’ve got to get her moving around again so she can eventually get back with her mother,” she said.

Lynch said the Melbourne Zoo staff had fallen in love with the elephant.

“She’s a real fighter, she really wants to get up and we’re encouraging her in those efforts,” he said.

“She’s frustrated if the feeding is not going well, she gives little roars and things like that, so of course everyone’s fallen in love with her and just admiring her spirit and will to keep on going,” he said.

The elephant has been spending time with her mother twice a day through a fence.

Wefornews bureau

America

US to revoke visas of Saudi officials implicated in death of Jamal Khashoggi

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BREAKING: The United State to revoke visas of some Saudi officials implicated in death of Washington Post writer Jamal Khashoggi.

Pompeo also said during a press conference that the State and Treasury departments are looking at the possibility of sanctions meant to target those responsible for human rights violations.

The announcement comes after President Trump called the kingdom’s efforts to hide Khashoggi’s killing inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul the “worst cover-up ever,” stepping up his rhetoric as frustrations directed at Riyadh grow.

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World

US slaps sanctions on Taliban, Iranian supporters

Washington has intensified its sanctions against Iranian entities and individuals after President Donald Trump’s decision to exit the Iran nuclear deal in May, a move that has been widely criticized by the international community.

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Washington, Oct 24 : The US Treasury announced on Tuesday that it has imposed sanctions on eight individuals, including two associated with Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps — Qods Force (IRGC-QF), in an effort to hit Afghanistan’s Taliban militants.

The Treasury accused the designated Taliban members of engaging in suicide attacks and other activities in Afghanistan and blamed the Iranians for providing financial and material support for the Taliban, Xinhau reported.

US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin claimed in a statement that Iran was “exploiting Afghanistan to further their destabilizing behaviour”.

Mnuchin is on a week-long trip to the Middle East with talks on combating terrorist financing and looming Iran sanctions.

Also on Tuesday, the other member nations of the Terrorist Financing Targeting Centre (TFTC), all US Gulf allies, also imposed Taliban-related sanctions.

Saudi Arabia and Bahrain announced Tuesday to add Iran’s IRGC to the list of terror-related individuals and organisations, Saudi Press Agency reported.

Washington has intensified its sanctions against Iranian entities and individuals after President Donald Trump’s decision to exit the Iran nuclear deal in May, a move that has been widely criticized by the international community.

New US sanctions on Iran’s oil exports are set to kick in on November 4.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said his country will manage to abort anti-Iran sanctions by the United States, Press TV reported on Monday.

The TFTC, including the United States, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Oman and Qatar, was formed in May 2017 and inaugurated by the Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and Trump on the sidelines of the Arab-Islamic-American Summit last year.

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Sports

Sindhu in second round of French Open

In the next round, Sindhu will now take on the winner of the first-round match between Cheung Ngan Yi of Hong Kong and Japan’s Sayaka Sato.

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Paris, Oct 24 (IANS) Ace India shuttler P.V. Sindhu entered the second round of ongoing French Open after thrashing Beiwen Zhang in straight games here on Tuesday.

Sindhu took just 34 minutes to outclass Zhang 21-17, 21-8. With this win, the Rio Olympic silver medalist avenged her loss at the hands of Zhang in the opening round of the Denmark Open, last week.

In the next round, Sindhu will now take on the winner of the first-round match between Cheung Ngan Yi of Hong Kong and Japan’s Sayaka Sato.

Meanwhile, the Indian men’s doubles pair comprising Arjun MR and Shlok Ramachandran crashed out of the tournament after going down 14-21, 17-21 to Chinese pair of Li Junhui and Liu Yunchen in the first round.

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