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‘Major incident’ on London Bridge, one shot: Police

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London Bridge England Attack
(Photos: (Dominic Lipinski/PA via @AP)

London, Nov 29 : At least one person was shot in a “major incident” on the London Bridge, in which gunshots were heard on Friday afternoon, media reports quoting witnesses and police said.

According to the Met Police, cops were called to a premises near the iconic bridge on reports of a stabbing at around 2 p.m. (GST) and had detained a man, the BBC reported.

A BBC reporter on the spot said that he had seen a group of men involved a fight on the bridge, before the police reached the spot and shots were fired.

“There appeared to be a fight going on on the other side of the bridge, with several men attacking one man.

“Police then quickly arrived, including armed police, and then a number of shots were fired at this man,” he reported.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson, in a tweet, said that he was being updated on the incident and wanted to thank the police and all emergency services for their response.

Home Secretary Priti Patel also tweeted that she was “very concerned” about the incident.

Meanwhile, the police asked people to follow the directions of its personnel on the spot, while British Transport Police announced that the London Bridge station was currently closed and no trains would be stopping there.

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3 US firefighters killed in Aus identified

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Sydney: Australian authorities on Friday revealed the identities of the three US firefighters who died when their air tanker crashed while battling blazes in New South Wales (NSW) state.

Captain Ian McBeth, 45, first officer Paul Clyde Hudson, 43, and flight engineer Rick A DeMorgan Jr, 44, were killed, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said, while calling the deaths an “unbelievable loss” and offered a state memorial, reports the BBC.

Fitzsimmons said the experienced and “well known” crew had been contracted to Australia to help fight the unprecedented bushfires.

The state government ordered flags to be flown at half-mast on Friday, in tribute to the three men.

Officials lost contact with the C-130 Hercules plane, owned by Canadian firefighting company Coulson Aviation, shortly before 1.30 p.m., on Thursday.

It crashed in an active fire zone in the Snowy Mountains, south of Canberra, said the NSW Rural Fire Service.

The cause of the crash is yet to be determined.

In another fire-hit state, Victoria, the Country Fire Authority (CFA) tweeted its thanks to US firefighters who had just arrived on deployment, said the BBC report.

Since September 2019, Australia has battled a bushfire crisis which has now killed at least 33 people. More than 70 bushfires were still raging across NSW alone.

Fires in southern Australia are expected to peak in February and continue into April.

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Johnson’s Brexit deal becomes law

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Boris Johnson

London, Jan 24 : UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal has become law after clearing all parliamentary hurdles and receiving royal assent, paving the country to exit the European Union (EU) on January 31, it was reported.

Some MPs cheered as Deputy Speaker Nigel Evans confirmed the European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Act had been given the Queen’s approval in a short announcement to the House of Commons on Thursday, reports metro.co.uk.

The Brexit bill still needs to be ratified by the EU but is expected to do so in time for the UK to leave as planned at 11 p.m. on January 31.

After more than three years of bitter disputes over how when and if Brexit would go ahead, the Prime Minister’s revised deal was finally approved by Parliament on Wednesday night.

The consent vote in the EU Parliament will take place on January 29.

Johnson is expected to formally sign the Withdrawal Agreement in the coming days.

Earlier, he had said that the country would now “move forward as one United Kingdom”, adding: “At times it felt like we would never cross the Brexit finish line, but we’ve done it.

“Now we can put the rancour and division of the past three years behind us and focus on delivering a bright, exciting future – with better hospitals and schools, safer streets and opportunity spread to every corner of our country.”

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China sets up research team to combat coronavirus spread

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Beijing: China has set up a national research team of 14 experts has been set up to help prevent and control the latest novel coronavirus outbreak after 830 new cases were confirmed in the country, with 25 fatalities so far, authorities said on Friday.

The Ministry of Science and Technology said that the anti-virus research team is a part of the its emergency sci-tech project, which was jointly launched with the National Health Commission and other departments at a recent meeting, reports Xinhua news agency.

The project will offer sci-tech support on 10 research aspects, including virus tracking, virus transmission, detection methods, genome evolution and vaccine development.

Respiratory scientist Zhong Nanshan was appointed head of the team.

Zhong, also an academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, is renowned for his work in China’s fight against the outbreak of the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in 2003.

The National Health Commission on Friday said that for the first time, a death was recorded in the province of Hebei, in the northeast, surrounding Beijing.

Until then all victims had been registered in the province of Hubei, the capital of which is Wuhan, a city of about 11 million people and the epicentre of the outbreak.

The symptoms of the new coronavirus, called 2019-nCoV provisionally by the World Health Organization (WHO), are in many cases similar to those of a cold, but may be accompanied by fever and fatigue, dry cough and dyspnea (shortness of breath).

For its part, the WHO on Thursday decided against declaring an international emergency, although it asked China to increase surveillance in an epidemic that poses a “very high” risk nationally and internationally.

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