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S Korea Agrees to Boost Military Cooperation With Switzerland, Latvia - Reports
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - South Korea on Friday agreed to boost military cooperation with Switzerland and Latvia at separate meetings of South Korean Defense Minister Song Yong-moo with his Swiss and Latvian counterparts, according to local media reports.

'Afrin is Syria!': WATCH Syrians Welcome Pro-Gov't Forces Amid Turkish Op
Residents of a Kurdish-held enclave in northern Syria that recently became ground zero of a major Turkish military operation staged a rally to welcome the arrival of pro-Damascus militia units.

US State Department Ex-Official Refuses to Testify in Congress on Trump Dossier
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - David J. Kramer, a former assistant secretary of state for democracy, human rights, and labor, has used his Fifth Amendment right not to testify before the House Intelligence Committee about the dossier with unverified compromising information on US President Donald Trump, according to US media.

EXCLUSIVE: Meet the Group Battling the UK's Restrictive Gun Ownership Laws
The issue of gun ownership in Britain has been barely discussed for decades, with politicians and the media alike unanimous in their opposition to liberal handgun laws. Advocacy group Firearms UK is determined to change that - their founder Dave Ewing spoke to Sputnik journalist Kit Klarenberg about their efforts.

Four-Meter Croc Snared in Northern Australia
Rangers believe the 3.97-meter long beast is one of the biggest they ever pulled from the world famous Nitmiluk Gorge in Australia's Northern Territory.

Australian Deputy Prime Minister Joyce's Resignation Prompts Twitter Uproar
This week has seen a sexual harassment complaint against Australian Deputy Prime Minister and National party leader Barnaby Joyce, who rejects it as "spurious and defamatory."

Analyst Reveals Real Reason Behind Boko Haram Kidnappings
Sputnik spoke to Professor Paul Jackson of Birmingham University, who has spent time analyzing the militants from Boko Haram terrorist organization.

Russian Ambassador Explains How World Military Cooperation System Should Develop
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - Countries should develop a system of international military cooperation built on a non-bloc basis that would help combat existing threats like terrorism, Russian Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov said at the embassy event on the occasion of Russia’s Defender of the Fatherland Day.

UK Police Warn Drivers Face Prosecution for Vaping at the Wheel
UK Police have warned drivers that vaping behind the wheel could be deemed illegal and cost them their license.

WATCH 15-Year-Old Zagitova Win First Olympic Gold for Russia, Medvedeva 2nd
Russian figure skater Alina Zagitova has secured a gold medal with the scores she had received in the voluntary program at the 2018 Winter Olympics, while Russian figure skater Evgenia Medvedeva won a silver medal.

Militants Fire Mortar Shells from East Ghouta at Residential Areas of Damascus
HMEYMIM (Syria) (Sputnik) - The militants fired 83 mortar rounds from East Ghouta suburb at the residential areas of the Syrian capital Damascus in the past 24 hours, the Russian Center for Syrian reconciliation said Thursday.

UK Royal Navy Monitor Russian Naval Force Passage in English Channel
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - UK Royal Navy Patrol ship HMS Mersey and a Wildcat helicopter have been monitoring a Russian naval force group when the latter was crossing the English Channel to return to its Russian base of Severomorsk from Syria, the Navy said in a statement on Thursday.

Washington Claims RT, Sputnik Bear Responsibility for Ending Syria Bloodshed
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The RT and Sputnik media outlets bear a "unique responsibility" for stopping the bloodshed in Syria, a US State Department spokeswoman said Thursday.

'The Pain Was Immense': Rare Strain Salmonella Victim Shares Horrible Experience
Fears over food safety in the US and post-Brexit UK rise, as government records expose the ‘dirty’ meat preparation habits of US meat farms. Sputnik spoke with Ken Koehler, a US citizen with firsthand experience of the dangers of contaminated meat- when he contracted an antibiotic resistant strain of Salmonella, from his hamburger.

Say Hi to Ferrari’s New SF71H Car for 2018 Formula 1 Season
The Ferrari Formula 1 team on Thursday unveiled its latest grand prix racing car, the SF71H, hoping it will end four years of Mercedes' dominance in the 2018 season.

Expert Explains What Consequences Netanyahu Corruption Case Might Have
With a former director of Israel's Communications Ministry agreeing to testify against Benjamin Netanyahu as part of ongoing corruption investigations, Sputnik spoke with Daniel Levy, President of the US / Middle East Project to take a look at whether the Israeli Prime Minister will be forced from office.

Macron's New Immigration Policy: Will It Work?
With French President Emmanuel Macron implementing controversial new illegal immigration and refugee laws; Sputnik spoke with Jim Shields, professor of French politics at the University Of Aston to get his views on its possible impacts.

State Dept. Skeptical Russia Will Be Honest Broker in UN-Led Ceasefire in Syria
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) -The United States State is not convinced that Russia will be a frank broker in a ceasefire deal for East Ghouta currently discussed by the United Nations, State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said in a press briefing.

Russia, Georgia to Meet Monday for Open Skies Treaty Talks – Source
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Russia and Georgia will try Monday to salvage the Open Skies Treaty that allows for reciprocal observation flights, after this year’s arrangements were put on hold over a continuing row.

Laws Can't Eliminate Mass Shootings, But Can Reduce Them - Expert
US President Donald Trump has supported a variety of solutions to gun violence in recent days, in the wake of one of the deadliest school shootings in US history.

Venezuela Presidential Vote May Be Pushed to May
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The mid-spring presidential voting in Venezuela could be postponed until May to prepare for legislative elections, a diplomatic course familiar with the issue told Sputnik on Friday.

Russian Aluminium Giant Rusal CEO Soloviev Replaces Deripaska as President
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Vladislav Soloviev, the chief executive of Russia’s aluminium giant Rusal was promoted to president after Oleg Deripaska stood down, while chief financial officer Alexandra Bouriko took over as CEO, the company said Friday.

NASA’s $1 Billion Rocket Launching Tower is Bending
NASA’s massive, billion-dollar-plus mobile launcher used for the space agency’s Space Launch System is leaning, the agency has confirmed.

‘He Never Went In’: Armed Parkland Cop Heard Gunshots, Never Entered the School
The armed police officer stationed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, reportedly never set foot inside the school during the deadly shooting last Wednesday that left 17 dead and 14 injured. The officer has now resigned.

DoD: Russian Su-57 Fighter Jets Pose No Threat to Coalition Operations in Syria
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The deployment of Russian Su-57 fighter jets in Syria poses no threat to the US-led coalition’s military operations and the United States will continue to deconflict operations with Russia as usual, US Department of Defense spokesman Eric Pahon told reporters.

Activist: Time to ‘Formally End the Korean War’ After 65 Years of Armistice
The brief respite on the Korean Peninsula seems fated to end with the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang after North Korean leaders canceled a planned secret meeting with US Vice President Mike Pence. Washington is also expected to soon resume postponed military exercises alongside South Korea, exercises that North Korea has labeled provocative.

Man Crawls Through Window to Attack Bikini Barista in Washington State (VIDEO)
On Tuesday, law enforcement officials released surveillance footage in the hopes of arresting a man who tried to assault a bikini barista working at Washington state's Hottie Shots Espresso. He was arrested a day later.

If Erdogan Keeps Alienating Neighbors and Allies, He ‘Cannot Survive’
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s regime “cannot survive” if it continues to anger nearly every one of its international neighbors, according to Mark Sleboda, an international relations and security analyst who spoke with Radio Sputnik’s Loud & Clear on Wednesday.

One in 2000: What Makes Venezuela's Petro Cryptocurrency Special
Currently there exist more than 2,000 cryptocoins, but despite the variety of options, the petro has some unprecedented features that make it unique, Venezuelan Cryptocurrency Superintendent Carlos Vargas told Sputnik Mundo.

Spanish Policeman Dies During Clashes With Football Club Fans - Reports
MADRID (Sputnik) - A police officer died Thursday during clashes with fans of Russia’s soccer club Spartak ahead of their team’s match with Athletic Bilbao in the northern Spanish city, local media reported.

Manafort, Gates Charged With Laundering $30 Million in Ukraine Income
Department of Justice (DOJ) special counsel Robert Mueller has filed new charges against Paul Manafort and Rick Gates, former campaign advisers to US President Donald Trump. The men stand accused of laundering $30 million and are facing tax fraud, bank fraud and bank fraud conspiracy charges related to their work as lobbyists in Ukraine.

Melbourne Street Corner Closed After Venomous Tiger Snake Spotted (VIDEO)
On Thursday, residents of central Melbourne got a surprise after a deadly tiger snake decided to make an appearance in the busy city streets.

'Hell That Repeats Itself': US Base in Portugal Might Be Spreading Cancer
More and more inhabitants of Portugal's Terceira Island are suffering from deadly diseases, especially cancer, at rates far out of sync with the rest of the Azores archipelago. Terceira is no different from the other islands, except in one thing. Russia-based video agency RUPTLY has carried out an exclusive investigation into this matter.

State Deptartment: Eastern Ghouta De-escalation Zone 'Became Farce'
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The current situation in Syria's Eastern Ghouta demonstrates the idea of the de-escalation zone has failed, US State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a briefing on Thursday.

Jesus Saves Ammo: Pennsylvania Pastor Says Christ Will Return With AR-15
One Pennsylvania congregation is taking its Christian faith in less of a “Jesus take the wheel” direction and adopting more of a “Christ, cover me while I reload” approach.

Hand-Me-Down Drones: US Navy May Pick Up Air Force’s Retiring Predators
The US Air Force fleet of MQ-1 Predator strike drones is slated to go offline later this spring, and the US Navy is mulling whether to scoop them up for naval aviation missions, an Air Force spokeswoman told Jane’s International Defence Review on Wednesday.

Western Dragon: Chinese Air Force Deploy Advanced Fighters to Indian Border
The People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) has boosted their high altitude capacities along their southwestern borders, sending more top-of-the-line jet fighters to parts of China that border rival state India.

Bizarre Encounter: Diver Films Giant Submarine Cruise Right Beneath Him
A group of divers were taken by surprise when a white object, making a loud noise emerged from the deep blue sea moving towards them.

US Judge Denies Paul Manafort's Request to End His House Arrest
A US judge has denied Paul Manafort's request to change his bail conditions. The former campaign manager for US President Donald Trump had appealed for a release from his house arrest, which the judge refused to grant.

WATCH a Soft Robot Slither Like a Serpent
It might be creepy looking, but it could have vast applications in the future, including search and rescue, exploration and laparoscopic medical procedures.

Trump's Office: US Troops Can Stay in Syria Indefinitely Without Congress' OK
NEW YORK (Sputnik) - President Donald Trump's administration has decided that US troops fighting the Daesh terror group (banned in Russia) can remain in Syria indefinitely without new legal authorization from Congress, two newly published letters written by senior Pentagon and State Department officials informed.

Dark Horse: South Africa’s Bronco II Joins US Light Attack Aircraft Scene
A South African company wants to take a bite out of the US light attack aircraft market by offering its Bronco II to the US military.

Plastic-Free Island: Taiwan to Ban All Single-Use Plastics by 2030
A new plan announced by Taiwan’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets a timetable for completely phasing out single-use plastic items such as straws, cups and shopping bags by 2030.

WATCH: Egyptian Police Catch Five-Year-Old Falling from Third Floor Apartment
On Monday, Egypt's Interior Ministry shared security footage showing the moment that three police officers worked together to rescue a five-year-old who fell from the balcony of a third floor apartment.

WATCH: Airbus’ Self-Piloting Electric Drone Conducts Maiden Flight
A company affiliated with Airbus completed the maiden test flight of an all-electric, self-piloting drone the aviation firm hopes will eventually become a “flying taxi.”

Chinese Air Force Passed Taiwan and Philippine Airspace on 'Long Haul' exercise
A unit from China's People's Liberation Army Air Force, flew through the Bashi Channel between Taiwan and the Philippines as part of a long-range flight training mission in the western Pacific Wednesday, according to Taiwan's Ministry of National Defense (MND).

Sincere Confession: US Ambassador to Russia Says He Prefers Pelmeni to Beer
A video of the US diplomat answering various questions by Russian internet users appeared online.

N Korea Calls US-Japan Missile Drills Provocation Against Intra-Korean Dialogue
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - North Korea's committee on Korean reconciliation condemned on Thursday an upcoming joint US-Japan missile defense drill as an attempt to reignite regional tensions and obstruct the ongoing thaw between Pyongyang and Seoul.

German AfD Party Mulls to Join Anti-Islamization Pegida Rallies - Reports
The right-wing German party Alternative for Germany (AfD) is considering new forms of cooperation with Pegida after its founder Lutz Bachmann left his position and allegedly fled Germany, the German Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung daily newspaper reported Thursday.

These Japanese Pillows are Comfy, Cute AND Sexy
Felissimo's You+More brand, which name itself is a word play on "humor," took inspiration from the vegetable kingdom for their latest line of adorable products.

US Judge Sets Sealed Hearing for Friday in Ex-Trump Aide Rick Gates Case
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - A judge at the District Court for the District of Columbia set a sealed hearing for Friday in the case of Rick Gates, a former associate of President Donald Trump, after the defendant's lawyers submitted a motion to withdraw, according to an electronic filing.

Another Day, Another Weird Flashmob: Big Noses – Unite!
Freelance journalist Radhika Sanghani decided to take on a long-term “taboo” regarding big noses, urging people to show them in all their glory. The call appealed to many Twitter users, who shared photos of themselves in side profile.

'For the Motherland': Red Army on Soviet Posters
As the national Defender of the Fatherland Day has wives and girlfriends shopping for small gifts all over Russia, we look back at how Soviet propaganda glorified the military visually.

Venezuela's 'Mega Elections': What Are the Scenarios?
In a country rife with economic and political turmoil, Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro seeks to provide renewed hope by holding what he describes as mega elections. Sputnik spoke to Gabriel Hetland, assistant professor of Latin American studies, at University at Albany about this election and what it will mean for the country.

What is Known So Far About the Man Who Threw Grenade at US Embassy in Montenegro
Montenegrin police have identified the attacker who threw an explosive device at the US Embassy in Podgorica on February 22. The man turned out to be a 43-year-old former military serviceman of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

Mamacita With a Gun: US Soldier Babe Stuns With Sultry Instagram Snaps
A sexy woman who can also work a machine gun is a force to be reckoned with. Meet Katerin Ariza, who serves in the US Army and shoots straight into our hearts with jaw-dropping photos.

German Dog Named Lima 'Not Allowed' to Vote on Merkel Coalition as SPD Member
A report by the German newspaper Bild about a dog joining the party and getting a ballot on the grand coalition has been severely criticized by German Social Democrats (SPD). The newspaper made a joke about the voting procedure initiated by the SPD, which the party's member didn't find particularly funny.

About 200 Migrants Stage Sit-in in Rome Over Allegedly Unpaid Pocket Money
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - About 200 migrants barricaded themselves inside a migrants reception facility in the Italian capital of Rome on Thursday as a form of protest against allegedly unpaid pocket money, the ANSA news agency reported.

US 'Deep State' Hopes to Bankrupt Russia Through New Arms Race – Analyst
Russia and China should prepare themselves for further American saber-rattling in Europe and the Asia-Pacific region, John Bosnitch, a Canadian political consultant, told Sputnik. According to the consultant, there is a growing chance that Moscow, Beijing and other states will respond to US military buildup by forming defense alliances.

Latvia Bans Entry to 49 Foreign Nationals on Magnitsky List - Foreign Minister
RIGA (Sputnik) - The Latvian Foreign Ministry has banned the entry of 49 foreign nationals included in the so-called "Magnitsky list," Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics said Thursday.