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Trump has no reservations about officials using his hotels to curry favor

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When I read that former Argentine president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner is facing corruption charges for having used her hotel to host the crews of Argentina’s state-run airline, I had to ask: “Isn’t that sort of what President Trump does all the time?

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Captive beluga whales make epic journey from China to Iceland sanctuary

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Two beluga whales from a Shanghai aquarium arrived in Iceland on Wednesday to live out their days in a unique marine sanctuary that conservationists hope will become a model for rehoming some 3,000 of the creatures currently in captivity.

Little White and Little Grey, two 12-year-old female belugas, left behind their previous lives entertaining visitors at the Changfeng Ocean World and were flown across the globe in specially tailored containers.

The whales, which each weigh about 900 kilogrammes (2,000 pounds) and measuring four metres (13 feet) will continue their epic journey by truck and ferry to the sanctuary at Klettsvik Bay at Heimaey, one of the Westman Islands off the south coast of Iceland.

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Iran says shot down US drone over its territory

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Iran's Revolutionary Guard said Thursday it had shot down a US "spy drone" which violated Iranian airspace near the Strait of Hormuz, in the latest incident to stoke tension in the strategic sea lane.

There was no immediate reaction from the United States.

The US-manufactured Global Hawk surveillance drone was hit with a missile "after violating Iranian air space" over the waters of Hormozgan province, the Guard said in a statement.

The Iranian military did not immediately publish images of the drone.

The incident comes at a time of growing antagonism between Iran and the United States following two waves of still unexplained attacks on Gulf shipping, which Washington has blamed on Tehran.

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Russians to prod Putin on poverty and his personal life as his ratings tank

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Russians are set to ask President Vladimir Putin about growing poverty at home and tensions abroad during an annual televised phone-in Thursday, which comes following a fall in his approval ratings.

The leader is also likely to face a degree of grilling on his personal life, according to questions submitted by the public online ahead of the live show.

Set to be held for the 17th time since Putin came to power in 1999, the show starts at 0900 GMT and usually lasts several hours.

Ahead of the carefully choreographed show, more than one million questions had been submitted, organisers told Russian news agencies.

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