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Off the hook: Manta ray asks divers for helping hand

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A giant manta ray with several fishing hooks caught below its eye appeared to ask two nearby divers for help in removing them, and then waited patiently for them to do so.

Underwater photographer Jake Wilton was diving off Australia’s west coast when the three-meter wide animal moved toward him, footage showed.

“I’m often guiding snorkelers in the area and it’s as if she recognized me and was trusting me to help her,” Wilton said in a statement Monday.

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“She got closer and closer and then started unfurling to present the eye to me.”

Incredible footage shows Wilton repeatedly diving down toward the animal and removing the hooks, before the manta ray departs after the final impediment is dislodged.

“She never moved. I’m sure that manta knew that Jake was trying to get the hooks out,” said marine biologist and fellow diver Monty Hall.

Manta rays are considered one of the most intelligent underwater creatures and are common off parts of the west coast of Australia.

The ocean giants can grow up to seven meters wide and live for about 50 years.

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They don’t have the sharp barb of a stingray and are harmless to humans.

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New Zealand may postpone general election after 4 test positive for COVID-19: PM Jacinda Ardern

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New Zealand locked down nursing homes nationwide Wednesday after a 102-day streak without the coronavirus ended, as Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the outbreak could force her to postpone next month's general election.

Ardern said authorities were scrambling to trace anyone who had been in contact with four Auckland residents who tested positive Tuesday, ending the dream run in which the virus had been contained at New Zealand's borders.

A three-day stay-at-home order for Auckland, New Zealand's biggest city with a population of 1.5 million, was announced on Tuesday night and went into force at lunchtime on Wednesday.

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2020 Election

Android phones to get ‘ShakeAlert’ earthquake warnings — and phones may double as tremor detectors

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Android phones will receive warnings triggered by a "ShakeAlert" earthquake early-warning system implemented on the West Coast by the US Geological Survey and partners.

ShakeAlert uses signals from hundreds of seismometers across the state to trigger warning messages that "an earthquake has begun and shaking is imminent," according to the system's website.

"We saw an opportunity to use Android to provide people with timely, helpful earthquake information when they search, as well as a few seconds warning to get themselves and their loved ones to safety if needed," principal software engineer Marc Stogaitis said in a blog post.

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2020 Election

‘Don’t talk about racism, racist’: Trump scorched after claiming Biden-Harris campaign has a ‘racism problem’

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President Donald Trump continued to lash out at Kamala Harris after the California Democrat was chosen to join the 2020 Democratic Party ticket as presumptive nominee Joe Biden's running mate.

At a news conference following the selection, Trump complained about Harris being "nasty."

After 10 p.m. on Monday, Trump tweeted out an attack ad claiming "Joe Biden has a racism problem."

Here's some of what people were saying about Trump's line of attack:

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