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Russian nuclear-powered giant icebreaker completes test run

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Russia’s nuclear-powered icebreaker Arktika, touted as the strongest of its kind and a symbol of Moscow’s ambition to tap the Arctic’s commercial potential, returned to Saint Petersburg on Saturday after a two-day test run.

Destined to transport liquified natural gas from the Arctic, the giant vessel is 173 meters (570 feet) long and 15 meters high.

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The run served to test the vessel’s functioning and manoeuverability, said Mustafa Kashka, general director of Atomflot, the company which runs Russia’s icebreaking fleet.

The nuclear-propelled ship however used diesel on its maiden voyage. According to its builders it can cut through 2.8 metres of ice.

Inaugurated in 2016, it is part of a planned fleet aimed at significantly boosting freight traffic along Russia’s Arctic coast which links the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans all year long.

The Arctic holds huge oil and gas reserves that are being eyed by Russia and other countries including the United States, Canada and Norway.

The plan will also make it easier for Russia to deliver hydrocarbons to South East Asia.

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The final tests for Arktika are scheduled for March and April and it is set to start sailing in May.

Two other similar vessels the Ural and the Sibir are under construction.

The economic development of the Arctic is one of the key goals of President Vladimir Putin.

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Genocide expert breaks down how all of the ‘warning signs’ are present in Trump’s America

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Defense research scientist and genocide expert Brynn Tannehill laid out a terrifying warning on Thursday about President Donald Trump's administration.

As the United States Senate conducted an impeachment trial for the commander-in-chief, Tannehill posted an extended Twitter thread examining the situation in America from her perspective as a researcher studying the conditions that lead to genocide.

Here is what she wrote:

I study genocide. It's been a theme in my academic endeavours for nearly 30 years. More accurately, I study the conditions in the lead up to genocide, be they cultural, social, political, economic, etc... 1/n

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Year of Rat hails easy ride for Donald Trump — but bumps for Harry and Meghan

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As the world prepares to welcome the Year of the Rat, feng shui masters predict a lucky year for Donald Trump, but warn Harry and Meghan's futures are less certain as they make a bid for freedom.

Both the US President and the Sussexes have begun 2020 with a bang.

The former is facing down an impeachment trial -- and seeking re-election in November -- while the latter are beginning a new chapter in Canada after consciously uncoupling from the gilded but pressured career of being a working British royal.

But if experts in the field of Chinese horoscopes are to be believed, it is the US president that will have the easier journey this year.

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John Roberts caused a ‘crisis of democratic legitimacy’ — it’s ‘entirely fitting’ he has to preside over his mess: columnist

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Supreme Court Justice John Roberts was blasted in The Washington Post on Thursday for his culpability in creating the dynamics that resulted in President Donald Trump -- and his impeachment.

"There is justice in John Roberts being forced to preside silently over the impeachment trial of President Trump, hour after hour, day after tedious day," Dana Milbank wrote. "Roberts’s captivity is entirely fitting: He is forced to witness, with his own eyes, the mess he and his colleagues on the Supreme Court have made of the U.S. political system. As representatives of all three branches of government attend this unhappy family reunion, the living consequences of the Roberts Court’s decisions, and their corrosive effect on democracy, are plain to see."

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