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Galapagos sees record rise in penguins, flightless cormorants

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The population of Galapagos penguins and flightless cormorants, two species endemic to the islands, has seen a record increase, study results released Friday showed.The Galapagos penguin is one of the smallest species of penguins in the world, measuring up to 35 centimeters, and the cormorants on the islands are the only type to have lost their ability to fly — but they have developed diving skills.”The number of cormorants has reached a record number, according to historical data dating back to 1977, while the number of penguins is at the highest since 2006,” said a statement from the Galapa…

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Valéry Giscard d’Estaing, ‘modernist’ French president, dies at 94

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Former French president Valéry Giscard d’Estaing, who brought about rapid social change after more than 15 years of strict Gaullism and who was a leading force in laying the foundation of the European Union, died on Wednesday at the age of 94.

Although Giscard d’Estaing only served a single term as president from 1974 to 1981, his death marks the end of an era in French politics. Elected to office when he was just 48 years old, Giscard d’Estaing was the youngest leader of the Fifth Republic until Emmanuel Macron won the presidency in 2017 at the age of 39.

During his seven years at the Élysée presidential palace, the conservative Giscard d’Estaing cultivated an image as a modern reformist. Yet his unpopularity with French voters led to a failed re-election bid against his Socialist rival François Mitterand.

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The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine has just been approved in the United Kingdom

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The UK has become the first country to approve the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine for widespread use. The government has ordered 40 million doses and the first batch of 800,000 doses is expected to be shipped from Belgium – where the vaccine is being made – in the next couple of days. It will be enough to immunise 400,000 people (two doses per person).

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New footage of secret WW2 ‘Scallywag Bunkers’ offers a unique glimpse of a lost era

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Eighty years ago, as Nazi Germany’s military might amassed along the French coast, small groups of highly trained British killers bade farewell to their families and made their way underground for what could well have been their last, lethal mission. Known as “scallywags”, these individuals – many of them gamekeepers, landowners and poachers with an intimate knowledge of the rural areas in which they would operate – were members of Britain’s clandestine World War II “Auxillary Units”. And their mission, in the event of a Nazi invasion of the UK, was to operate behind enemy lines – and kill, harry and sabotage.

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