Science 

Israel set to join elite lunar club with first mission to moon

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (Reuters) – Israel’s first spacecraft built to land on the moon was set for launch on Thursday from Florida’s Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on a mission that, if successful, would make the Jewish state only the fourth nation to reach the lunar surface. FILE PHOTO: An unmanned spacecraft is seen during a presentation to the media by members of Israeli non-profit group SpaceIL and representatives from Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), at the clean room of IAI’s space division in Yehud, Israel December 17, 2018. REUTERS/Amir Cohen…

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Three Tory MPs join Labour breakaway group

Image copyright PA Image caption Heidi Allen, Sarah Wollaston and Anna Soubry Three Tory MPs have resigned from party over its “shift to the right”. Anna Soubry, Sarah Wollaston and Heidi Allen wrote a joint letter to Theresa May to confirm their departure. The pro-Remain trio will join the new Independent Group – made up of eight Labour MPs who resigned from their party over its handling of Brexit and anti-Semitism. In the letter, they said the party was “in the grip” of the DUP and the European Research Group…

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Aaron Ramsey: Arsenal midfielder signs £400k-a-week deal to join Juventus

Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey has signed a pre-contract agreement to join Juventus in the summer in a deal that will earn him over £400,000 a week. The 28-year-old has agreed a four-year contract that will see him join the Italian champions as a free agent, ending his 11-year spell with Arsenal. Ramsey passed a two-part medical in January, having picked Juve following talks with a host of European clubs. He will be the highest-earning British player ever based on basic salary. The Wales international’s Arsenal contract expires on 30 June…

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Lifestyle 

Nearly 2,000 people join annual plunge into icy Danube

Swimmers wearing costumes bathe in the 3 degrees Celsius water of the river Danube during their annual 4 km swim, in Neuburg an der Donau, January 26, 2019. REUTERS/Andreas Gebert NEUBURG AN DER DONAU, Germany (Reuters) – A record 1,917 hardy swimmers of all ages joined an annual 400-metre race in the icy Danube River in southern Germany on Saturday, a popular event now in its 50th year. Most participants wore neoprene suits, Viking helmets and other colorful costumes, but 70 so-called “naked swimmers” wore nothing but their bathing suits.…

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Black Nazarene: Thousands join annual statue parade in Manila

Image copyright AFP Vast crowds of people have turned out on the streets of Manila in the Philippines for the procession of the Black Nazarene. The annual event sees hundreds of thousands of people trying to catch a glimpse of the historic statue of Jesus of Nazareth. Image copyright AFP Image caption The statue was carved in Mexico and arrived in the Philippines in the 17th Century, surviving a fire on board a ship on the way. It is one of the Philippines’ most revered devotional objects. Image copyright EPA…

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Stone-throwing boys join Santa sleigh charity as apology

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Weston’s Santa Sleigh raises money for local charities Three boys who threw stones at a charity Santa sleigh ride have made amends by helping the fundraisers they had targeted. The route through Weston-super-Mare was cut short after the youngsters persistently hit the sleigh. The attack was met with condemnation on the fundraisers’ Facebook page. Youth workers who saw the publicity to catch the culprits came forward with names and arranged for the boys to help fundraisers by way of apology. The group’s organiser Linda…

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Sports 

Dutch join armada of America’s Cup challengers

LONDON (Reuters) – A Dutch team has been accepted by holders Emirates Team New Zealand (ETNZ) as a challenger for the 36th America’s Cup, the sixth entry for the event due to be held in Auckland in 2021. “This is really positive news … the more teams that race in the Prada Cup Challenger Selection Series, the greater the spectacle on the water and the better the economic return off the water for Auckland and New Zealand,” ETNZ said on Friday. The joint challenge from the Royal Netherlands Yacht Club…

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Moira Stuart to join Classic FM

Image copyright Annabel Staff/Classic FM Image caption Moira Stuart is joining Classic FM Moira Stuart is joining radio station Classic FM as a newsreader and to host a new show. She has been at the BBC for over 40 years, having briefly left in 2007 over what was perceived as an ageism row. Stuart then returned in 2010 as Chris Evans’ newsreader and to present her own music show on Radio 2. Her new role at Classic FM will involve reading the news on weekday mornings and weekend presenting. From…

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Brexit: Theresa May to join EU summit after surviving vote

Image copyright EPA Theresa May is heading to Brussels for an EU summit, less than 24 hours after surviving a vote of confidence. The prime minister is seeking legally binding pledges from EU leaders on the Irish backstop – a key obstacle for MPs who oppose her Brexit deal. The EU will not renegotiate the deal but may be willing to give greater assurances on the temporary nature of the backstop, the BBC understands. The PM won the ballot on her leadership by 200 votes to 117 on Wednesday night.…

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David Villa: Ex-Barcelona striker to join Andres Iniesta at Vissel Kobe

Villa was New York City FC’s first ever signing in 2014 Former Spain striker David Villa is to join Japanese top-flight club Vissel Kobe after leaving Major League Soccer side New York City FC. Villa will link-up with former Barcelona team-mate Andres Iniesta and ex-Germany forward Lukas Podolski. The 36-year-old scored 80 goals in 124 games for New York after becoming the club’s first ever player when he signed from Atletico Madrid in 2014. With Spain, he won the 2008 European Championship and the 2010 World Cup. Villa, who said…

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