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South Africa confirms presence of invasive armyworm pest that infests maize

South Africa’s department of agriculture said on Friday that scientific tests have confirmed the presence of the invasive fall armyworm in the country’s maize belt. Damage reported in South Africa so far is mainly on yellow maize varieties and especially on sweetcorn as well as maize planted for seed production,” the department said in a statement.

Police probe reported rape at Kansas University basketball dorm

The alleged attack was reported to have taken place between 10 p.m. on Dec. 17 and 5 a.m. on Dec. 18, campus police said in a statement. Deputy Chief James Anguiano said in an email that five members of the Jayhawks basketball team were witnesses. The victim was not a University of Kansas student and was visiting dorm residents, the police statement said.

Cricket-Australia’s Mennie suffers fractured skull, brain bleed

Pace bowler Joe Mennie has suffered a fractured skull and some bleeding into his brain after being hit on the head by a ball during training but he does not require surgery, Cricket Australia (CA) said on Wednesday. The 28-year-old was struck by a ball hit by Sydney Sixers team mate Michael Lumb in the nets on Monday ahead of their Big Bash semi-final against Brisbane, which takes place later on Wednesday. “After being struck on the head by a ball at training on Monday, Joe was transported to a hospital in Brisbane where he underwent a series of check-ups before being discharged later that evening,” CA’s Chief Medical Officer John Orchard said in a statement.

Ireland reports ‘mad cow’ case, says no risk to health

Ireland said on Wednesday that a dead cow had been confirmed as having bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), known as mad cow disease, but said it had not entered the food chain and there was no risk to human health or beef’s trade status. The animal tested positive for ‘Atypical BSE’, Ireland’s agriculture department said in a statement, referring to the strain that it said has been identified more recently and which occurs spontaneously in older animals with a low incidence rate. “The disclosure of this case of Atypical BSE does not have any impact on Ireland’s current OIE (World Organisation for Animal Health) BSE ‘controlled risk’ status or trade status,” the department said.

Investigators seek motive in Florida airport shooting

Federal investigators will on Saturday pursue all angles in determining the motives behind a mass shooting in which an attacker opened fire in a crowded baggage claim area at Fort Lauderdale’s airport, killing five people. Authorities said they had taken decorated Iraq war veteran Esteban Santiago into custody following the shooting and questioned him at length. The 26-year-old was arrested, booked and jailed on suspicion of murder early on Saturday, according to Broward County Sheriff’s Office.

Syrian army retakes full control of Aleppo: statement

The Syrian army said it had retaken Aleppo completely and brought “security and safety” back to the city, as the last group of rebel fighters were evacuated on Thursday. The evacuation of the rebels, who had been holed up in a small, battered enclave in Aleppo, puts the city entirely under the control of the army and its allies after years of fighting, state television said. Broadcasting live, state media showed footage of a convoy crossing from the Ramousah highway junction in south Aleppo to al-Rashideen in the countryside just southwest of the city.

Mike Pence look-alike raises money for LGBT charities in Times Square

New York City’s Times Square has long been famous for its neon advertising, giant billboards and characters dressed up as anything from Mickey Mouse to the Statue of Liberty. New Yorker Glenn Pannell has been using his striking resemblance to Pence to ask for donations for causes including lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights – in a show of opposition to the politician’s conservative track record against gay rights and abortion. Dressed in a red-striped tie, shirt and dark blue blazer on top and nothing but short shorts below, Pannell has dubbed his alter-ego “Mike Hot-Pence”.