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Over 30 officials resigned or were forced to leave under Trump: Chinese state media

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American explorer becomes first to cross Antarctica unaided and Japan to restart commercial whaling

Donald Trump fired nearly 30 high-ranking officials in less than two years

Chinese state media has claimed that in the less than two years of US president Donald Trump’s tenure, over 30 high-ranking officials in his administration have either left or have been forced to leave.

According to the Xinhua news, there are more than 30 high-ranking officials who have resigned or forced to leave the office.

The latest casualty was the secretary of defence Jim Mattis who decided to leave office just after Trump decided to withdraw US forces from Syria.

The Xinhua report also cites Stephen Bannon, former White House press secretary who was forced to leave the office.

In March, Trump fired former secretary of state Rex Tillerson on Twitter. In 2018, Trump has fired 11 high ranking officials and nearly five ranking officials in 2017, the report said.

American man becomes first to cross Antarctica unaided

American Colin O’Brady, 33, has created history after becoming the first person to trek across the Antarctica alone without any assistance, completing the journey, once deemed impossible, in 54 days.

O’Brady beat British Army Captain Louis Rudd behind in the epic race, BBC reports.

O’Brady and Rudd set out on 3 November from Ronne Ice Shelf, only for O’Brady to complete the 921-mile (1,482km) first. Rudd set out to set the record in honour of his friend, British explorer Henry Worsley, who died while attempting the feat in 2016, reported The Guardian.

“I’m tired, man. I’m exhausted but I’m making steady progress every day,” O’Brady had said through his satellite phone on 20 December. “I’ve been dragging an almost 375lb (170kg) sled for 12-13 hours per day through the coldest harshest place in the world,” he added.

In 2008, O’Brady suffered severe burns to 25 per cent of his body and was told by doctors that he would never walk again.

Japan to restart commercial whaling

The Japan government has announced that it will quit the International Whaling Commission (IWC) to restart commercial whaling in July, reports BBC.

“From July 2019, after the withdrawal comes into effect on June 30, Japan will conduct commercial whaling within Japan’s territorial sea and its exclusive economic zone, and will cease the take of whales in the Antarctic Ocean/the Southern Hemisphere,” said government spokesman Yoshihide Suga.

For many years Japan has hunted whales for scientific research purposes and for meat.

According to Japan’s Asahi newspaper, whale meat makes up only 0.1 per cent of all meat sold in Japan. The announcement was expected but the conservation groups have warned that the move will have serious consequences for whale populations.

Queen’s golden piano outshadows her Christmas speech

Queen Elizebeth II delivered her Christmas day 2018 speech in Buckingham palace Tuesday.

Sitting in front of beautifully decorated tree, she spoke of her gratitude for the armed services and also stressed the importance of respecting others and celebrating differences. Though Queen’s speech was appreciated by many, she received backlash for the giant gold piano placed behind her, reports Quartz.

“The Queen will urge Britain to overcome ‘deeply held differences’ as she sits near a golden piano that would feed and take the homeless off the streets for a year, a carriage clock that would fund a nurse for a year, all while Joe Public stumps up £360million to fix her castles,” one user tweeted.    

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