US state police were investigating the death of a man whose remains were found in the forested mountains of western Maryland after a female companion walked out of the woods, suffering from hypothermia, authorities said. The pair, both in their early 20s, were last seen together around yesterday near a Savage River State Forest trailhead near the rural community of Barton, west of Baltimore. The pair drove separately to the trailhead area, where both cars were found.

Australian WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has caused a new stir in US politics that could fracture the uneasy alliance between US President-elect Donald Trump and Republican Party members of Congress. Trump trumpeted a new interview where Assange said Russia did not give WikiLeaks the huge dump of emails hacked from the account of Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign director John Podesta and the Democratic National Committee. Trump's praise for Assange's comments contrasts with the President-elect's scornful response to US government intelligence agencies who believe Russia attempted to influence the November presidential election. "Julian Assange said 'a 14 year old could have hacked Podesta' - why was DNC so careless?" Trump wrote on Twitter. "Also said Russians did not give him the info!" But House Speaker Paul Ryan slammed Assange as a "sycophant for Russia".

Self-defence fighters killed three girl suicide bombers targeting a bustling market in northeastern Nigeria. They blamed the Boko Haram Islamic extremist group for the attempted bombing. The civilian fighters who work alongside the army challenged the girls as they approached a village near Madagali town, local council chairman Yusuf Muhammad Gulak said. The girls began running at the checkpoint and the fighters shot the girl in the lead, activating her explosives and killing her and a companion, he said. The third girl tried to flee and was gunned down, Gulak said. Boko Haram has used scores of women and girls as young as 7 in suicide bombings that have killed hundreds this year.

A new independent study shows no pause in global warming, confirming a set of temperature readings adjusted by US government scientists that some who reject mainstream climate science have questioned. The adjustments, made in 2015 to take into account how ocean temperatures have been measured over the decades, riled a House committee and others who claimed the changes were made to show rising temperatures. The new international study looked at satellite data, readings from buoys and other marine floats. Researchers found that each measurement system independently showed the same 20 years of increase in temperatures seen in the readings in question, an updated temperature analysis by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in 2015. The study is in Science Advances.


The troubled Oakland Police Department hired its first female leader, who is tasked with restoring confidence in an agency that cycled through three chiefs in as many weeks this summer after several officers were implicated in a sex scandal with an underage girl. Anne Kirkpatrick takes over a police force that has been under federal court oversight since 2003 and without a chief for seven months. She has a track record of trying to overhaul troubled departments.

A 50-year-old man has been arrested at London Heathrow Airport on suspicion of a terrorism offence. British police say the man was taken into custody by counter-terrorism officers after arriving in Britain on a flight from Cairo. He was arrested on suspicion of possessing articles which contained information likely to be useful to a person planning an act of terrorism. A property in north London was being searched as part of the investigation.

France ordered a massive cull of ducks in three regions most affected by a severe episode of bird flu as it tries to contain the virus which has been spreading quickly over the past month, the Agriculture Ministry said. All free range ducks, as well as geese, will be slaughtered between January 5 and january 20 in an area in southwestern France comprising parts of the Gers, Landes and Hautes-Pyrenees administrative departments. Some 800,000 birds, mainly ducks, out of a total population of around 18 million in the Southwest, will be culled in the coming week.

- agencies