United States: A woman snorkelling in the Gulf of Mexico rescued a tiny seahorse that was tangled and trapped in fishing line in a pile of rubbish, and now the creature is a webcam star at a Florida aquarium. The 4cm seahorse was rescued by the snorkeller Sunday. She carefully untangled the line, put it in a water bottle and rushed to Clearwater Marine Aquarium. The seahorse was given a name — Frito — and placed in a tank. It's brown and does resemble a Frito chip. It's a female, and the aquarium hopes she makes a full recovery so she can return to the gulf. Marine experts say fishing line threatens a variety of creatures small and large in the sea.
Europe: Greece's Prime Minister says he expects no trouble in getting the proposed name change deal with Macedonia approved by the Greek Parliament. Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has also ruled out putting the agreement to a referendum. Tsipras said that he expects MPs to ratify the deal "with a big majority" even though the nationalist Independent Greeks party — the junior partner in his left-led coalition — plans to reject it. The Independent Greeks oppose any use of Macedonia in the official name of Greece's small northern neighbour. Under the agreement Tripras and Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran Zaev, Greece's Parliament will vote on ratifying the deal after Macedonia has changed its constitution to formalise the new name — North Macedonia. About 1500 people chanting "Traitors" gathered outside Macedonia's Parliament in Skopje to protest against the proposed deal. Kosovo says the deal of its neighbour Macedonia will contribute to peace, stability and Euro-Atlantic regional integration.
United States: A deep dive operation will be conducted to determine whether oil is leaking from a British tanker sunk by a German U-boat off Long Island during World War II. Captain Kevin Reed, of the Coast Guard in New Haven, said that the operation starting next week will assess environmental conditions at the 129m long tanker, according to the Connecticut Post. A contractor has been hired and the work will be done in consultation with the Navy, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and New York Department of Environmental Conservation. The wreck, which is about 48km off Long Island's south shore, and about 54m deep, has been monitored since 1967. In 2009, recreational divers reported some oil seepage.
Argentina: The legislature is debating a measure that would allow elective abortions in the first 14 weeks of gestation. It's a debate that has sharply divided the homeland of Pope Francis. Crowds of supporters and opponents of the measure have been watching the debate on large screens set up outside Congress. Abortion-rights student demonstrators also occupied about a dozen public schools in the capital. A close vote is likely. If it passes, the measure would go to the Senate. Argentina now allows abortion only in cases of rape or risks to a woman's health.
Japan: A Japanese wife has told police the body she thought was of her missing husband belonged to a stranger after her spouse turned up alive a year later. Tokyo police acknowledged that the body found in a river in eastern Tokyo in June 2017 was of another man reported missing at around the same time. Police apologised for the mix-up and said the remains would be returned to the right family. Police initially believed the body was of a man in his early 40s reported missing by his family three days earlier, and handed it over to them after positive identification by the wife and two relatives. The body was then cremated by the family. The family earlier this month notified police that the man came home alive in May. Police refused to say where he was or what he was doing. The body, of another missing man in his late 30s, might have been misidentified because both men were about the same height and age, Tokyo's metropolitan police said.
United States: Two online gamers whose alleged dispute over a US$1.50 Call of Duty WWII video game bet ultimately led police to fatally shoot a Kansas man pleaded not guilty to charges related to the "swatting" case. Casey Viner, 18, of North College Hill, Ohio, and Shane Gaskill, 19, of Wichita, are charged with conspiracy to obstruct justice, wire fraud and other counts. Viner allegedly became upset at Gaskill while playing the popular online game. Authorities say he then asked 25-year-old Tyler Barriss of Los Angeles to "swat" Gaskill, a form of retaliation sometimes used by gamers, who call police and make a false report to send first responders to an online opponent's address. Barriss is accused of calling Wichita police from Los Angeles on December 28 to report a shooting and kidnapping at a Wichita address. The location Gaskill gave was an old address and a police officer responding to the call fatally shot the new resident Andrew Finch, 28, after he opened the door.
Europe: A German humanitarian group says it is declining to take on board 41 migrants rescued by a US Navy ship because Italy has refused to assign the group's ship a port where it can dock. Sea Watch, whose rescue vessel is operating off Libya's northern coast, said the migrants were picked up by the Trenton after their rubber dinghy sank and at least 12 people died. The group said the survivors need immediate care on land. The US Sixth Fleet says it is coordinating with its partners on where the migrants will go.
India: A fire raged for about five hours in an upmarket high-rise apartment building in Mumbai, India's financial and entertainment capital, injuring four people and badly damaging the top two floors of the building. Three firefighters and one resident suffered burns as 95 people were evacuated from the glass-faced building. The fire started on the top level of the 33-floor building and later engulfed the 32nd floor as well.
United States: A Democratic win in another Wisconsin special election has the party within striking distance of recapturing the state Senate and ending Governor Scott Walker and his fellow Republicans' stranglehold on state government, a priority for Democrats nationally as another round of redistricting nears. The National Democratic Redistricting Committee, run by former US Attorney-General Eric Holder, spent at least US$35,000 supporting Caleb Frostman, the winning candidate in yesterday's special Senate election. Frostman's win marks the 43rd legislative seat nationwide that has flipped Democratic since President Donald Trump took office, according to the Democratic National Legislative Campaign Committee. The victory brings Democrats within just two seats of the Wisconsin Senate majority. The November election will determine control starting in 2019 and give that party an edge heading into the 2020 elections. Whoever is in control after those contests will handle redistricting in 2021.
Iran: Iranian authorities detained a prominent rights lawyer who had recently defended women protesting against the obligatory Islamic headscarf. Nasrin Sotoudeh was taken from her home, according to her husband, Reza Khandan, who said she managed to call him after she was detained. He said she was told she would be serving a five-year sentence at the Evin prison in Tehran after being convicted in absentia. "I have no idea what the sentence was related to," he said. There was no immediate comment from authorities. Khandan said their 18-year-old daughter was at home at the time of the arrest. Amnesty International condemned the detention, calling it an "outrageous attack on a brave and prolific human rights defender," The group said she should be released "immediately and unconditionally." Sotoudeh is an outspoken critic of the country's judiciary, which is dominated by hardliners. She had recently objected to its decision to limit the number of lawyers allowed to defend clients in security-related cases, calling the move a "farewell" to the right of defense.
United States: A young woman endured an exhaust-ing ordeal when she got her head stuck in a truck's oversized tailpipe at a Minnesota music festival. Firefighters used a power saw to free woman from her predicament at last weekend's Winstock Music Festival in Winsted. Video of the rescue was posted on Facebook. KARE-TV reports that it's unknown how she ended up with her head in the tailpipe, but alcohol may have been a factor: The McLeod County Sheriff's Office says she was cited for underage drinking and escorted out.