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International News-Daily Digest: 3 Key Updates

1. Nikki Haley to Resign as Trump’s Ambassador to the U.N.

President Trump’s ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki R. Haley would resign at the end of the year, marking the departure of one of the few high-profile women in the Trump administration.

Ms. Haley, a former Republican governor of South Carolina, had been an early and frequent critic of Mr. Trump, but he named her to the United Nations job weeks after his election. As ambassador, Ms. Haley has been an outspoken and often forceful envoy — someone whom foreign diplomats looked to for guidance from an administration known for haphazard and inconsistent policy positions — who emerged as something of a star amid the dysfunction of the president’s first national security team.

 

2. Pakistan successfully test-fires missile system with 1,300-km range               

Pakistan successfully conducted the training launch of Ghauri Missile System, which has a range of up to 1,300 km.

Ghauri Ballistic Missile can carry both conventional and nuclear warheads up to a distance of 1,300 km.

In April, Pakistan test-fired an enhanced version of the indigenous Babur cruise missile that can deliver conventional and non-conventional weapons with a range of 700 km.

 

 3. ‘Oldest flying squirrel fossil found’

Scientists have discovered the oldest flying squirrel fossil ever which sheds new light on the origin and evolution of these airborne animals. Described in the journal eLife, the 11.6-million-year-old fossil was discovered in a landfill, about 40 kilometers outside the Can Mata city in Spain.

Further excavation revealed that it was a large rodent skeleton with minuscule specialised wrist bones, identifying it as Miopetaurista neogrivensis — an extinct flying squirrel. Combining molecular and paleontological data to carry out evolutionary analyses of the fossil, Casanovas-Vilar and the team demonstrated that flying squirrels evolved from tree squirrels as far back as 31 to 25 million years ago, and possibly even earlier.

Their results showed that Miopetaurista is closely related to an existing group of giant flying squirrels called Petaurista. The skeletons are in fact so similar that the large species that currently inhabits the tropical and subtropical forests of Asia could be considered living fossils, researchers said. With 52 species scattered across the northern hemisphere, flying squirrels are the most successful group of mammals that adopted the ability to glide.

 

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