Florida still world’s shark bite capital – but attacks on humans lowest in decade

Across the world there were 57 unprovoked shark bites in 2022, most of which occurred in the US and Australia

Florida has retained its title as the shark bite capital of the world, according to new figures, but globally the number of such attacks on humans is at its joint lowest level for a decade.

Across the world there were 57 unprovoked shark bites in 2022, most of which occurred in the United States and Australia, said the University of Florida’s international shark attack file , a renowned resource that published its annual data on Monday.

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Black skateboarders on the life and death of Tyre Nichols: ‘He was one of us. That could have been me’

Three skaters address their own experiences, activism and the police response to their communities

It has been nearly a month since Tyre Nichols died after a beating by Memphis police. Even by the standards of a country with a long legacy of police violence, his death was breathtaking in its brutality – both in the severity of the beating by the police officers, and the negligence shown by the EMTs who stood around for 19 minutes while he fought for his life on the ground.

Nichols, 29, was a lot of things: a father, photographer, lover of sunsets and a skater. Due to its public image as a nuisance to polite society, skateboarding is a hobby intimately familiar with skirmishes with law enforcement; for Black skaters, who are often seen as outsiders in a world of outsiders, these interactions can be particularly fraught.

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McCarthy calls on Biden to accept spending cuts in debt ceiling fight

White House has said Biden will discuss issue after ceiling is lifted, while Republicans insist on cuts first

Kevin McCarthy, the House speaker, called on Joe Biden to agree to compromises and spending cuts, as the two remain deadlocked over raising the nation’s $31.4tn debt ceiling.

McCarthy spoke on Monday before Biden gives the annual State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress on Tuesday, aiming to get ahead of the president and reinforce his role as the leading congressional negotiator.

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As US-China rivalry heats up, can Australia defuse the risk of superpower conflict? | Susannah Patton

Albanese will need to explain how Australia’s investment in more lethal defence capabilities will make the Indo-Pacific safer – and ensure conflict never occurs

As spy stories go, the recent foray and ultimate demise of China’s surveillance balloon across the United States is not very promising. Beijing probably did not learn any state secrets, and the eventual downing of the unmanned aerial system once it was safely over water is hardly the stuff of Le Carré.

Yet the balloon incident is a powerful illustration of why Australia’s foreign affairs minister, Penny Wong, has been calling for the US and China to put in place “guardrails” to manage their competition responsibly.

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Dozens of lawsuits claim hair relaxers cause cancer and other health problems

Suits that say beauty companies knew products contained dangerous chemicals to be consolidated in Chicago court

Nearly 60 lawsuits claiming hair relaxer products sold by L’Oréal USA Inc and other companies cause cancer and other health problems will be consolidated in a Chicago federal court, according to a Monday order from the US judicial panel on multidistrict litigation.

At least 57 lawsuits have been filed in federal courts across the country over the products, which use chemicals to permanently straighten textured hair, court records show. The lawsuits allege the companies knew their products contained dangerous chemicals but marketed and sold them anyway.

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Flaco the owl flees New York Central Park zoo after enclosure vandalized

Eurasian-eagle owl spotted in midtown since escape as zoo staff try to lure Flaco by leaving food out for him

A Eurasian-eagle owl named Flaco escaped New York’s Central Park zoo on Thursday night after his enclosure was vandalized and is still on the loose in Manhattan.

Flaco was spotted at different times since fleeing by various onlookers, once on a sidewalk on Fifth avenue, across the Plaza Hotel, and perched on trees around Central Park.

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