KASU

Merrit Kennedy

Six million years ago, giant otters weighing more than 100 pounds lived among birds and water lilies in the wooded wetlands of China's Yunnan province.

That's according to new research from a team of scientists who discovered a well-preserved cranium of the newly-discovered species in an open lignite mine in 2010. They recently published their findings in the Journal of Systematic Palaeontology.

President Trump has announced his pick for secretary of the Air Force — former Rep. Heather Wilson. If confirmed, Wilson would be the first Air Force Academy graduate to hold the position, according to the White House.

Wilson currently leads the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology, a public college focused on engineering and science. She represented New Mexico in Congress from 1998 to 2009.

Gambia's defeated leader Yahya Jammeh has departed the country, after a weeks-long standoff as he tried to maintain his grip on power which culminated in West African troops crossing Gambia's borders.

Now, the country is awaiting the arrival of new president Adama Barrow. He fled to Senegal for his own protection and was sworn in at Gambia's embassy in Dakar last week.

The Asian Football Confederation says it found out that a dozen Brazilian-born soccer players playing for East Timor were registered using phony birth or baptism certificates.

Now, it has booted the East Timor team out of the 2023 Asian Cup. The players involved in the scheme played in 29 matches, which included World Cup qualifying games.

Doctors Without Borders says that the death toll has risen to "about 90" from a Nigerian military airstrike Tuesday on a displaced persons camps in the country's restive Borno state.

Nigerian president Muhammadu Buhari has said that the bombing happened during an operation targeting Boko Haram militants and was accidental.

For decades, U.S. authorities have been preparing to prosecute one of the world's most feared drug traffickers, known as El Chapo.

Friday, the Justice Department announced charges against Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman following his extradition from Mexico to the United States. He landed Thursday evening on Long Island, N.Y., and Friday afternoon entered a plea of not guilty at a federal court in Brooklyn.

Frantic diplomatic efforts are underway to persuade longtime Gambian leader Yahya Jammeh to step down and make way for the newly sworn-in and democratically elected president, Adama Barrow.

Jammeh is facing a sizable military threat if he refuses to go. West African troops crossed the border into Gambia on Thursday and say they are prepared to remove him by force.

NPR's Eyder Peralta reports that the approximately 7,000 troops from Senegal, Nigeria, Ghana Togo and Mali stopped before they reached the capital. They encountered no resistance.

Updated 5 p.m. ET

West African troops have crossed the border with Gambia in an effort to uphold the result of the country's presidential election by force.

The winner of the Dec. 1 vote, Adama Barrow, was officially sworn in as president at the country's embassy in neighboring Senegal earlier this afternoon. But Gambia's longtime leader, Yahya Jammeh, has refused to quit power despite mounting regional and international pressure.

Updated at 12:15 p.m. ET

U.S. B-2 stealth bombers struck two ISIS training camps in the Libyan desert Wednesday night, the Pentagon said.

U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter said the camps housed ISIS fighters, many of whom had escaped the group's former stronghold in Sirte, on Libya's central coast. He added that officials are still working to assess the impact of the strikes, but they believe more than 80 ISIS fighters were killed.

Scientists are trying to determine why a group of at least 95 false killer whales stranded themselves on a remote coast in Florida's Everglades National Park. At least 82 of the animals have died, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

"This is the largest mass stranding ever for this species in the United States," NOAA Marine Biologist Erin Fougères said, "And one of the largest mass strandings we've ever had in the southeast."

In a few hours, longtime Gambian leader Yahya Jammeh's presidential term will expire. But he is clinging to power as troops from regional powers reportedly amass at the border.

International and regional powers are demanding that Jammeh step down and make way for his rival, businessman Adama Barrow, who won last month' s presidential election.

The African Union has stated that it will stop recognizing Jammeh as president after his term expires at midnight local time. (Gambia is five hours ahead of the U.S. East Coast.)

In one of his last moves in office, President Obama has commuted the 35-year prison sentence of Chelsea Manning, the Army private who leaked a massive trove of military secrets to WikiLeaks.

The former intelligence analyst's prison sentence has been shortened to expire on May 17, 2017, according to a statement from the White House.

Two days before Gambian President Yahya Jammeh is supposed to cede power, he has declared a state of emergency in the country. He has refused to step down to make way for Adama Barrow, who won last month's election.

It wasn't immediately clear what the state of emergency entailed, but the move appeared to make a handover of power even more unlikely.

A Nigerian military strike on a camp for internally displaced persons in northeast Nigeria has killed dozens of people, according to Doctors Without Borders.

Teams from the organization, also known as Médecins sans frontières, said in a statement that they've counted 52 dead and 120 wounded as a result of the strike on the camp in Rann. They're treating the injured and preparing to evacuate patients from the camp.

Turkish police have arrested the "main suspect" from an attack on an Istanbul nightclub on New Year's Day that killed at least 39 people, according to the state-run Anadolu news agency.

Officials have not publicly named the suspect. The arrest happened late Monday during a police raid in the Esenyurt neighborhood of Istanbul, Anadolu reported.

Archaeologists have unearthed a unique pendant buried on the site of a Nazi extermination camp. They say that they know of only one other that is similar, which belonged to Anne Frank.

Israel's Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial announced the find on Sunday, saying that they have ascertained the charm may have belonged to a girl named Karoline Cohn.

Noor Salman, the wife of Orlando nightclub shooter Omar Mateen, has been arrested on federal charges.

Salman is charged with "Aiding and Abetting by providing material support to a terrorist and Obstruction of Justice," Orlando Police Chief John Mina said in a statement.

On June 12, 2016, 49 people died when Mateen opened fire at Pulse in the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history. He was killed in a firefight with police.

European leaders are expressing alarm after U.S. President-elect Donald Trump said the EU is "basically a vehicle for Germany" and reiterated his view that NATO is "obsolete."

Speaking about the EU, Trump said "people want their own identity," and therefore "I believe others will leave." He has previously applauded the U.K.'s decision last year to depart from the 28-nation bloc and repeated that sentiment, saying that "I think Brexit is going to end up being a great thing."

A top Egyptian court has ruled against the government's bid to hand over two Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia.

It's an embarrassing ruling for Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sissi, who has argued that the islands of Trian and Sanafir are historically Saudi. The Supreme Administrative Court disagreed, saying that they are Egyptian sovereign territory.

"It's enshrined in the court's conscience that Egypt's sovereignty over Tiran and Sanafir is beyond doubt," presiding judge Ahmed al-Shazli told the court, according to The Associated Press.

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The U.N. Secretary-General said today he was hopeful that peace talks on Cyprus, being held in Geneva, could lead to a breakthrough, though he cautioned that "we are not here for a quick fix."

Flanked by Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci and Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades, Secretary-General António Guterres said a breakthrough is what the world needs now.

The Environmental Protection Agency said Fiat Chrysler violated the Clean Air Act by allegedly installing and failing to disclose software in some 104,000 cars and trucks that alters emissions.

The automaker was required by law to disclose the software to regulators during the certification process but did not do so, the EPA announced Thursday. While the agency is still investigating the nature of these devices, it said the software results in increased emissions of nitrogen oxides.

A U.S. military investigation has cleared the U.S. forces of wrongdoing in fighting that left 33 civilians dead and 27 others wounded last year in Afghanistan's Kunduz province, saying that they acted in self-defense.

"To defend themselves and Afghan forces, U.S. forces returned fire in self-defense at Taliban who were using civilian houses as firing positions," according to the U.S. military report published Thursday.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has designated the rusty patched bumblebee an endangered species — the first such designation for a bumblebee and for a bee species in the continental U.S.

The protected status, which goes into effect on Feb. 10, includes requirements for federal protections and the development of a recovery plan. It also means that states with habitats for this species are eligible for federal funds.

Volkswagen has agreed to pay $4.3 billion to settle civil and criminal allegations over its diesel emissions cheating scheme involving some 590,000 vehicles in the U.S.

The company has also agreed to plead guilty to three criminal felony counts.

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