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US government shuts down as Congress fails to vote on budget

US government shuts down as Congress fails to vote on budget

World
The US government has officially shut down for the second time this year because Congress failed to meet a deadline to vote on a new budget.Senators struggled with last-minute objections from Republican Rand Paul, but have now passed the bill, which has gone to the House for its vote.Federal funding for government services expired at midnight (05:00 GMT).The 600-page plan proposes an increase in spending, by about $ 300bn (£215bn), on defence and domestic services.If the plan is passed in the House of Representatives and signed by the president in the next few hours, the shutdown could be rescinded before the US working day begins on Friday. But it is not clear how the House will vote, and how public services would be affected on Friday if the shutdown were to continue.What does a shutdown
Viruses raining down from Earth's atmosphere

Viruses raining down from Earth's atmosphere

Technology
Scientists have discovered that millions of viruses are travelling around the Earth's atmosphere.The viruses are transported up on the back of organic particles suspended in air and gas - and then rain down upon the ground.This could explain how genetically identical viruses can be found enormous distances apart - by hitching a ride on smaller particles swept up into the atmosphere.Scientists from universities in Canada, Spain and the US have also, for the first time, quantified the number of viruses that are being swept up from the ground into the atmosphere.The number is huge, stretching into the billions per square metre.While the viruses and bacteria aren't reaching the heights of the stratosphere, they are being lifted way above the zone in which weather conditions are taking place.Th...
Sony chief executive Kazuo Hirai to step down

Sony chief executive Kazuo Hirai to step down

Technology
Sony's chief executive Kazuo Hirai is stepping down and handing the reins over to finance chief Kenichiro Yoshida.Mr Yoshida, Sony's chief financial officer, is to take over control of the Japanese electronics giant from 1 April.Mr Hirai will remain at Sony as chairman.Mr Yoshida and Mr Hirai have been instrumental in turning Sony around to focus on smartphone image sensors.Under their efforts, the Japanese electronic giant sold off its struggling PC business and launched the successful PlayStation 4 video game console, which has sold more than 60 million units to date. Sony said its profits quadrupled in the three months to December.The Japanese electronics giant reported a record profit of 351 billion yen ($ 3.2bn, £2.5bn) for the quarter, compared with 92.4 billion yen in the same perio
Russian fighter jet shot down in Syria's Idlib province

Russian fighter jet shot down in Syria's Idlib province

World
A Russian Sukhoi-25 fighter jet has been shot down in a rebel-held area in Syria's north-western province of Idlib.The Russian defence ministry said the pilot had ejected into an area believed to be controlled by the jihadist Hayat Tahrir al-Sham alliance.Although he survived the crash he was killed in a ground fight, Moscow said.Hayat Tahrir al-Sham - formerly linked to al-Qaeda - said it had shot down the plane.The Syrian government, backed by Russian air power, launched a major offensive in December against rebel groups in Idlib. Why is there a war in Syria?What more do we know of the incident?The Sukhoi-25, a close-support ground-attack aircraft, was operating over the town of Maasran in Idlib.There had been dozens of Russian air strikes in the area over the previous 24 hours, monitori...
The new Lindsay Lohan? Riverdale redhead strips down for scorching snaps

The new Lindsay Lohan? Riverdale redhead strips down for scorching snaps

Entertainment
Cheryl Marjorie Blossom is portrayed by actress Madelaine Pestch on the CW television series based on the Archie comics.Quickly becoming one of the stand-out stars of Riverdale alongside Lili Reinhart, the American actress has had everybody talking.Once the cast were allowed to start teasing the second season of the popular show, Madelaine warned fans "hell hath no fury like a Cheryl Blossom scorned", and she meant it.The first season of the drama revolved around the scandal of Cheryl's twin brother Jason, and she was often billed as the mean girl of the show, with a hard as ice exterior and cold insults.instagram/ madelaine petschFLAME-HAIRED BEAUTY: Madelaine Petsch plays Cheryl Blossom in RiverdaleHOT Riverdale actress Lili Reinhart Riverdale actress Lili Reinhart isn't afraid of f...