By Michelle Nichols UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - Russia asked the United Nations Security Council on Friday to call for Syria's sovereignty to be respected, for cross-border shelling and incursions to be halted and for "attempts or plans for foreign ground intervention" to be abandoned. Russia circulated a short draft resolution to the 15-member council over concerns about an escalation in hostilities after Turkey this week said it and other countries could commit ground troops to Syria. The Security Council met on Friday afternoon to discuss the draft, but veto-powers the United States, France and Britain all said it had no future. "Rather than trying to distract the world with the resolution they just laid down, it would be really great if Russia implemented the resolution that's already agreed to," U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power, told reporters after the meeting. She was referring to a resolution unanimously agreed by the Security Council in December that endorsed an international road map for a Syria peace process. The Russian draft, seen by Reuters, would have the council express "its grave alarm at the reports of military buildup and preparatory activities aimed at launching foreign ground intervention into the territory of the Syrian Arab Republic." It also demands that states "refrain from provocative rhetoric and inflammatory statements inciting further violence and interference into internal affairs of the Syrian Arab Republic." Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told Reuters this week that his country, Saudi Arabia and some European powers wanted ground troops in Syria, though no serious plan had been debated. Russian air strikes have helped to bring the Syrian army to within 25 km (15 miles) of Turkey's borders, while Kurdish militia fighters, regarded by Ankara as hostile insurgents, have also gained ground, heightening the sense of urgency. Turkey has been shelling positions of the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia in response to what it says is hostile fire coming across the border into Turkey. Russia's relations with Turkey hit a low in November when Turkish warplanes downed a Russian bomber near the Syrian-Turkish border, a move described by Russian President Vladimir Putin as a "dastardly stab in the back." Syria's civil war was sparked by a Syrian government crackdown on a pro-democracy movement in early 2011. Islamic State militants have used the chaos to seize territory in Syria and Iraq, and some 4.3 million Syrians have fled the country. The U.N. says at least 250,000 people have been killed. A U.S.-led coalition has been bombing Islamic State targets since September 2014. Russia began air strikes in Syria in September 2015. (Additional reporting by Dmitry Solovyov; Editing by Leslie Adler, Sandra Maler and Andrew Hay)
The six-wheeled robot has made the hazardous descent to the surface of the Red Planet, China announces.
- The Telegraph
Welcome to your early-morning news briefing from The Telegraph - a round-up of the top stories we are covering on Saturday. To receive twice-daily briefings by email, sign up to our Front Page newsletter for free. 1. Boris Johnson: Indian variant poses real risk of disruption to our plans Boris Johnson on Friday warned that the Indian variant could “seriously disrupt” plans to lift the final Covid restrictions on June 21. The Prime Minister said he must “level with” the public about the threat posed by the new strain and said “hard choices” about the route out of lockdown could lie ahead. Read the full story. 2. Prince Harry’s broadside leaves senior royals bemused over his ‘woeful lack of compassion' The Duke of Sussex’s broadside about the Prince of Wales has left senior royals bemused over his “woeful lack of compassion” for his own family, The Telegraph understands. All three royal households were seemingly left reeling on Friday by the Duke’s suggestion that he had been failed not only by his own father but through association, by the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh too. Read the full story. 3. Oxford University decolonising inch by inch, with imperial measurements the next target Oxford University has suggested imperial measurements should be "decolonised" over links to the British Empire. The mile, inch, yard, pound and ounce are “tied deeply to the idea of the Empire” and their presence in the curriculum could change, decolonising plans by Oxford’s maths, physics and life sciences faculty suggest. Read the full story. 4. Offer of face-to-face appointments ‘cannot happen overnight’, GPs warn patients GPs have rejected NHS instructions to immediately offer every patient a face-to-face appointment, warning the move “cannot happen overnight”. The British Medical Association (BMA) on Friday called on health chiefs to show “honesty” with the public about longer waiting times due to the effects of social distancing on patient flow in surgeries. Read the full story. 5. Edwin Poots vows to 'undermine' Northern Ireland protocol after being elected DUP leader The Democratic Unionist Party’s has elected a new leader who vowed to “systematically undermine and strip away all aspects” of the Northern Ireland protocol. Edwin Poots, the Stormont Agriculture Minister, beat the DUP’s Westminster leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson by just 19 votes to 17 at Friday’s election. Read the full story. Stay up-to-date with breaking news and the latest politics from The Telegraph throughout the day.
- Business Insider
China has landed a spacecraft on Mars for the first time, delivering a water-hunting rover to the red planet
The Zhurong rover is almost ready to start scanning Mars' volcanic-rock fields for hidden water ice. Such reserves could help future Mars astronauts.
Dave Bautista says his 'Blade Runner 2049' performance finally made Hollywood 'see past my physicality'
"I want to be a better actor. I want to do some drama. People would kind of giggle at me," Bautista said before landing the 'Blade Runner' role.
- Miami Herald
Three hand sanitizers many have used nationally in the fight against COVID-19 contamination have been recalled because they contain methanol, according to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration.
Seth Rogen says he and Jason Segel left their '8 Mile' audition in tears after making each other laugh
The comic went out for the role of Cheddar and had to bring Jason Segel along because the casting director refused to read the lines.
BEIT LAHIYA/GAZA CITY, Gaza (Reuters) -After days of heavy Israeli airstrikes, and then intensifying artillery fire, some terrified residents of north Gaza are not waiting to see if there is a repeat of 2014, when a ground assault followed. Under heavy shelling on Thursday night, Rewaa Marouf grabbed her children and fled the town of Beit Lahiya, close to Gaza's northern border with Israel. The U.N. refugee agency said hundreds of people had fled to U.N.-run schools in Gaza for shelter on Thursday, particularly in the north, and it was taking steps to make sure the sites were organised to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
- Associated Press
A year before her election to Congress, Marjorie Taylor Greene searched for Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez at her Capitol office, taunting the New York Democrat to “get rid of your diaper” and “talk to the American citizens,” as shown in video unearthed Friday by CNN. The Georgia Republican continued: “If you want to be a big girl, you need to get rid of your diaper and come out and be able to talk to the American citizens." Two men appear along with her in the video, also mocking Ocasio-Cortez and her staff through the mail slot.
- Business Insider
A lab leak in Wuhan remains a 'viable' theory for the coronavirus' origin, an international group of scientists says
The coronavirus' origin remains a mystery. So the idea that it was accidentally released from a lab remains viable, according to 18 scientists.
- Miami Herald
A Miami-Dade County police officer shot a man at The Falls shopping mall in Kendall Friday night who law enforcement says was armed with a knife that was designed to look like a gun.
- LA Times
After an injury-riddled run and with playoff seeding on the line, the Lakers might have LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Dennis Schroder in lineup against Pacers.
- Business Insider
Witnesses said Matt Gaetz snorted cocaine and had sex with an escort who was paid with campaign money, report says
The news comes hours after Insider reported Joel Greenberg, a former Gaetz wingman, will plead guilty to six felony counts on Monday.
- Associated Press
Thousands of Muslims led by activists from an Islamic political party demonstrated in Bangladesh's capital on Friday to denounce attacks by Israel against Palestinians. After the end of Eid a—Fitr prayers at Dhaka's main Baitul Mokarram Mosque, activists from the Islamic Andolan Bangladesh, or Islamic Movement Bangladesh, began protesting and were joined by thousands of others. Muslim-majority Bangladesh celebrated the key festival of Eid a—Fitr in a subdued manner after the government urged people to avoid large gatherings.
"Another Round" won the Oscar for best international film this year. An American remake with Leonardo DiCaprio has since been announced.
- Kansas City Star
Republicans want to highlight Kansans who’ve had trouble getting unemployment checks — payments those same Republicans are trying to cut.
- The Telegraph
The Duke of Sussex’s broadside about the Prince of Wales has left senior royals bemused over his “woeful lack of compassion” for his own family, The Telegraph understands. All three royal households were seemingly left reeling on Friday by the Duke’s suggestion that he had been failed not only by his own father but through association, by the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh too. One senior aide said it seemed “unnecessarily cruel” to “throw others under the bus” whilst trying to make a point about mental health. Another royal source said: “For a couple that have been at pains to set out their compassionate principles, they seem woefully lacking when it comes to their own family. “It’s not just the Prince of Wales but the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh as well. “It has been met with utter bemusement.” There was particular bewilderment over Prince Harry’s implicit criticism of his grandparents, not least just a month after the Duke of Edinburgh’s death. Questions were also raised about the Duke and Duchess’s continued use of their royal titles. And aside from the highly personal content, royal sources suggested that the family was disappointed by the foul language used during the expletive-strewn 90-minute interview.
- Reuters Videos
Speaking at a conference on Italy's derth of babies, Pope Francis said polls showed most young people wanted to have children, but were worried about the rising cost."Their dreams of a new life, the seeds of the country's rebirth, come up against a demographic winter that is cold and dark," the pope said."For the future to be good, we need to look after families, especially young families, who are beset by worries that risk paralysing their life plans. I am thinking of the fears caused by the increasingly unaffordable costs of raising children.The sharp fall in 2020 in the number of babies born in many countries has been blamed on the stress and uncertainty generated by COVID. But the longer-term fertility trends across much of the developed world has been in decline for some years.The pope also took aim at young people, saying some role models set the wrong example by being obsessed over their appearance and not being willing to make the sacrifices needed to raise a family."Staying young does not come from taking selfies and touch-ups, but from being able to look into the eyes of your children one day," he said.
- Associated Press
Romain Grosjean survived a fiery Formula One crash, then left the series behind for a move to IndyCar where he figured he might compete for wins after nearly a decade of driving cars that never had a chance. In just his third race with Dale Coyne Racing, Grosjean will lead a 25-car field to the yard of bricks Saturday in the Indianapolis Grand Prix. It's the 35-year-old Frenchman's first pole since a 2011 GP2 Series race in Turkey and he celebrated flexing his arms in joy when he pulled into pit lane.
The world's richest man will reportedly set sail next month on one of the largest superyachts ever built.
- Business Insider
Marjorie Taylor Greene vandalized Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's guest book and taunted her in a deleted 2019 video
One of Greene's associates in the video, Anthony Aguero, entered the Capitol with pro-Trump rioters on January 6.