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Lightning strike in Poland, heavy thunderstorm blamed for several deaths, injuries in Tatra Mountains

Several people are dead and a dozen reported injured after lightning struck during a thunderstorm in Poland’s southern Tatra Mountains, officials said.

The TOPR rescue service said rescuers were dispatched to Giewont peak where the group of tourists, including children, had been struck by lightning.

The spokeswoman for Krakow’s provincial governor, Joanna Pazdzio, told The Associated Press at least three people, including a child, were killed in the lightning strike. Pazdzio told the AP she was told about the deaths by the leaders of the rescue operation that was taking place Thursday afternoon in the Tatras.

NORWEGIAN RUNNER STRUCK, KILLED BY LIGHTNING DURING ULTRAMARATHON IN ITALY, OFFICIALS SAY

“Several people were hit by lightning [in] nearby Giewont summit. The situation is critical,” Jan Krzysztof, the chief of the Tatra Volunteer Search and Rescue, told Poland’s TVN24 news.

Westlake Legal Group Poland2 Lightning strike in Poland, heavy thunderstorm blamed for several deaths, injuries in Tatra Mountains Travis Fedschun fox-news/world/world-regions/europe fox-news/world/disasters/disaster-response fox-news/world/disasters/aftermath fox-news/weather fox news fnc/world fnc article 62e8fe5f-9bb6-5040-9498-e8928a45c68d

Rescue helicopter and ambulance have brought to hospital the first people injured by a lighting strike that struck in Poland’s southern Tatra Mountains during a sudden thunderstorm, in Zakopane, Poland, on Thursday, Aug. 22, 2019. (AP Photo/Bartlomiej Jurecki)

Rescuers said that some 20 people could have been affected when lighting struck the Giewont, a popular trekking destination, and other Tatra locations.

“Several people died on various locations,” Krzysztof told TVN24.

The spokeswoman for Krakow’s provincial governor, Joanna Pazdzio, told The Associated Press at least three people, including a child, were killed in the lightning strike.

Westlake Legal Group Poland1 Lightning strike in Poland, heavy thunderstorm blamed for several deaths, injuries in Tatra Mountains Travis Fedschun fox-news/world/world-regions/europe fox-news/world/disasters/disaster-response fox-news/world/disasters/aftermath fox-news/weather fox news fnc/world fnc article 62e8fe5f-9bb6-5040-9498-e8928a45c68d

Rescue helicopter have brought to hospital the first people injured by a lighting that struck in Poland’s southern Tatra Mountains during a sudden thunderstorm, in Zakopane, Poland, on Thursday, Aug. 22, 2019. (AP Photo/Bartlomiej Jurecki)

Kinga Czerwinska, of the Airborne Ambulance Service, said four helicopters have been dispatched to help. They were alerted shortly after 2 p.m.

TOILET EXPLODES IN FLORIDA HOME AFTER LIGHTNING STRIKES SEPTIC TANK

Footage on TVN24 showed TOPR rescuers racing to a helicopter to get to the peak, in wet, rainy and foggy weather.

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Lightning typically strikes tall objects such as trees and skyscrapers because their tops are closer to the base of the storm cloud, according to The National Severe Storms Laboratory.

“However, this does not always mean tall objects will be struck. It all depends on where the charges accumulate,” according to the agency. “Lightning can strike the ground in an open field even if the tree line is close by.

Lightning, known as a “bolt from the blue,” can also strike from as far away as 25 miles from a thunderstorm cloud, even when there appear to be clear skies, according to the NSSL.

“They can be especially dangerous because they appear to come from clear blue sky,” the agency states.

Westlake Legal Group Poland2 Lightning strike in Poland, heavy thunderstorm blamed for several deaths, injuries in Tatra Mountains Travis Fedschun fox-news/world/world-regions/europe fox-news/world/disasters/disaster-response fox-news/world/disasters/aftermath fox-news/weather fox news fnc/world fnc article 62e8fe5f-9bb6-5040-9498-e8928a45c68d   Westlake Legal Group Poland2 Lightning strike in Poland, heavy thunderstorm blamed for several deaths, injuries in Tatra Mountains Travis Fedschun fox-news/world/world-regions/europe fox-news/world/disasters/disaster-response fox-news/world/disasters/aftermath fox-news/weather fox news fnc/world fnc article 62e8fe5f-9bb6-5040-9498-e8928a45c68d

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Iran unveils new long-range missile system in latest show of military force

Iran unveiled a new long-range surface-to-air missile system Thursday in its latest demonstration of military power, just two months after its forces shot a U.S. Navy drone out of the sky over the Strait of Hormuz.

The Bavar-373, which Iran claims was built domestically, “can detect… targets or planes at more than 190 miles, lock in at about 155 miles, and destroy it at 124 miles,” Reuters quoted defense minister Amir Hatami as saying.

President Hassan Rouhani described the system as an improvement to the Russian S-300 system, which Moscow delivered to Iran in 2016.

Westlake Legal Group Bavar-373 Iran unveils new long-range missile system in latest show of military force Greg Norman fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/world/conflicts fox news fnc/world fnc article 7b8dcb09-ad0c-511d-8163-31af8f0808cf

In this photo released by the office of the Iranian Presidency, tje Bavar-373 air-defense missile system is seen after being unveiled by President Hassan Rouhani in Iran on Thursday. (AP/Iranian Presidency Office)

“Now that our enemies do not accept logic, we cannot respond with logic,” Rouhani said in a televised speech Thursday.

VIDEO OF IRAN SHOOTING DOWN US DRONE RELEASED BY PENTAGON

“When the enemy launches a missile against us, we cannot give a speech and say: ‘Mr. Rocket, please do not hit our country and our innocent people,” he added. “Rocket-launching sir, if you can please hit a button and self-destroy the missile in the air.'”

On Wednesday, Iran’s state TV reported that the Bavar-373 is able to recognize up to 100 targets at the same time and confront them with six different weapons.

Westlake Legal Group Bavar-373-system Iran unveils new long-range missile system in latest show of military force Greg Norman fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/world/conflicts fox news fnc/world fnc article 7b8dcb09-ad0c-511d-8163-31af8f0808cf

Iran says the Bavar-373 is able to recognize up to 100 targets at a same time and confront them with six different weapons. (AP/Iranian Defense Ministry)

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The unveiling of the system comes two months after a U.S. Navy drone was shot out of the sky over the Strait of Hormuz by Iran in what Pentagon officials described as an “unprovoked attack.”

Since 1992, Iran has developed a homegrown defense industry that has produced light and heavy weapons ranging from mortars and torpedoes to tanks and submarines.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group Bavar-373 Iran unveils new long-range missile system in latest show of military force Greg Norman fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/world/conflicts fox news fnc/world fnc article 7b8dcb09-ad0c-511d-8163-31af8f0808cf   Westlake Legal Group Bavar-373 Iran unveils new long-range missile system in latest show of military force Greg Norman fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/world/conflicts fox news fnc/world fnc article 7b8dcb09-ad0c-511d-8163-31af8f0808cf

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French zoo visitors carve their names on rhino’s back

French zoo blasted the “stupidity” of its visitors on Wednesday after some scratched their names on a rhino’s back.

Shocking photographs shared on social media showing the back of the 35-year-old female rhinoceros inscribed with the names “Camille” and “Julien” immediately sparked an uproar.

GAY PENGUINS ADOPT EGG AFTER ATTEMPTING TO HATCH STONES AT ZOO

La Palmyre zoo in Royan in southwestern France released a statement saying it was “outraged by the stupidity and disrespect” of the visitors, though no legal action will be taken, reported the Agence France-Presse, an international news agency.

The zoo typically allows the visitors to touch the animals over a fence of their enclosure, claiming this creates a “moving” experience that allows the animal lovers to see “the diversity and beauty of nature.”

Westlake Legal Group Engraved-Rhino-Royan-News French zoo visitors carve their names on rhino's back Lukas Mikelionis fox-news/world/world-regions/france fox-news/world/world-regions/europe fox-news/us/environment/endangered-species fox-news/science/wild-nature fox news fnc/world fnc article 7cb36332-b264-575b-b83f-e5c2f1b9148d

A French zoo blasted the “stupidity” of its visitors on Wednesday after some scratched their names on a rhino’s back. (Royan News)

Zoo director Pierre Caille told the news outlet that the visitors used their nails to engrave their names into a layer of dust, sand and dead skin on the rhino’s back.

GIANT PANDA SUFFERS ELECTRIC SHOCK AT SCOTTISH ZOO AS HORRIFIED FAMILIES WATCH

“The animal may not even have realized,” he said. “We quickly brushed the writing away and there was no harm to the animal.”

While the zoo reiterated that most visitors are respectful when it comes to touching various animals, some wildlife groups criticized the zoo for allowing “this type of interaction.”

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The zoo director said some video surveillance might be installed as a result of the incident, but insisted that he doesn’t want cameras all over the zoo.

Westlake Legal Group Engraved-Rhino-Royan-News French zoo visitors carve their names on rhino's back Lukas Mikelionis fox-news/world/world-regions/france fox-news/world/world-regions/europe fox-news/us/environment/endangered-species fox-news/science/wild-nature fox news fnc/world fnc article 7cb36332-b264-575b-b83f-e5c2f1b9148d   Westlake Legal Group Engraved-Rhino-Royan-News French zoo visitors carve their names on rhino's back Lukas Mikelionis fox-news/world/world-regions/france fox-news/world/world-regions/europe fox-news/us/environment/endangered-species fox-news/science/wild-nature fox news fnc/world fnc article 7cb36332-b264-575b-b83f-e5c2f1b9148d

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French zoo visitors carve their names on rhino’s back

French zoo blasted the “stupidity” of its visitors on Wednesday after some scratched their names on a rhino’s back.

Shocking photographs shared on social media showing the back of the 35-year-old female rhinoceros inscribed with the names “Camille” and “Julien” immediately sparked an uproar.

GAY PENGUINS ADOPT EGG AFTER ATTEMPTING TO HATCH STONES AT ZOO

La Palmyre zoo in Royan in southwestern France released a statement saying it was “outraged by the stupidity and disrespect” of the visitors, though no legal action will be taken, reported the Agence France-Presse, an international news agency.

The zoo typically allows the visitors to touch the animals over a fence of their enclosure, claiming this creates a “moving” experience that allows the animal lovers to see “the diversity and beauty of nature.”

Westlake Legal Group Engraved-Rhino-Royan-News French zoo visitors carve their names on rhino's back Lukas Mikelionis fox-news/world/world-regions/france fox-news/world/world-regions/europe fox-news/us/environment/endangered-species fox-news/science/wild-nature fox news fnc/world fnc article 7cb36332-b264-575b-b83f-e5c2f1b9148d

A French zoo blasted the “stupidity” of its visitors on Wednesday after some scratched their names on a rhino’s back. (Royan News)

Zoo director Pierre Caille told the news outlet that the visitors used their nails to engrave their names into a layer of dust, sand and dead skin on the rhino’s back.

GIANT PANDA SUFFERS ELECTRIC SHOCK AT SCOTTISH ZOO AS HORRIFIED FAMILIES WATCH

“The animal may not even have realized,” he said. “We quickly brushed the writing away and there was no harm to the animal.”

While the zoo reiterated that most visitors are respectful when it comes to touching various animals, some wildlife groups criticized the zoo for allowing “this type of interaction.”

CLICK HERE FOR THE FOX NEWS APP

The zoo director said some video surveillance might be installed as a result of the incident, but insisted that he doesn’t want cameras all over the zoo.

Westlake Legal Group Engraved-Rhino-Royan-News French zoo visitors carve their names on rhino's back Lukas Mikelionis fox-news/world/world-regions/france fox-news/world/world-regions/europe fox-news/us/environment/endangered-species fox-news/science/wild-nature fox news fnc/world fnc article 7cb36332-b264-575b-b83f-e5c2f1b9148d   Westlake Legal Group Engraved-Rhino-Royan-News French zoo visitors carve their names on rhino's back Lukas Mikelionis fox-news/world/world-regions/france fox-news/world/world-regions/europe fox-news/us/environment/endangered-species fox-news/science/wild-nature fox news fnc/world fnc article 7cb36332-b264-575b-b83f-e5c2f1b9148d

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Iranian supertanker sought by US is leased to Revolutionary Guards in apparent act of defiance: report

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6071985956001_6071982912001-vs Iranian supertanker sought by US is leased to Revolutionary Guards in apparent act of defiance: report fox news fnc/world fnc Edmund DeMarche article 994c276d-ab2a-515e-a954-1493fd8b642c

The Iran-flagged supertanker that left port in Gibraltar has reportedly been leased out to the country’s Revolutionary Guards, which is seen as an apparent show of defiance to the U.S. that tried to seize the vessel because of its ties to the elite group designated by the Trump administration a terrorist organization.

TANKER FILLED WITH OIL HEADED TO SYRIA: SOURCE

The tanker, Adrian Darya 1, previously named Grace 1, is believed to be hauling $130 million in light crude oil. It lifted anchor in Gibraltar late Sunday and its location has been monitored. As of early Wednesday, MarineTraffic.com showed the tanker in international waters off the Iberian Peninsula. Iran appeared confident that the ship– despite U.S. efforts to stop its voyage– is not in danger.

“The Adrian Darya vessel needs no escort,” Alireza Tangsiri, the head of the  Revolutionary Guards’ navy, told the Iranian Labour News Agency, according to Reuters.

Tangsiri said the ship is “Korean-made” and owned by Russia. The U.S. argued in unsealed court documents that Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps are the ship’s true owners through a network of front companies.

Authorities in Gibraltar said Sunday that, unlike in the U.S., the Iran’s Revolutionary Guard is not designated a terrorist organization under EU, U.K. or Gibraltar law.

The vessel had been detained for a month in the British overseas territory for allegedly attempting to breach European Union sanctions on Syria. The Iranian ship was detained while sailing under a Panamanian flag with the name Grace 1. It changed the name on Sunday and hoisted an Iranian flag.

Gibraltar authorities rejected a last-minute attempt by the U.S. to reseize the tanker, arguing that EU regulations are less strict than U.S. sanctions on Iran.

The chief minister of Gibraltar, Fabian Picardo, said he had been assured in writing by the Iranian government that the tanker wouldn’t unload its cargo in Syria.

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Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned Iran about any shipments to Syria in the face of  U.S. sanctions, Reuters reported.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6071985956001_6071982912001-vs Iranian supertanker sought by US is leased to Revolutionary Guards in apparent act of defiance: report fox news fnc/world fnc Edmund DeMarche article 994c276d-ab2a-515e-a954-1493fd8b642c   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6071985956001_6071982912001-vs Iranian supertanker sought by US is leased to Revolutionary Guards in apparent act of defiance: report fox news fnc/world fnc Edmund DeMarche article 994c276d-ab2a-515e-a954-1493fd8b642c

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Migrants disembark rescue ship in Italy after 19-day standoff

A migrant rescue ship carrying more than 80 people was evacuated near Italy’s southernmost Island on Tuesday, ending a 19-day standoff that pushed 15 passengers to jump into the sea to escape deteriorating conditions aboard.

Sicilian prosecutor Luigi Patronaggio ordered the seizure of the ship off the Sicilian island of Lampedusa and the immediate evacuation of its passengers after he boarded the vessel and met with port authorities as part of an investigation into possible kidnapping charges resulting from the refusal of hard-line Interior Minister Matteo Salvini to allow the migrants to disembark, the news agency ANSA reported.

The rescued passengers have been on the Spanish-flagged ship Open Arms since they were plucked from the Mediterranean nearly three weeks ago.

Westlake Legal Group AP19232794429744 Migrants disembark rescue ship in Italy after 19-day standoff fox-news/world/world-regions/italy fox-news/world/world-regions/europe fox-news/world/disasters/refugees fox news fnc/world fnc Bradford Betz article 45db43b2-59c8-5d04-b71c-8a8dab511dde

Migrants on the Open Arms rescue ship preparing to disembark on the Sicilian island of Lampedusa on Tuesday. (AP)

Salvini had refused to open Italian ports to the vessel even after six countries stepped forward to take the migrants. The group stepped ashore about an hour after the resignation of Italian premier Giuseppe Conte, who accused Salvini of sacrificing the country’s 14-month-old populist government out of eagerness to take the top job himself.

The captain of the Open Arms had previously told Italian officials the crew of 17 was no longer able to maintain control and described the situation as “desperate.” After one Syrian national jumped and was rescued and brought to shore on Lampedusa, two more groups followed his lead. A ferry crew took them to land, sparing them a return to the ship.

Dozens of others have been evacuated in recent days for medical reasons or because they’re minors. Officials said tensions on board were running high, with fights breaking out among the migrants.

ITALIAN PRIME MINISTER RESIGNS AS POPULIST LEADER SALVINI DEMANDS SNAP ELECTION

The temporary confiscation of the rescue ship by the prosecutor “is a cost that Open Arms assumes to secure that the people on board can be assisted,” said the Spanish NGO’s founder, Oscar Camps, on Twitter.

“We consider indispensable prioritizing their health and security in this humanitarian emergency,” he wrote.

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Spain said it would take three days for its navy ship, the Audaz, to reach Lampedusa from the Spanish port of Rota, and it wasn’t immediately clear how long it would take to escort the Open Arms to the Spanish island of Mallorca.

Emilio Damiá Marqués, the commander of the Audaz, told Spanish public broadcaster TVE from Rota that his ship, carrying 62 people including a doctor, was expected to arrive at the Italian island by Friday afternoon.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group c9479a6e-AP19232794429744 Migrants disembark rescue ship in Italy after 19-day standoff fox-news/world/world-regions/italy fox-news/world/world-regions/europe fox-news/world/disasters/refugees fox news fnc/world fnc Bradford Betz article 45db43b2-59c8-5d04-b71c-8a8dab511dde   Westlake Legal Group c9479a6e-AP19232794429744 Migrants disembark rescue ship in Italy after 19-day standoff fox-news/world/world-regions/italy fox-news/world/world-regions/europe fox-news/world/disasters/refugees fox news fnc/world fnc Bradford Betz article 45db43b2-59c8-5d04-b71c-8a8dab511dde

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US Navy ‘ready’ for whatever ‘needs to be done’ in Venezuela, Naval commander says

The U.S. Navy is prepared to take action if needed in Venezuela, a top U.S. Naval commander said this week.

Adm. Craig Faller, who heads the U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) based in Florida, said Tuesday that the Navy must “remain on the balls of our feet” when it comes to the situation in Venezuela, which has been facing a humanitarian crisis amid a fight for control of the country.

“I won’t speak to details of what we’re planning and what we’re doing, but we remain ready to implement policy decisions and we remain on the balls of our feet,” Faller said in Rio de Janeiro as the U.S. started a multination maritime exercise there, AFP reported.

“The United States Navy is the most powerful navy in the world. If a policy decision is made to deploy the Navy, I’m convinced that we’ll be able to do what needs to be done,” he added.

U.S. Navy and Marine forces, as well as military personnel from 12 other Latin American and Caribbean countries, are taking part in UNITAS, a maritime exercise to improve operations and strengthen relationships. The annual drill is being conducted off the coast of Brazil until Aug. 30, AFP said.

VENEZUELAN FIGHTER JET ‘AGGRESSIVELY SHADOWED’ NAVY AIRCRAFT OVER CARIBBEAN SEA, US MILITARY SAYS

Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-38fd56462f9d44ed8417ab07517ad729 US Navy 'ready' for whatever 'needs to be done' in Venezuela, Naval commander says Melissa Leon fox-news/world/world-regions/russia fox-news/world/world-regions/latin-america fox-news/world/world-regions/americas fox-news/us/military/navy fox-news/us/military fox-news/topic/venezuelan-political-crisis fox news fnc/world fnc article 62b11753-edde-5a4b-bd68-a58579a4dbd7

People protest a day after a massive blackout as they gather for a rally called by self-proclaimed interim president of Venezuela Juan Guaido, in Caracas, July 23, 2019. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)

This year, the exercise should send a message to Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, Faller noted.

“[It] sends a message to Maduro and other partners that don’t share the same values,” he said. “Naval exercises send a message to the world of what democracies that work together can do across a range of complex threats.”

“The U.S. government[‘s] focus continues to be to place focused and targeted pressure on an illegitimate regime to ensure there’s a transition to a legitimate, democratic government. Part of that focus is to ensure that the right humanitarian assistance is allowed to get to the people who need it,” Faller said.

Maduro has served as president of Venezuela since 2013, but this past January, opposition leader Juan Guaido declared himself president and swore himself in, attempting to oust Maduro. The U.S. and more than four dozen other countries recognize Guaido as the interim president of Venezuela.

VENEZUELA’S WAR ON CHILDREN AT A ‘BREAKING POINT’ OVER LACK OF MEDICAL CARE

Maduro, who has described humanitarian aid as an “invasion” of the country, has had the support of Russia, China and Cuba, among others. Russia has vowed to send naval ships to Venezuela in a show of support to the socialist regime, Newsweek reported on Thursday.

President Trump has warned against Maduro’s repression, tweeting this past February, “I ask every member of the Maduro regime: End this nightmare of poverty, hunger and death. LET YOUR PEOPLE GO. Set your country free! Now is the time for all Venezuelan Patriots to act together, as one united people. Nothing could be better for the future of Venezuela!”

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Earlier this month, the Trump administration implemented a freeze on the Maduro regime’s assets in the U.S., stopping short of putting a full economic embargo on the country.

When Faller was asked this week how Maduro might respond to the military drills, he said, “I don’t know how Maduro looks at anything.”

Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-a3f316fcace44b3ca89e71e5cf593384 US Navy 'ready' for whatever 'needs to be done' in Venezuela, Naval commander says Melissa Leon fox-news/world/world-regions/russia fox-news/world/world-regions/latin-america fox-news/world/world-regions/americas fox-news/us/military/navy fox-news/us/military fox-news/topic/venezuelan-political-crisis fox news fnc/world fnc article 62b11753-edde-5a4b-bd68-a58579a4dbd7   Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-a3f316fcace44b3ca89e71e5cf593384 US Navy 'ready' for whatever 'needs to be done' in Venezuela, Naval commander says Melissa Leon fox-news/world/world-regions/russia fox-news/world/world-regions/latin-america fox-news/world/world-regions/americas fox-news/us/military/navy fox-news/us/military fox-news/topic/venezuelan-political-crisis fox news fnc/world fnc article 62b11753-edde-5a4b-bd68-a58579a4dbd7

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Hong Kong British consulate employee detained in China; officials ‘extremely concerned’

British officials are “extremely concerned” after a consulate employee in Hong Kong disappeared several days ago after making a business trip to mainland China, where he was reportedly detained.

Simon Cheng Man-kit, 28, was reportedly detained after attempting to return to Hong Kong after he was last seen attending a business event in Shenzhen on Aug. 8, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office said in a statement.

CHINESE DIPLOMAT WARNS BEIJING ‘WILL NOT SIT ON ITS HANDS’: MILITARY RUNS DRILLS NEAR HONG KONG BORDER

It was unclear if Cheng, who worked as a trade and investment officer with the Scottish Development International section of the consulate, had a diplomatic passport, but detaining any person or staff member from a foreign consulate is considered extremely unorthodox.

Westlake Legal Group bk_hongkong Hong Kong British consulate employee detained in China; officials 'extremely concerned' Paulina Dedaj fox-news/world/world-regions/united-kingdom fox-news/world/world-regions/hong-kong fox-news/world/world-regions/china fox-news/world/world-regions/asia fox news fnc/world fnc article 163c56a5-4240-51f0-816e-48b045ef1df3

In this Sunday, July 7, 2019, photo, thousands of protesters carrying the British flag march near the harbor of Hong Kong. Hong Kong police on Tuesday confirmed it had received a report on Aug. 9, 2019, about a British foreign ministry employee who has been missing since crossing into China on a business trip. (AP)

“We are extremely concerned by reports that a member of our team has been detained returning to Hong Kong from Shenzhen,” said the statement, which was forwarded by the British Embassy in Beijing. “We are providing support to his family and seeking further information from authorities in Guangdong Province and Hong Kong.”

While British officials, including the Scottish government, which said it was “concerned for Mr. Cheng’s welfare,” have acknowledged the disappearance, officials in China and Hong Kong are at odds over knowledge of the man’s status.

NEWT GINGRICH: US MUST STAND WITH PEOPLE OF HONG KONG FIGHTING FOR FREEDOM

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said Tuesday that he was “not aware of that,” when asked about Cheng’s apparent detainment.

But Hong Kong police said officers were looking into the case after receiving a missing persons report on Aug. 9, adding that they could not disclose more details because of personal data protection rules.

However, Chief Superintendent Tse Chun-chung disputed those claims saying that Hong Kong police haven’t been notified about the case by mainland Chinese authorities under a mutual notification arrangement set up for such cases.

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Cheng, a permanent resident in Hong Kong, reportedly texted his girlfriend to “pray for me” as he was “passing through” Chinese immigration shortly before his disappearance, The Washington Post reported.

The official’s disappearance comes amid weeks of heated protest between mainland China and Hong Kong over a bitter dispute involving political reform and police brutality.

Meanwhile, hundreds of members of the People’s Armed Police, as well as paramilitary vehicles, have been photographed across the border at a Shenzhen soccer stadium. The stadium is just across a bridge that is one of the main access roads between the mainland and Hong Kong.

Hong Kong was a British colony until it was returned to Chinese rule in 1997.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group bk_hongkong Hong Kong British consulate employee detained in China; officials 'extremely concerned' Paulina Dedaj fox-news/world/world-regions/united-kingdom fox-news/world/world-regions/hong-kong fox-news/world/world-regions/china fox-news/world/world-regions/asia fox news fnc/world fnc article 163c56a5-4240-51f0-816e-48b045ef1df3   Westlake Legal Group bk_hongkong Hong Kong British consulate employee detained in China; officials 'extremely concerned' Paulina Dedaj fox-news/world/world-regions/united-kingdom fox-news/world/world-regions/hong-kong fox-news/world/world-regions/china fox-news/world/world-regions/asia fox news fnc/world fnc article 163c56a5-4240-51f0-816e-48b045ef1df3

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Russia resumes sharing radiation data following missile explosion, says they’re not obliged to do so

Russia has resumed sharing data from its radiation monitoring stations in Siberia after some were taken offline following a deadly explosion at a missile range, a nuclear weapons watchdog said Tuesday.

The mysterious accident at a naval weapons testing range on the White Sea in northwestern Russia earlier this month has been accompanied by changing or contradictory information from Russian authorities. That has led to speculation about what really happened in the town of and what type of weapon was involved.

RUSSIA NUCLEAR MONITORING SITES LOST CONTACT AFTER MYSTERY BLAST: REPORT

It has even raised comparisons to the Soviet Union’s 1986 disaster at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Ukraine, the world’s worst nuclear disaster, when Soviet officials tried to cover up the news for days.

The Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization said earlier this week that several Russian radiation monitoring stations went silent shortly after the reported explosion.

Westlake Legal Group AP19226555115395 Russia resumes sharing radiation data following missile explosion, says they're not obliged to do so fox-news/world/world-regions/russia fox-news/world/world-regions/europe fnc/world fnc Associated Press article 4dc8d40b-9bd1-5bd3-b58a-559e233b2bdb

This photo taken on Oct. 7, 2018, shows a village of Nyonoksa, northwestern Russia. The Aug. 8, 2019, explosion of a rocket engine at the Russian navy’s testing range just outside Nyonoksa led to a brief spike in radiation levels and raised new questions about prospective Russian weapons.  (AP)

RUSSIAN HEALTH WORKERS SAY THEY WEREN’T WARNED PATIENTS WERE COMING FROM NUCLEAR ACCIDENT SITE

Lassina Zebro, the organization’s executive secretary, said Tuesday on Twitter that the two Russian stations that were reported to be offline are back in operation and they are now backfilling the data. He also lauded Moscow for “excellent cooperation.”

Russian officials earlier Tuesday brushed off suggestions that they were concealing details of the explosion from foreign nations.

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Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told the Interfax news agency Tuesday that it is Russia’s choice, not an obligation, to share data under the treaty. He did not directly address the reports that information on radiation levels was not shared.

Westlake Legal Group AP19226555115395 Russia resumes sharing radiation data following missile explosion, says they're not obliged to do so fox-news/world/world-regions/russia fox-news/world/world-regions/europe fnc/world fnc Associated Press article 4dc8d40b-9bd1-5bd3-b58a-559e233b2bdb   Westlake Legal Group AP19226555115395 Russia resumes sharing radiation data following missile explosion, says they're not obliged to do so fox-news/world/world-regions/russia fox-news/world/world-regions/europe fnc/world fnc Associated Press article 4dc8d40b-9bd1-5bd3-b58a-559e233b2bdb

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Brazil police ‘neutralize’ armed man holding dozens hostage on bus in Rio de Janeiro

Westlake Legal Group police-rio-2-iStock Brazil police 'neutralize' armed man holding dozens hostage on bus in Rio de Janeiro Stephen Sorace fox-news/world/world-regions/latin-america fox-news/world/world-regions/brazil fox news fnc/world fnc article 604315df-922d-54fd-b86a-686ca2020455

A Brazilian police sniper “neutralized” an armed man who held dozens of people hostage on a public bus in Rio de Janeiro, officials said.

All of the hostages were released unharmed, Rio de Janeiro State Military Police said.

The hostage situation began around 5:30 a.m. local time Tuesday on a busy bridge linking Niteroi to downtown Rio de Janeiro. Police shut down traffic to the area and placed a sniper on a nearby perch.

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Federal Highway Police said the armed man, who was threatening to set the bus on fire, had been holding 37 people hostage. Negotiations were underway before the standoff ended.

At least 6 of the hostages were released during the incident, telling authorities that the man had spilled gasoline in the bus. They said the man identified himself as a policeman, although this has not been confirmed. He reportedly had a gun and a knife.

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Authorities said the man had not made any particular demands and appeared to have “psychological problems.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

This is a breaking news story. Please check back for updates.

Westlake Legal Group police-rio-2-iStock Brazil police 'neutralize' armed man holding dozens hostage on bus in Rio de Janeiro Stephen Sorace fox-news/world/world-regions/latin-america fox-news/world/world-regions/brazil fox news fnc/world fnc article 604315df-922d-54fd-b86a-686ca2020455   Westlake Legal Group police-rio-2-iStock Brazil police 'neutralize' armed man holding dozens hostage on bus in Rio de Janeiro Stephen Sorace fox-news/world/world-regions/latin-america fox-news/world/world-regions/brazil fox news fnc/world fnc article 604315df-922d-54fd-b86a-686ca2020455

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