While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, Nov 3 edition

 A sand cat and her  kitten in Ramat Gan, near Tel Aviv. An Israeli cabinet minister  on Monday proposed sending stray dogs and cats to another country as an alternative to government-funded efforts to sterilise them.
A sand cat and her kitten in Ramat Gan, near Tel Aviv. An Israeli cabinet minister on Monday proposed sending stray dogs and cats to another country as an alternative to government-funded efforts to sterilise them. PHOTO: REUTERS

Flight recorders show crashed Russian jet not struck from outside - investigator

The Russian plane that crashed in Egypt was not struck from the outside and the pilot did not make a distress call before it disappeared from radar, a source in the committee analysing the flight recorders said on Monday.

The source declined to give more details but based his comments on the preliminary examination of the black boxes recovered from the Airbus A321 which crashed in the Sinai Peninsula on Saturday killing all 224 people on board.

The Egyptian government said the black boxes were being examined by Egyptian and Russian experts along with German and French specialists from Airbus and from Ireland where the aircraft was registered

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'Unusual' fog disrupts flights across Europe

 An unusually large blanket of thick fog descended on European airports Monday, causing scores of flight cancellations from London Heathrow, the continent's busiest, and delays at key hubs including Amsterdam and Frankfurt.

Eurocontrol, the European air traffic control organisation, said the opaque vapour also caused delays in Paris, Stuttgart, Hamburg, Berlin, Luxembourg and Brussels, though Britain was the worst affected.

"It's unusual that you have fog affecting so many airports over a couple of days," a Eurocontrol spokesman told AFP.

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US expands Volkswagen emissions probe to luxury models

 US environmental regulators on Monday said Volkswagen AG had installed emissions-control cheating devices in diesel luxury vehicles in model years 2014 through 2016.

The move pulls Volkswagen's luxury brands, Porsche and Audi, deeper into the emissions cheating scandal that has engulfed the Volkswagen brand. The EPA said the new investigation centres on 3.0 litre engines used mostly in larger, more expensive models.

Among the diesel models officials named as being in violation of US laws are the Porsche Cayenne sport utility vehicle and five Audi models, including the A6 sedan and the Q5 SUV.

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A howler? Israeli minister proposes deporting stray dogs and cats

Claws were out on Monday after an Israeli cabinet minister proposed sending stray dogs and cats to another country as an alternative to government-funded efforts to sterilise them.

"Use the budget to transfer stray dogs and/or cats of one gender (all the males or all the females) to a foreign nation that will agree to accept them," Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel suggested in a letter to a cabinet colleague leaked to the mass circulation Yedioth Ahronoth daily.

The proposal, which a spokesman for Ariel said had been rejected after initial consultations within the Agriculture Ministry, was roundly criticised by animal rights activists and bemused opposition politicians.

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Star Trek to boldly go back to TV with new series

The sci-fi show Star Trek is boldly going back to television, with a new series introducing new characters and alien civilisations that will launch in January 2017, CBS television said on Monday.

The show depicting the adventures of the Starship Enterprise - which spawned more than a dozen movies and five TV series since its launch in 1966 - will mark its 50th anniversary next year.

The new series will be shown primarily on CBS's streaming and subscription service, CBS Access, with only a special preview episode being shown on broadcast television.

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