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New Orleans appears to have escaped the worst from a weakened Tropical Storm Barry.

Barry made landfall near Intracoastal City, about 160 miles west of the city, according to the National Hurricane Center.

New Orleans had been braced for the worst, with its flood defences expecting their biggest test since Hurricane Katrina brought tragedy to the region 14 years ago.

But by the early hours of Sunday, the city’s outlook had improved greatly.

Tourists walk on Bourbon St. during Hurricane Barry in New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S. July 13, 2019
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New Orleans had prepared for the worst but appears to have escaped most of it

For just a few hours, Barry reached maximum sustained winds of 75 mph, just above the 74 mph required for a Category 1 hurricane.

On Saturday evening, there had been only light showers and gusty winds and forecasters said the rainfall may be limited to 2-4in (5-10cm).

However, the storm is moving so slowly that city officials have warned its effects may be prolonged.

Mayor LaToya Cantrell said: “The slow pace pushed the timing of expected impacts further into today, tonight and Sunday.

“This means that New Orleans residents are not out of the woods with this system.”

Benches and walkways are flooded by water along the Berwick River in Morgan City, Louisiana ahead of Tropical Storm Barry Saturday, July 13,2019
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The Berwick River in Morgan City, Louisiana, saw heavy rain

Some other parts of Louisiana were hit hard on Saturday, with highways flooded and people seen climbing onto rooftops to escape rising water.

Dozens of people had to be rescued in Terrebonne Parish, south of New Orleans, including a man whose home flooded.

In Baton Rouge the winds were strong enough to rock large trucks.

Louisiana governor John Bel Edwards said: “This is just the beginning – it’s going to be a long several days for our state.”

There were also power cuts – more than 120,000 customers in Louisiana and another 6,000 in Mississippi and Alabama on Saturday.

Parts of Mississippi and Alabama also saw some heavy rain.

Lake Pontchartrain flood-gates are seen closed ahead of Tropical Storm Barry in New Orleans, Louisiana, on July 12, 2019
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Flood gates were closed in New Orleans, fearing a test for its defences

The National Hurricane Center said: “Life-threatening flash flooding and significant river flooding are still expected along Barry’s path inland from Louisiana and up through the lower Mississippi Valley, beginning late tonight and continuing through at least Monday.”

The storm is expected to weaken further on Sunday, becoming a tropical depression later in the day.

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US Space Force mocked over new camouflage uniform | US News

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The US Space Force has been mocked after proudly unveiling its new uniforms – featuring full woodland camouflage.

It posted an image of the gear on Twitter saying: “Space Force propels the @DeptofDefence into a new era dedicated to protecting US and national interests and security in space.”

However, the reaction to the new outfit has been less than complimentary – with most pointing out the design will not help troops blend in during space missions.

One person tweeted: “How many trees are you expecting to find in space?”

Another pointed out: “Space is black… I feel like this is an important distinction when designing a uniform.”

One Twitter critic suggested the president could learn a few things from Star Wars, pointing out: “The only explanation I have is that The #SpaceForce will be invading the forest moon of Endor.

“I doubt the US has learned that an occupying military has little chance of conquering the Ewoks.”

Following the vitriol directed at it, the United States Space Force posted a further statement, adding: “USSF is utilizing current Army/Air Force uniforms, saving costs of designing/producing a new one.”

Donald Trump launched the force last month, claiming “space is the world’s new war-fighting domain” as he signed off the $1.4trn (£1.08trn) National Defence Authorisation Act.

It is part of a package that also provides money for a US-Mexico border wall.



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40-stone Islamic State leader Abu Abdul Bari arrested in Iraq and taken away in truck because he was too heavy for car | World News

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A 40-stone Islamic State terrorist has been arrested in Iraq by a SWAT team, security officials have said.

Abu Abdul Bari, also known as Shifa al-Nima, was taken away on the back of a truck after his arrest in Mosul as the extremist, who weighs an estimated 40-stone (254kg), could not be transported in a car.

Pictures of Bari, who Iraqi police consider to be one of IS’s senior figures, on the vehicle wedged against a mounted machine gun have appeared online. He is also pictured at home.

It is unclear how he was removed from his hiding place.

Bari is an IS mufti, or expert in religious law, who issued fatwas that led to the deaths of scholars and clerics who refused to pledge allegiance to the terrorist group when it occupied the city, officials said.

During the group’s self-styled caliphate in 2014, he ordered the destruction of a mosque built at the site believed to be the burial place of the biblical prophet Jonah, who once had a notable encounter with a whale.

The Iraqi government’s security services announced the arrest in a statement, is has been reported.

The statement said the preacher, considered one of the top leaders of “IS gangs”, was known for “provocative speeches against the security forces”, the independent US military news outlet Stars and Stripes added.

Maajid Nawaz, founder of the London-based anti-extremism think Quilliam, said on Facebook that Bari “had to be taken by police in the back of a pick-up truck”.

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Australia wildfires: Floods follows flames as warnings put in place | World News

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After devastating bushfires across Australia the country is now facing a new threat – flooding.

Heavy rain and thunderstorms have hit parts of Australia‘s East coast – but downpours have brought relief and concern in equal measure.

Flooding in Brisbane
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Queensland residents were warned not to venture across floodwaters

While they have put out some of the fires that have burning for months, they have also left the area vulnerable to flooding.

New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory are both on flood watch, and flood warnings are in place for the Orara and Bellinger rivers on the north coast.

Severe thunderstorm warnings are in place in across parts of Queensland and the Northern Territory, with the Bureau of Meteorology warning of damaging wind and heavy rainfall.

A strong wind warning has been issued for the Byron, Illawarra and Batemans Coast regions.

Queensland Fire and Emergency Services have warned people not to attempt to get through the flood waters and to stay inside if at all possible.

They have also said people should avoid using the telephone during a thunderstorm.

Rain in the states of Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland have left some areas underwater and caused power cuts.

Flooding in Brisbane
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Flooded tennis courts in Brisbane, Queensland
Flooding in Brisbane
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Meteorologists say the rains are a one in 100 year event

Up to 300mm of rain fell near the Gold Coast, closing major roads and local attractions.

Some areas saw triple the monthly rainfall in just one night, according to the weather bureau.

Brisbane resident Meg Fallon said: “It’s just beautiful listening to [the rain] on the roof, it’s just been so long since we’ve had it”.

Meteorologists say the rains are a one in 100 year event.

Flooding in Brisbane
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Brisbane resident Meg Fallon described the sound of rain as ‘beautiful’

Australia’s wildfires are an annual occurrence, but the 2019/20 season has been particularly severe.

At least 28 people have been killed and tens of thousands of people have been evacuated from their homes.

More than 104,000 sq km of land has been scorched – an area bigger than South Korea.

Firefighters are still tackling around 100 fires which are still burning three months on.

The Australian Open is due to kick off in Melbourne on Monday, but organisers have said play will have to be suspended if air pollution caused by smoke exceeds dangerous levels.

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