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Maine whale biologist says whale protected her from shark

BRUNSWICK, Maine — A marine biologist believes a humpback whale shielded her from a 15-foot tiger shark in the South Pacific.

Nan Hauser said she didn’t understand the actions of the 25-ton whale that she met face-to-face in the Cook Islands. Then she saw the shark.

She’s heard on a video telling the massive mammal, “I love you!”

Rats! DC wages war against resurgent rodents with dry ice

WASHINGTON — Any mists spotted rising over the swamp may just be Washington wielding its newest weapon in its never-ending war on rats: dry ice.

The District of Columbia’s rodent control division’s program manager, Gerard Brown, tells The Washington Post the frozen form of carbon dioxide complements the poison the city uses, as reported rat complaints reach a four-year high.

Russian army demonstrates latest weapon: Cuddly puppies

MOSCOW — The Russian Armed Forces has unveiled its latest cutting-edge weapon in a New Year greetings video: cuddly puppies.

After a year of showing off its military might in Syria, the Defence Ministry has taken a softer approach. The one-minute video shows dozens of puppies sharing food and cuddling with each other. Older dogs are shown playing with unidentified officers.

Dictionary.com chooses ‘complicit’ as its word of the year

NEW YORK — Dictionary.com announced Monday that “complicit” is the site’s word of the year in a contentious 2017.

Site lexicographer Jane Solomon says numerous events, from politics to natural disasters, drove more people to look up “complicit” at particular times of the year. Overall, she said, look-ups of the word increased nearly 300 per cent over 2016.

Ex-teen hearttrob dies

NEW YORK—David Cassidy could sell the heck out of uncertainty.

“I Think I Love You," the smash hit that in 1970 launched the Partridge Family musical group plus the ABC comedy-with-songs show of the same name, found Cassidy centre stage delivering such lyrics as "I think I love you, so what am I so afraid of?/I'm afraid that I'm not sure of a love there is no cure for.”

Bread made of insects to be sold in Finnish supermarkets

COPENHAGEN — One of Finland’s largest food companies is selling what it claims to be a first: insect bread.

Markus Hellstrom, head of the Fazer group’s bakery division, said Thursday that one loaf contains about 70 dried house crickets, ground into powder and added to the flour. The crickets represent 3 per cent of the bread’s weight, Hellstrom said.