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Chinese officials feasted on a critically endangered giant salamander and turned violent when journalists photographed the luxury banquet, according to media reports Tuesday on the event which appeared to flout Beijing's austerity campaign. The 28 diners included senior police officials from the southern city of Shenzhen, the Global Times said. The giant salamander is believed by some Chinese to have anti-ageing properties, but there is no orthodox evidence to back the claim. The species is classed as "critically endangered" on the International Union for Conservation of Nature's (IUCN) Red List of threatened species, which says the population has "declined catastrophically over the last 30 years".
Seventy years after the liberation of Auschwitz, ageing survivors and dignitaries gather at the site synonymous with the Holocaust on Tuesday to honour victims and sound the alarm over a fresh wave of anti-Semitism. On the eve of the landmark event, which is expected to draw several heads of state, a leading Jewish organisation was echoed by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Hollywood mogul Steven Spielberg in highlighting violence against Jews in modern-day Europe. Europe is "close to" a new exodus of Jews, European Jewish Congress chief Moshe Kantor warned at a Holocaust forum in the Czech capital Prague.
TOKYO (AP) — A Japanese envoy in Jordan expressed hope that both a Japanese hostage and a Jordanian pilot held by Islamic militants will return home "with a smile on their faces," as criticisms mounted Tuesday over the government's handling of the crisis.