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Last year, the Earth sweltered under the hottest temperatures in modern times for the third year in a row, US scientists said Wednesday, raising new concerns about the quickening pace of climate change. Temperatures spiked to new national highs in parts of India, Kuwait and Iran, while sea ice melted faster than ever in the fragile Arctic, said the report by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Taking a global average of the land and sea surface temperatures for the entire year, NOAA found the data for "2016 was the highest since record keeping began in 1880," said the announcement.
Gambian President Yahya Jammeh looked determined to cling to power on Wednesday as his mandate came to an end, while tourists packed onto planes in an exodus sparked by a state of emergency. Jammeh said Tuesday the emergency was necessary due to interference of foreign powers in the West African country's December 1 election, which the president of 22 years lost to opponent Adama Barrow. Barrow, who is currently sheltering in neighbouring Senegal, maintains his inauguration will go ahead on Thursday on Gambian soil, putting the country on a collision course.