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Michigan: Dad ‘saved daughter’s life’ by shielding her during plane crash – and she was the only survivor | US News

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A dad shielded his daughter in his arms – saving her life during a plane crash on Lake Michigan at the weekend, a family friend has said.

Mike Perdue reportedly died saving his daughter’s life in a light-commuter plane crash near Beaver Island on Saturday.

The 11-year-old was the sole survivor of the crash that saw four people killed.

Family friend and business partner Ryan Wojan told CNN: “He cradled her in his arms. She doesn’t remember anything, except for her daddy squeezing her so hard.”

Mr Wojan said Mr Perdue’s wife “wanted to be sure that everyone knew who he was and how he gave his life for his daughter”.

Mr Wojan, who flew to Beaver Island on the same plane three hours before the crash, said he and Mr Perdue were meeting for a hunting trip, while the girl was going to a family friend’s for the weekend.

The flight between the town of Charlevoix and Welke Airport, on Beaver Island at the north end of the Great Lake, was coming into land when the crash happened, according to NBC25.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said the Britton-Norman BN2P plane crashed around 2.30pm local time (7.30pm UK).

The girl and one adult were taken to hospital, although the adult later died.

The girl remains in hospital with several fractures but her injuries are not life threatening.

Couple Kate Leese and Adam Kendall, who were taking their dogs to the vet in the plane, have been named as two of the victims by CNN who spoke to a family member.

Kate’s sister, Amanda Danielle Leese, told the outlet the couple were “meant for each other”.

The pilot of the plane was the fourth victim, according to Charlevoix County Sheriff Lieutenant William Church.

Authorities are investigating the cause of the crash.

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Rio cancels New Year’s Eve celebrations amid spread of Omicron variant | World News

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Rio has cancelled its traditional New Year’s Eve celebrations as the Omicron COVID variant spreads around the world.

Announcing the move on Twitter, the mayor of the Brazilian city Eduardo Paes said the decision was taken “with sadness”, but that organisers “respect the science”.

It comes as countries around the world wrestle with the transmission of the worrying new COVID-19 strain, first identified in South Africa.

Latest official figures show Brazil registered 221 coronavirus deaths on Friday and 10,627 additional cases.

The South American country has now registered a total of 615,400 coronavirus deaths and 22,129,409 confirmed cases.

Mr Paes said: “We respect science.

“As there are divergent opinions among scientific committees, we will always stick with the most restrictive.

“The city council says it can. The state’s says no. So it can’t.

“We’re going to cancel the official New Year’s Eve celebration in Rio in this way.”

He added: “I make the decision with sadness, but we cannot organise the celebration without the guarantee of all the health authorities.

“Unfortunately, we cannot organise a party of this size, in which we have a lot of expenses and logistics involved, without the minimum time for preparation.

“If this is the command of the State (this was not what the governor had been telling me), let’s accept it.

“I hope I can be in Copacabana hugging everyone from 22 to 23. It will be missed but the important thing is that we continue vaccinating and saving lives.”

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Indonesia volcano eruption leaves one dead and dozens injured as Mount Semeru sends ash cloud 50,000ft in the air | World News

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The tallest volcano on the Indonesian island of Java has erupted, killing at least one person and sending huge clouds of ash into the air.

TV footage shows Mount Semeru in the Lumajang district of East Java spewing giant clouds of ash at around 7pm local time (12pm UK) on Saturday as villagers run for shelter.

A volcano monitoring body said the ash clouds had risen up to 50,000ft in the air, with witnesses claiming they had blacked out the sun in some places.

At least one person is reported to have died and 41 people have been left with burn injuries, health officials said.

Around 30 buildings and a bridge were destroyed in the eruption, which was accompanied by thunderstorms that hampered evacuation efforts.

Lumajang district head Thoriqul Haq told TVOne: “Thick columns of ash have turned several villages to darkness.”

He added that a number of people had been moved to temporary shelters or nearby secure areas.

The 12,060ft volcano last erupted in January, causing no deaths.

Indonesia, an archipelago of more than 270 million people, is prone to earthquakes and volcanic activity because it sits along the Pacific ‘Ring of Fire’, a horseshoe-shaped series of fault lines.

Read more: Ring of fire – why does Indonesia have so many earthquakes?

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Russia planning military offensive in Ukraine, according to US intelligence officials | World News

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Russia is planning a military offensive against Ukraine, which could begin as soon as early 2022, according to United States intelligence officials.

The finding estimates that Moscow is planning to use 175,000 troops and almost half of them are already deployed along various points near Ukraine‘s border, according to an anonymous official in Joe Biden‘s administration.

The official added that plans call for the movement of 100 battalion tactical groups along with armour, artillery and equipment.

It comes as Mr Biden pledged on Friday to make it “very, very difficult” for Vladimir Putin to take military action in Ukraine.

“We’ve been aware of Russia’s actions for a long time and my expectation is we’re gonna have a long discussion with Putin,” Mr Biden said.

“I don’t accept anyone’s red line.”

US intelligence officials have also observed an uptick in Russian propaganda through the use of proxies and media outlets to denigrate Ukraine and NATO ahead of a potential invasion, the White House official said.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian officials also warned that Russia could invade in the new year.

Ukrainian Defence Minister Oleksii Reznikov said on Friday that the number of Russian troops near Ukraine and in Russia-annexed Crimea is estimated at 94,300, warning that a “large-scale escalation” is possible in January.

The Kremlin has previously dismissed accusations from Washington that it is preparing for an invasion, while the US has threatened to hit Russia with the harshest sanctions yet if it takes military action against Ukraine.

Russia has also picked up its demands on Mr Biden to guarantee that Ukraine will not be allowed to join NATO and has warned the US it will respond if Ukraine is drawn into any “geopolitical games“.

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