President Barack Obama has urged President-elect Donald Trump to stand up to Russia if it pushes the US to change its values and norms.
The President spoke in Berlin with German Chancellor Angela Merkel about the close relationship between the countries, including the US and the European Union (EU) as a whole.
He hoped Mr Trump would refrain from a realpolitik approach and striking deals that might “leave smaller countries vulnerable, or create long-term problems in regions like Syria”.
The leaders discussed the crises in Ukraine and Syria, and cyber attacks. They spoke highly of each other and acknowledged their close relationship over the past eight years. Mr Obama said she was an outstanding partner and appreciated her integrity, truthfulness and thoughtfulness. In turn Mrs Merkel said the parting was hard.
Duterte offers refugees home in the Phillipines
The President of the Philippines Rodrigo Duterte has offered to take in refugees, saying he will welcome them until the country is “filled to the brim”. The president’s willingness to welcome refugees comes at a time where many countries are choosing to close their borders. The rate at which people are being displaced around the world has risen by 300 per cent since 2005.
“Send them to us. We will accept them. We will accept them all. They are human beings,” the president told Al Jazeera.
Mr Duterte has been criticised for his tough stance on drugs which has resulted in the deaths of over 3,680 people. The EU and US have condemned his policies and accused him of violating human rights.
Astronaut will become oldest woman in space
US Astronaut Peggy Whitson will turn 57 while on her third mission to the International Space Station (ISS), making her the oldest woman in space. Ms Whitson holds the record for being the woman who has spent the most time in space and is also set to break the record for the longest time spent in space by an American.
The rocket, launched from Kazakhstan, is expected to arrive at the ISS on Saturday, and has two other astronauts on board.
“The most important thing about the station is the friendships and the work we accomplish there,” Ms Whitson said before the launch.
Ten Commandments stone sells for almost one million dollars
A stone carving of the Ten Commandments that is approximately 1500 years old has sold in a US auction for $A980,000.
The marble slab is the world’s earliest known carving, inscribed in Samaritan Hebrew, listing nine of the original Biblical commandments and a tenth district rule. It was discovered in 1913 in the city of Yavneh, in what is now Israel.
An unidentified buyer bought the 60cm stone at a Los Angeles auction under the condition it will be displayed in a public museum.
Suicide bomber kills 40 at Iraq wedding
At least 40 people died and over 60 injured when a suicide bomber attacked a police officer’s wedding in an Iraqi city. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack, but police believe the Islamic State group are behind it.
ISIS has been losing territory in Iraq for the past year and now faces the loss of its last stronghold in the country, the city of Mosul. – Compiled from web sources by Alicia Camilleri and Sinead Fogarty
Screengrab from The White House Youtube video.