• NOAA/NASA(NEW YORK) — A NASA-NOAA satellite captured footage of Cyclone Debbie as it passed over Queensland, Australia, on Wednesday.In the video, the storm system's clouds can be seen stretching from Brisbane in the south all the way up to Townsville in the north.Cyclone Debbie hit the coast of Queensland with winds up to 160 mph.There have been no reports of deaths from the storm, but hundreds of thousands of people have been left without power.
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  • KK Productions(NEW YORK) — A video of a snake so thirsty that it accepted a drink of water from a local villager in India appears to show how a drought in the southwestern state of Karnataka is affecting wildlife. A cobra that emerged from its hiding spot was caught on camera slinking its way across a dry landscape and coming to a stop when presented with a plastic bottle filled with water. The strange sight continued as the reptile opened its jaws to accept a drink from the villager with the bottle. From what can be seen on the minute-long video, the snake enjoyed more than 20 seconds of refreshment.
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  • Qld Fire & Emergency(QUEENSLAND, Australia) — The calm after the storm wasn't so calm after emergency crews on Thursday found an unexpected shark out of water on a flooded road in Queensland, Australia.Residents of Queensland were warned to stay out of the floodwaters after Cyclone Debbie left an almost five-foot long bull shark washed up on an inland road.
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  • Photosensia/iStock/Thinkstock(ANKARA, Turkey) -- A key partner in the fight against terror and an ally with a faltering record on human rights, Turkey will host Secretary of State Rex Tillerson Thursday as he embarks on his fourth overseas trip.There will be plenty to discuss as the two countries continue to work together to defeat ISIS even as the State Department has warned of "an increase in anti-American rhetoric" in Turkey that could "inspire independent actors to carry out acts of violence against U.S. citizens."Tillerson landed in the capital Ankara Wednesday evening, and here are the top issues he faces:REASSURING A KEY MILITARY PARTNERTurkey “has suffered more losses to terrorism than all the Europeans combined,” according to a senior State Department official. Tillerson will be expressing appreciation for their contributions to the fight against ISIS and discussing the next steps in combating global terrorism.Areas for cooperation include the upcoming fight for Raqqa, ISIS’s de facto capital, and the establishment of “de-escalation zones” to stabilize areas won back from ISIS.“Stabilization is very different than a nation-building endeavor,” one senior official said, referring to measures that include the clearing of IEDs and landmines and the resumption of services like electricity and running water. It’s “a sustainable campaign at minimal cost for U.S. taxpayers," and a minimum risk of American lives -- "very different than what we’ve done before," the official said.The campaign for Raqqa is “proceeding very well and in fact accelerating,” but it's also facing challenges over the various factions involved. The U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces, including the Kurdish militia known as the YPG, will take the lead.Turkey has pushed back over the involvement of the Kurds, an ethnic group with a large population that straddles Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Iran.Turkish officials have expressed concerns over their growing clout as they seek their own state and consider the YPG a terrorist organization for its ties to other Kurdish independence groups like the PKK that the U.S. has designated as a foreign terrorist organization.“There are differences with Turkey on some issues, as there are with any of our coalition partners, and so we’ll work through those,” said a senior official.WADING INTO A TENSE MOMENT FOR TURKEYThe trip comes at a tense time in Turkey as well. The country is set to vote in just a few weeks on a referendum that would extend a state of emergency and grant even more power to the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.Erdogan emerged from a failed military coup last summer and has since consolidated power in his government and jailed opposition leaders, journalists, and fired thousands of government employees. More than 100 reporters have been detained and over 175 press outlets shut down, according to the nonprofit Reporters Without Borders.“It’s very hard to predict where Turkey is going to be in terms of how they factor in a visit from a U.S. Secretary of State into their domestic political referendum, but it’s certainly something that we all are acutely aware of and that the secretary will be mindful of while he’s there,” said a senior State Department official.And while Tillerson “will not veer from” America’s support for freedom of expression and fair trial guarantees in Turkey, officials did not say whether that means Tillerson will raise the issue himself.He is not meeting with members of the opposition, though. “His schedule doesn’t allow time to meet with anyone else” beyond Erdogan, foreign minister Mevlüt Çavusoglu, and the U.S. embassy staff, the senior official said.The tension over the referendum has spilled over to other European countries. Germany, which has a large Turkish population, butted heads with Turkey after Er
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  • Top Photo Group/iStock/Thinkstock(PERU) -- Deep in the Peruvian Amazon lives a giant tree frog that is in high demand for its natural toxins, which people are using to poison themselves in a ceremony that has become the latest super clense trend.For hundreds of years, these frogs have been used by Amazonian tribes for their supposedly powerful healing properties. The person first burns a small area of their skin and then applies the frog toxins, called “kambo” or “sapo,” to the burned spot so it’s quickly absorbed into the bloodstream.At first, the person feels a few moments of serenity, but then within seconds, that feeling turns to suffering and can force the person to vomit.The effects shortly fades away and practitioners say it’s worth it, claiming the process can cure depression, drug dependency, heart problems, high blood pressure and gastrointestinal issues.Lenny Kosh works as a mortgage broker and went to a kambo practitioner in the Los Angeles hills on a recommendation from his holistic health practitioner.“Kambo is helping me resolve emotions to understand them; it’s almost like a guide to a resolution,” Kosh said. "I believe that everyone should go through this experience at least once in their life."“It did kind of scare me,” added Johndell Hill, who also was trying kambo for the first time. “But I kind of trusted… my intuition.”Currently, there is no research indicating kambo benefits human health and it is not officially classified as a medicine. There is no regulation of this treatment by the FDA or other authorities, though kambo is legal in the U.S. and people who use it swear by it.“Like any medicine, if you … do it with no knowledge, [there] is obviously more danger,” said Simon Scott, the founder of Kambo Cleanse, a retreat organization based in Arizona. “It requires a certain amount of preparation… So I would say it's not wise to do kambo if you have not done it before, you know, alone.”Watch the “Nightline” team’s harrowing journey deep into the Amazon rainforest to see the fabled frog up close and capture the kambo experience HERE.Amazon explorer Peter Gorman, who claims credit for bringing sapo to the U.S., owns a camp in the rainforest where visitors who want to try kambo can stay.“[Kambo] somehow just seemed to explode on the scene,” Gorman said. “It's the emerging stages of a small but legitimate phenomenon.”As treatments from the Amazon like kambo become more popular, Gorman said people can’t ignore the impact it could have on the local ecosystem.“I don't think any indigenous group in the Amazon is large enough to be able to handle busloads of tourists coming in,” he said. “I think that would destroy their entire way of life.”The toxins are scraped off the frog's back with a stick.In order to extract the toxins from the frog, the guide places strings around each of its four feet and spreads the frog’s body out between four sticks. The toxins the frog releases as a defense mechanism are then scraped off its back with another stick. The frog is then released back into the wild.Once the toxins have dried on the stick, the skin is burned, the toxins are reconstituted with saliva or water and applied to the burnt skin. It takes about 15 seconds to feel the effects.Peter Arnold traveled all the way from Switzerland for kambo. He said he had tried it four times already because he wanted the “unique” experience.“You throw up, you feel very sick, you feel like you’re going to die,” he said laughing. “And finally it’s going away and after that, you have a kind of a feeling of being relieved.”But afterward, participants say they feel cleansed.“It was a unique experience,” Arnold said. “I believe it really works like the detoxification of your body.
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  • iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The U.S. military is now conducting a formal investigation into what role a U.S. airstrike may have played in the deaths of as many as 200 civilians in Mosul, Iraq.Gen. Joseph Votel, the commander of U.S. Central Command, told a congressional committee that there has been no change in the rules of engagement regarding airstrikes targeting ISIS in Iraq and Mosul.The U.S.-led coalition fighting ISIS has acknowledged that a March 17 airstrike in western Mosul was close to the location of three houses that were leveled with dozens of civilians inside.Votel told the House Armed Services Committee Wednesday that the review into the allegations of civilian casualties at the site had transitioned into a more formal investigation."It'll be a more formalized approach to really look into the details of this as much as we can to establish what happened, establish what the facts are, identify accountability and then certainly identify the lessons learned out of that," said Votel.Headed by an Air Force brigadier general, Votel said the investigation will look at what role the U.S. military and ISIS may have played in the civilian deaths. The intelligence and planning for the airstrike as well as the types of the munitions that were used will also be reviewed.Votel said he agreed with Lt. Gen. Stephen Townsend's assessment Tuesday that there is "a fair chance that our operations may have contributed to civilian casualties.”Townsend, the commander of Operation Inherent Resolve, said that it appeared the civilians found at the site may have been placed there as human shields by ISIS.“I think is also important to clearly recognize that the enemy does use human shields, has little regard for human life and does attempt to use civilian casualty allegations as a tool to hinder our operations," Votel added. "And so they bear responsibility for this as well.”Votel told the committee that there has been no change to the rules of engagement for U.S. airstrikes targeting ISIS.“We have not relaxed the rules of engagement,” Votel said.
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