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World's Ugliest Dog 2018 : Zsa Zsa the English bulldog takes top prize

  • loll: The annual competition started as a parody of more traditional pure-breed dog contests, with hounds flaunting their hairless bodies, lolling tongues or unusual eyes.
  • squat: Her short, squat legs were given an extra special touch, as Zsa Zsa sported hot-pink nail polish.
  • inbred: English bulldogs are one of the most inbred types of dogs, with some geneticists saying the problem is now so bad their health will never be able to improve.

Why the United States Needs North Korea to Stay Nuclear

  • pacify: First, possessing nuclear weapons is the best way to pacify North Korea and constrain its aggr ession.
  • defiant: Intensifying military and economic pressure against the North has only made it more defiant and unpredictable.
  • tense: If U.S. and Chinese forces were to face each other on the Korean peninsula directly, there would be a higher chance for clash and escalation, especially given already tense standoff the United States and China face in the East and South China Seas.
  • tacit: More importantly, the threat posed by North Korea can be alleviated if it is brought into a larger block, if even just a tacit one, to balance a rising China.
  • subjugate: Offensive realism would predict that a China more confident in its conventional capabilities may seek to directly balance the U.S.-RO K alliance by subjugating North Korea and basing Chinese forces on the peninsula.

China Could Win a War Against America in the South China Sea

  • warship: For two decades now, Beijing has invested lavishly in a great navy, and backed that navy up with shore-based firepower in the form of combat aircraft, anti-ship missile batteries, and short-range warships such as fast patrol craft and diesel submarines.
  • regale: Party leaders have regaled the populace with how they will use seagoing forces to right historical wrongs and win the nation nautical renown.
  • nautical: Party leaders have regaled the populace with how they will use seagoing forces to right historical wrongs and win the nation nautical renown.
  • renown: Party leaders have regaled the populace with how they will use seagoing forces to right historical wrongs and win the nation nautical renown.
  • aura: Once it became the new normal, it might even have taken on an aura of legitimacy among seafaring states.

Putin's Russia: From basket case to resurgent superpower

  • muffle: He needs tangible evidence that Russians need him and his great-power vision more than they worry about the freedoms he has muffled, the endemic corruption he has failed to eradicate, the sanctions he invited by his actions in Crimea and Ukraine.
  • endemic: He needs tangible evidence that Russians need him and his great-power vision more than they worry about the freedoms he has muffled, the endemic corruption he has failed to eradicate, the sanctions he invited by his actions in Crimea and Ukraine.
  • veneer: Expected to win as much as 80 percent of the vote, Putin will further cement his authority over Russia, a czar-like figure with a democratic veneer.
  • phenomenally: He has offered asylum to Edward Snowden, quieted extremism in long-restive Chechnya, hosted phenomenally expensive Olympic Games and won the right to stage this year's World Cup.
  • invulnerable: Yet while Putin looks invulnerable on the surface, he has reason to worry.

Trump accuses top FBI and justice department officials of bias in Russia investigation

  • impute: The memo reportedly imputes partisan and unethical conduct in the early stages of the FBI investigation, which began before the 2016 election.
  • impugn: The tweet dovetails with a Republican effort to impugn the FBI investigation, led by Nunes.
  • enrage: The recusal enraged the president, and oversight of the FBI investigation fell to the deputy attorney general, Rod Rosenstein.

Zimbabwe's army seizes power, targets 'criminals' around Mugabe

  • commuter: Soldiers and armoured vehicles blocked roads to the main government offices, parliament and the courts in central Harare, while taxis ferried commuters to work nearby, a Reuters witness said.
  • revile: In contrast to his elevated status on the continent, Mugabe is reviled in the West as a despot whose disastrous handling of the economy and willingness to resort to violence to maintain power destroyed one of Africa's most promising states.
  • despot: In contrast to his elevated status on the continent, Mugabe is reviled in the West as a despot whose disastrous handling of the economy and willingness to resort to violence to maintain power destroyed one of Africa's most promising states.
  • patron: Only a few months ago, Mnangag wa, a former security chief nicknamed " The Crocodile ", was favourite to succeed his life-long political patron but was ousted a week ago to pave the way for Mugabe's 52-year-old wife Grace to succeed him.
  • treasonable: Mugabe chaired a weekly cabinet meeting in the capital on Tuesday, officials said, and afterwards ZANU-PF said it stood by the " primacy of politics over the gun" and accused Chiwenga of " treasonable conduct... meant to incite insurrection.

The Latest: Over 100 reported missing in California wildfire

  • ravage: A Northern California county says it has received more than 100 missing-person reports as family and friends scramble to locate loved ones while wildfires ravage the state.
  • blaze: The blaze has scorched 6,000 acres and destroyed dozens of structures in Orange County.
  • scorch: The blaze has scorched 6,000 acres and destroyed dozens of structures in Orange County.
  • ferocious: Former San Francisco Giants pitcher Noah Lowry and his family were among those who had to flee from the ferocious series of wildfires in Northern California.
  • harvest: The trade association said Monday that it does not have verifiable information on winery buildings that burned down or the impact the fires would have on the 2017 harvest.

Philippines says China agrees on no new expansion in South China Sea

  • maritime: Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, who took office in June last year, has courted China and avoided rows over maritime sovereignty that dogged his predecessors, while berating traditional ally the United States over several issues.
  • archipelago: Lorenzana did not comment when lawmakers, citing reports from the military, told him five Chinese ships had showed up almost 5 km off the Philippine -held Thitu Island in the Spratly archipelago on Saturday.
  • deplete: We can come up with a commercial deal that is better than Malampaya in the disputed areas," Cayetano said, referring to an existing natural gas project off Palawan island between the government and Chevron, a resource which is due to be depleted by 2024.
  • construe: Sharing them could be construed as legitimizing the other's claim, or even ceding sovereignty.
  • invalidate: The Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague invalidated China's claim over most of the South China Sea in July last year.

Facing protests, Venezuela's Maduro triggers constitutional shakeup

  • convoke: I convoke the original constituent power to achieve the peace needed by the Republic, defeat the fascist coup, and let the sovereign people impose peace, harmony and true national dialogue," Maduro told red-shirted supporters.
  • deceive: This is a scam to deceive the Venezuelan people with a mechanism that is nothing more than a coup," Borges told reporters, calling for continued street action on Tuesday and Wednesday.
  • freeze: It is sufficiently complex and ambiguous that it might freeze some countries in the international community who think this might be a concession to the opposition, or represents an autonomous political process and should be respected," he said.
  • swim: Some, wearing motorbike helmets, swimming goggles or bandanas over their mouths, threw stones and petrol bombs at the security line, with a protester yelling," No one turn back!
  • load: One woman loaded Molotov cocktails from a beer crate onto a motorbike where two men took them to the front line.

Why India's response to Pathankot attack was 'a debacle'

  • debacle: Why India's response to Pathankot attack was 'a debacle '- BBC News.
  • inept: The inept handling of the security operation can only be described as a debacle, writes defence analyst Rahul Bedi.
  • plethora: The DSC comprises retired and unmotivated military personnel, whilst the Garuds continue to struggle for operational relevance amongst the plethora of India's burgeoning Special Forces.
  • fool: Four other NSG personnel were injured in this blast that- in all probability- would not have fooled the army, familiar with such militant ploys of activating a grenade and lying on it as a last offensive act.
  • sporadic: Sporadic gunfire, interspersed with grenade explosions, could be heard from inside the base until late on Monday night, security sources said, but they seemed unsure of the ground situation prevailing inside.

Reports: US-Trained Syrian Rebels Defected

  • abduct: In July, al-Nusra abducted a commander and seven fighters from the program’s first graduates just days after they deployed in Syria, following training in Turkey.
  • loath: Syrian rebel commanders, who have been loath to volunteer men for the program, say the two biggest problems with the mission are how tightly Washington defines “moderate” and the Obama administratio n’s insistence that the train-and-equip force can be used only against Islamic State extremists and not against the Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad.
  • volunteer: Syrian rebel commanders, who have been loath to volunteer men for the program, say the two biggest problems with the mission are how tightly Washington defines “moderate” and the Obama administratio n’s insistence that the train-and-equip force can be used only against Islamic State extremists and not against the Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad.
  • infuriate: Western-backed Kurdish fighters are now threatening to break a deal that would keep them east of the Euphrates in order to protect a Kurdish enclave on the Turkish border, a move that would infuriate Ankara.

Country profile: Pakistan

  • border: The east wing- present-day Bangladesh- is on the Bay of Bengal bordering India and Burma.
  • secede: The break-up of the two wings came in 1971 when the Bengali-speaking east wing seceded with help from India.
  • tarnish: Civilian politics in Pakistan in the last few decades has been tarnished by corruption, inefficiency and confrontations between various institutions.
  • inefficiency: Civilian politics in Pakistan in the last few decades has been tarnished by corruption, inefficiency and confrontations between various institutions.
  • relinquish: Under growing pressure to reintroduce democratic rule, Mr Musharraf relinquished his army post in November 2007, but his supporters were defeated at parliamentary elections in February 2008 by the Pakistan People's Party and former prime minister Nawaz Sharif's Muslim League.