At least 10 tourists and two pilots killed as plane crashes in Costa Rica

Aircraft came down in mountainous area of Punta Islita, a popular tourist area 140 miles west of the capital of San José

A plane crashed in Costa Rica on Sunday, killing at least 12 people – with 10 of them US citizens – the country’s security ministry said.

The crash, the cause of which is not yet known, took place in the mountainous area of Punta Islita, which is popular with tourists, in the province of Guanacaste, about 140 miles west of the capital of San José.

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Source: gad

How I fell in love with kebabs | Gabrielle Jackson

From Europe to the Middle East, I discovered that a kebab shared with strangers can open doors (and eyes) and form friendships

In 2005, on the black-sand beach of Kamari on the Greek island of Santorini, my hungover friend ordered a gyros for breakfast. I scoffed, turned my nose up at her vulgarity and then asked, “May I have a bite,” as the delightful smell wafted across my sunlounger. With juices still dripping down my chin, I raced off to the Souvlaki Stop to order my own. That mouthful of lightly marinated chicken, topped with voluptuous red tomatoes and creamy tzatziki, wrapped in warm Greek pita and garnished with a few crunchy chips sticking out the top, changed my life.

I ate so many gyros on that holiday that it got me thinking: Why don’t I eat kebabs at home while sober? During daylight hours? Obviously, I ate them around midnight, on the way home after a night out, but rarely at any other time. I was living in London then and almost everybody I knew had the same kind of relationship with kebabs. Suddenly, this attitude seemed unfair and elitist.

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Source: gad

Emmanuel Macron’s new year’s speech: ‘France can’t succeed without a strong Europe’

French president promises to listen to dissenting voices but appeals to Europeans not to give in to ‘nationalists and sceptics’

The French president, Emmanuel Macron, appealed to European citizens “not to give in to nationalists and sceptics”, as he used his new year’s speech to promise to make the European Union “more united, more sovereign and more democratic”.

Macron said in a televised address: “I deeply believe Europe can become that economic, social, environmentally-friendly, scientific power that will be able to face China and the United States.” He added: “Europe is good for France. France can’t succeed without a strong Europe.”

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Source: gad

‘What a year it’s been’: Trump lauds major feats of 2017 in end-of-year video

The nomination of Neil Gorsuch, the Hurricane Harvey response, jobs figures and his recent tax cut – just some of what Trump sees as his biggest accomplishments

Donald Trump has posted a video summarising his first year in office, which gives an insight into what the president sees as his biggest accomplishments as 2018 begins.

Beginning with martial drums and numerous shots of the Marine One helicopter, and US soldiers keeping watch over the president, the three-and-a-half-minute clip focuses first on Trump’s nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the supreme court – one of his best decisions in the eyes of conservatives, but a move viewed much more nervously by liberals.

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Source: gad

Ripple: cryptocurrency enjoys end-of-year surge – but will it endure?

Ripple, also known as XRP, peaks at more than $100bn and surpasses Ethereum to become second most valuable cryptocurrency after bitcoin

If 2017 was the year of bitcoin, the pioneering cryptocurrency that neared $20,000 in December, will 2018 be the year of Ripple?

Related: From the future of bitcoin to Facebook, 2018 in technology

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Source: gad