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Belgium arrests Paris attacks suspect Mohamed Abrini

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BRUSSELS — Belgian authorities have confirmed the arrests of key Paris attacks suspect Mohamed Abrini alongside four other persons, including a man they accept may have helped the Brussels bombers.

At a press conference, an official from the government prosecutor’s office announced police had made five arrests in connection with the deadly Islamic State group attacks on Brussels’ airport and metro last month, and the Paris attacks in November.

“We are investigating if Abrini can be identified as the third person at the Brussels national airport, the so-called man with the hat,” said prosecutor Eric Van der Sypt.

Interior Minister Jan Jambon, who offered to resign over the failure to arrest one of the suicide bombers months ago, tweeted congratulations to those involved in the arrests.

Abrini, a 31-year-old Belgian, has been on Europe’s most wanted list since the November 13 Paris attacks, in which 130 people were killed.

He was last seen two days before the attacks in a motorway service station CCTV video driving with another Paris attacks suspect – Salah Abdeslam, who was arrested last month – towards the French capital from Belgium.

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Over 70% of deep-sea fish of Atlantic Ocean have ingested plastic : Study

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Fragments of plastic are found throughout the world, from nearly every continent to nearly every body of water. But, researchers recently have found 73 percent of Northwest Atlantic deep-sea fish are also eating it — the highest reported frequency of plastic-eating fish in the world.

Plastic particles were found in some of the most remote parts of the Atlantic Ocean with almost three quarters of a sample of more than 230 deep-water fish collected by NUI Galway scientists having ingested plastic particles.

The contamination level among the fish species, located in the northwest Atlantic thousands of kilometres from land and 600m down in the ocean, is one of the highest reported frequencies of microplastic occurrence in fish worldwide, according to the study published in the journal Frontiers in Marine Science.

The NUIG scientists, as part of the study, participated in a transatlantic crossing onboard the marine institute’s Celtic Explorer vessel.

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PhD candidate and lead author Alina Wieczorek said, “Deep-water fish migrate to the surface at night to feed on plankton [microscopic animals] and this is likely when they are exposed to the microplastics.”

During this research cruise they took dead deep-sea fish from midwater trawls such as the spotted lanternfish, rakery beaconlamp, stout saw-palate and scaly dragonfish.

Microplastics are small plastic fragments that commonly originate from the breakdown of larger plastic items entering the ocean. Other sources may be waste water effluents carrying plastic fibres from clothing and microbeads from personal care products. Due to their low density, most of these microplastics float at the sea surface.

The fish ranged in size from the smallest species the Glacier Lantern at 3.5cm to the largest species, the stout saw-palate at 59cm.

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