The NSA Is Likely ‘Hacking Back’ Russia’s Cyber Squads

Posted on: July 30th, 2016 by ABC News No Comments

Head of NSA’s elite hacking squad says they infiltrate other hackers’ networks.

Bomb Kills 1 Security Official, Wounds 8 People in Pakistan

Posted on: July 30th, 2016 by ABC News No Comments

Officials say a roadside bomb has exploded near a vehicle carrying paramilitary rangers in southern Pakistan, killing a security official and wounding three officers and five civilians

Monsoon Floods Kill at Least 52 People in India

Posted on: July 30th, 2016 by ABC News No Comments

Indian authorities are trying to rescue thousands of people stranded in flooded villages after a week of heavy rains killed at least 52 people and uprooted tens of thousands of others from their homes in Bihar state in the east and Assam in the northeast

Afghan Official: Taliban Capture District in Helmand

Posted on: July 30th, 2016 by ABC News No Comments

An official says an important district in Afghanistan’s southern poppy-growing province of Helmand has fallen to the Taliban after heavy fighting that killed around 17 police and wounded up to 10 others

Syrian Civilians Begin Leaving Rebel-Held Parts of Aleppo

Posted on: July 30th, 2016 by ABC News No Comments

Syrian state media is reporting that dozens of families have started leaving besieged rebel-held neighborhoods in the northern city of Aleppo after the government opened safe corridors for civilians and fighters who want to leave

Turkish President Erdogan to Drop Lawsuits Against People Charged with Insulting Him

Posted on: July 29th, 2016 by ABC News No Comments

iStock/Thinkstock(ISTANBUL) — Turkey President Recept Tayyip Erdogan is dropping lawsuits for those who were charged with insulting him.

In what he called a gesture of goodwill since the failed military coup, Erdogan said Friday according to BBC, “I am going to withdraw all the cases regarding the disrespectful insults made against me.”

About 2,000 people were facing the charges authorities said earlier this year, according to BBC. Some analysts say nearly 60,000 people have been arrested, suspended or fired from their jobs in Turkey since the failed coup.

Earlier Friday, Erdogan accused U.S. Gen. Joseph Votel of being “on the side of the coup plotters.”

Turkey’s president has insisted that Fetullah Gulen, a Turkish Islamic scholar who lives in self-imposed exile in Pennsylvania, was behind the failed military coup. Gulen has denied involvement.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Missing London Cat Found 8 Years Later in Paris

Posted on: July 29th, 2016 by ABC News No Comments

Courtesy Marna Gilligan(LONDON) — When Marna Gilligan’s cat slipped out of her London home during a New Year’s party eight years ago, she thought she’d never seen her again.

That was until she got a call, saying that her cat, known as Moon Unit, had been found thanks to her microchip. Moon Unit, a domestic short-hair, had traveled all the way to Paris and was rescued by animal shelter Aide et de Défense des Animaux en Détresse.

“I didn’t believe it at all actually,” Gilligan, 39, told ABC News. “It wasn’t until we had exchanged pictures and I saw that distinct marking on her nose that I actually believed it. I was amazed and thrilled and the next week I kept stopping strangers in the street [saying], ‘Can I tell you a story about my cat?'”

Gilligan said she had “no idea” how her cat, whom she rescued as a kitten, got to the City of Love. “All we know is that she didn’t get there legally because her microchip is part of a pet passport [needed to travel between countries,]” she added.

Last weekend, Gilligan and her ex-partner Sean Purdy traveled to Paris to pick up their long-lost cat.

“They handed us Moon Unit, we handed them some flowers and everybody was happy,” Gilligan said.

The pack had to travel by train to get home, where Moon Unit, who was a bit malnourished, is now staying with Purdy.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Saudi Refutes Rights Groups’ Claims It Is Blockading Yemen

Posted on: July 29th, 2016 by ABC News No Comments

The Saudi-led coalition has refuted reports by rights groups that it is imposing a blockade on Yemen, saying it facilitates the passage of humanitarian aid without delay and in "record time."

Syria’s Nusra Front Cuts Ties with al-Qaeda

Posted on: July 29th, 2016 by ABC News No Comments

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — The most powerful rebel group in the Syrian civil war, known until now as the Nusra Front, announced this week that it would cut ties with al-Qaeda, an apparent attempt to re-brand itself and dissuade world powers from attacking it.

The Nusra Front has been designated a foreign terrorist group by the United States and was excluded from previous cease-fire agreements. Its ultimate goal is to take control of the country away from both President Bashar al-Assad and ISIS.

The group’s leader, Abu Mohammad al-Golani, appeared in a video statement Thursday in which he announced the group would now be known as Jabhat Fatah al-Sham, or “the Front for the Conquest of the Levant.”

The video also depicted a new white flag for the group, replacing a black one similar to those used by al-Qaeda and ISIS.

But Washington does not seem impressed by the group’s sudden independence.

“The United States continues to assess that Nusra Front leaders continue to maintain the intent to conduct eventual attacks in and against the West,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters Thursday. “And there continues to be increasing concern about Nusra Fronts’ growing capacity for external operations that could threaten both United States and Europe.”

The State Department said the group is still being judged by its past actions.

“Affiliations may be a factor, but ultimately it’s their actions, ideology and goals that matter the most,” State Department spokesman John Kirby said. “And that’s how we’re going to judge going forward, as we have in the past … and they are still considered a foreign terrorist organization.”

Meanwhile, the U.S. is desperately trying to organize its military operations with Russia, which continues to conduct some strikes in Syria counter to U.S. interests. Both Russia and the U.S. consider the Nusra Front a fair target, but the Russians also target CIA-backed rebel groups and seem to focus mainly on propping up the Assad regime.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Editor in South Sudan Is Released on Bail

Posted on: July 29th, 2016 by ABC News No Comments

Editor in South Sudan is released on bail after being held for 2 weeks

US Coalition Airstrikes Kill at Least 28 Civilians in Syria, Say Activists

Posted on: July 29th, 2016 by ABC News No Comments

The U.S. Central Command said it has initiated an assessment.

Thousands Gather in Congo’s Capital in Rally for President

Posted on: July 29th, 2016 by ABC News No Comments

Thousands of Congolese gathered in the capital’s main stadium to show support for the president, who is about to begin talks ahead of the November elections amid expectations that the polls will be delayed

Armenia: Officers Wound 3 More Gunmen Holding Police Station

Posted on: July 29th, 2016 by ABC News No Comments

A spokesman for Armenia’s police force says three more gunmen who have been holding a police station in the capital for nearly two weeks have been wounded in exchanges of gunfire

Pope Francis Visits Auschwitz Concentration Camp, Meets Survivors

Posted on: July 29th, 2016 by ABC News No Comments

FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP/Getty Images(OŚWIĘCIM, Poland) — Pope Francis visited the site of the former Nazi German death camp of Auschwitz in southern Poland on Friday.

Francis entered the camp on foot, walking slowly beneath the gate at Auschwitz displaying the words “Arbeit Macht Frei” — a German phrase meaning, roughly, “Work Sets You Free.”

Watch the video below:

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

The Latest: Pope Visits Sick Children at Krakow Hospital

Posted on: July 29th, 2016 by ABC News No Comments

Pope Francis has shaken the hands and stroked the heads _ some of them bald _ of about two dozen children in wheelchairs during his visit to a children’s hospital in Krakow, in southern Poland

Pope Visits Auschwitz, Begs God to Forgive "So Much Cruelty"

Posted on: July 29th, 2016 by ABC News No Comments

Pope Francis paid a somber visit in silence to the Nazi German death camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau Friday, begging God to forgive "so much cruelty."

US Military Announces Biggest Return of Land in Okinawa in 44 Years

Posted on: July 29th, 2016 by ABC News No Comments

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — The United States Armed Forces in Japan announced plans Friday to return 4,000 hectares — about 15 square miles — of Okinawan land back to the government of Japan, in what will be the largest land return since Okinawa’s reversion in 1972.

The reversion treaty negotiated control of Okinawa back to Japan while maintaining U.S. military forces on the island, according to the Council on Foreign Relations.

The plan will slash the amount of U.S.-controlled land on the southern Japanese island of Okinawa by 17 percent, according to U.S. Armed Forces Japan.

“We have plans for many more SACO [Special Action Committee on Okinawa] agreement and other returns to be implemented in coming years, because we are respectful of the feelings of Okinawans that our footprint must be reduced,” Lt. Gen. Lawrence D. Nicholson, commanding general of the Third Marine Expeditionary Force and Marine Forces Japan, said in a statement.

There has been a long history of opposition and resentment towards the U.S. military stationed in Okinawa since the end of World War II from Japanese locals who live on the island.

The announcement of the land return comes as tensions have soared this summer after a series of incidents inflamed anti-American military sentiments on Okinawa.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

US Announces Biggest Return of Land in Okinawa in 44 Years

Posted on: July 29th, 2016 by ABC News No Comments

Comes as tensions soar this summer between U.S. military and Japanese locals.

Turkey’s Erdogan Slams US Reaction to Failed Coup

Posted on: July 29th, 2016 by ABC News No Comments

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday slammed the United States for its reaction to a failed military coup in Turkey, accusing it of harboring the man he accuses of having been behind the plot

Eurozone Likely to Get More Stimulus as Growth Halves

Posted on: July 29th, 2016 by ABC News No Comments

It seems that the first quarter was another false dawn for the eurozone economy and that the European Central Bank will have more to do in the months ahead to shore up the recovery

The Latest: Pope Cheered by Sick Children at Hospital

Posted on: July 29th, 2016 by ABC News No Comments

Pope Francis has arrived at a hospital in the Polish city of Krakow to meet very sick children, some of them in wheelchairs, some attached to machines

Pope Visits Auschwitz in Silence, Meets Survivors

Posted on: July 29th, 2016 by ABC News No Comments

Pope Francis paid a somber visit to the Nazi German death camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau Friday, becoming the third consecutive pontiff to make the pilgrimage to the place where Adolf Hitler’s forces killed more than 1 million people, most of them Jews

Germany: Russian Hooligans Convicted of Assaulting Spaniards

Posted on: July 29th, 2016 by ABC News No Comments

A German court has convicted four Russian men and handed them suspended prison sentences of up to a year after they attacked Spanish tourists during a stop in Cologne on their way home from soccer’s European Championship

21 Journalists Appear in Turkish Court

Posted on: July 29th, 2016 by ABC News No Comments

21 journalists detained as part of a sweeping crackdown following Turkey’s July 15 failed military coup are appearing in court in Istanbul

Romania: Senior Banker Detained in Corruption Probe

Posted on: July 29th, 2016 by ABC News No Comments

Anti-corruption prosecutors have detained the deputy governor of Romania’s central bank on suspicion that he engaged in influence-peddling, illicitly receiving 1 million euros ($1.1 million) when he was parliament speaker

Donald Trump’s Views on Russia Don’t Conform to Either Party’s Platform

Posted on: July 28th, 2016 by ABC News No Comments

ABC News(NEW YORK) —  Perhaps more than any other policy issue, foreign or domestic, Donald Trump’s views on Russia and the sanctity of ties to Eastern European allies have shown just how far outside the bounds of conventional wisdom and establishment norms he is willing to step.

His comments on Russia have drawn ire and befuddlement from his Democratic political foes, but on this issue more than most, he seems to have fewer conservatives who share his outlook.

Republicans scatter when Trump talks Russia. Some prominent conservatives wouldn’t even agree to be interviewed by ABC News for this story.

The latest example of Trump’s controversial comments came Wednesday, when the Republican presidential candidate appeared to suggest that Russia ought to hack into Hillary Clinton’s emails and dig up the 30,000 emails from her private account that she deleted. That midday remark sent critics into a Twitter frenzy, labeling it an enormous misstep that seemed to welcome cyber-espionage from an adversarial government in the name of personal political gain.

Trump said Thursday he was being “sarcastic.”

 Maybe so, but it’s not the only statement of that ilk.

In the same news conference Wednesday, Trump said he “would be looking at” the possibility of lifting sanctions against Russia tied to its illegal military annexation of Crimea, which the U.S. government refuses to accept. Rather than stand against a feared revival of Soviet expansionism, critics say Trump seems to be embracing it.

Danielle Pletka, a foreign policy and defense expert at the conservative think tank American Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C., said the Republican establishment has rightfully been hard on Trump.

“Does anybody who believes in democracy, does anybody who believes in the system that’s been in place since the end of World War II think that it’s permissible to bite off and annex another part of a country? No. Nobody serious thinks that,” Pletka told ABC News.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest described today the annexation of Crimea as an “egregious violation of international norms” that rallied Europe and the U.S. to impose sanctions against Russia.

Trump has suggested the U.S. step back from the unrest in Ukraine.

“I think maybe we should do a little following and let the neighbors take a little bit more of an active role in Ukraine,” Trump said in a television interview late last year.

He has described NATO, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, as “obsolete,” while also suggesting he may not honor the organization’s most sacred covenant of mutual defense.

“If they fulfill their obligations to us, the answer is yes,” Trump told The New York Times when asked if he would defend the Baltic states from an attack by Russia. NATO members are required to spend 2 percent of their GDP on national defense.

“What Trump fails to understand, because he thinks so transactionally,” Pletka told ABC News, “is that we are in NATO not because of the 2 percent that the likes of Latvia throw in or not throw in. We are in NATO because it is the most secure, most successful alliance in modern history. And it is our interest to be in NATO. I can assure that an extra million dollars in the defense budget of Greece is not going to transform the landscape.”

Last December, when Trump was asked about reports that Russian President Vladimir Putin was cracking down on internal dissent by killing journalists and political opponents, Trump’s response seemed complimentary of Putin.

“He’s running his country and at least he’s a leader, unlike what he have in this country,” Trump said. And when Putin described Trump as a “bright and talented person,” Trump released a statement through his spokesman, Hope Hicks, that said in part: “It is always so great to be so nicely complimented by a man so highly respected within his own country and beyond.”

Pletka said Trump’s foreign policy statements might be playing into Putin’s hands.

“I think it’s absolutely clear that Putin would love to see someone like Donald Trump, who shares his antipathy towards civil society and democratic norms, elected,” Pletka said.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

‘Kidnapped’ Gnome Returned to Canada After Apparent Trip to US, Mexico

Posted on: July 28th, 2016 by ABC News No Comments

A Canadian woman’s gnome went missing for months before recently reappearing with a photo book of the lawn ornament’s apparent travels in the U.S. and Mexico.

A Look at Some of the Most Death-Defying Stunts of All Time

Posted on: July 28th, 2016 by ABC News No Comments

Although he’s one of the most accomplished skydivers in the world, Luke Aikins will tell you what he’s about to do Saturday _ jump out of a plane without a parachute _ is one crazy stunt

Brazil’s Former President Files Petition at the UN

Posted on: July 28th, 2016 by ABC News No Comments

Lawyers for ex-Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva have filed a petition with the U.N. denouncing what they call a lack of impartiality and abuse of power by the judge investigating the corruption scandal at state-owned oil company Petrobras

Military: Boko Haram Ambushes Humanitarian Convoy, Wounds 5

Posted on: July 28th, 2016 by ABC News No Comments

Nigeria’s military says Boko Haram Islamic extremists have ambushed a humanitarian convoy escorted by troops, wounding three civilians including a U.N. worker and two soldiers