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Biden to Ukraine Leader: US To Continue Sanctions on Russia for “Irresponsible Actions”

Friday, July 25th, 2014 by

Posted in World News

Official White House Photo by David Lienemann(WASHINGTON) — Vice President Joe Biden spoke with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko on Friday, telling the leader that the United States would continue to coordinate with the European Union and the G7 about imposing further sanctions on Russia.

In a readout of their correspondence, Biden called Russia’s actions in Ukraine “deeply destabilizing and irresponsible.”

The two discussed the political situation in the country, as well as access for international investigators to the MH17 crash site.

President Poroshenko said the government would continue its work to address “critical” economic reforms, and told Biden of his efforts to facilitate the investigation into the Malaysia Airline tragedy.

The Ukrainian leader added that Russia is still supplying heavy weapons to separatists, bringing Ukrainian troops under direct fire from positions on the Russian side of the border.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Nugget of Knowldege

US Fighter Jets Escort Plane to Toronto After Passenger Threat

Friday, July 25th, 2014 by

Posted in World News

iStock/Thinkstock(TORONTO) — A Canadian SWAT team burst onto a jetliner that had turn back to Toronto on Friday following word that an “agitated” passenger threatened the aircraft.

American fighter jets escorted Sunwing Flight 772 “as a precautionary measure,” according to officials. The plane, originating in Toronto, was bound for Panama City around 8:30 a.m. when a 25-year-old passenger made “an unspecified threat.”

Ali Shahi, a Canadian citizen from Mississauga, was taken into custody and charged with mischief to property, mischief interfering with the lawful enjoyment of property, uttering threats, and endangering the safety of an aircraft.

Law enforcement searched the plane and found no suspicious objects. No injuries were reported, according to Peel Regional Police.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Home Instead Senior Care

Israel Will Continue ‘Neutralizing’ Tunnels During Cease-Fire

Friday, July 25th, 2014 by

Posted in World News

iStock/Thinkstock(TEL AVIV, Israel) — Israeli forces will continue “neutralizing” tunnels in Gaza despite a 12-hour cease-fire Saturday, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) announced Friday.

The cease-fire in Gaza will be in effect from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. local time (1 a.m. to 1 p.m. ET).

“During this time, the Operational activities to locate and neutralize tunnels in the Gaza Strip will continue,” read a statement from the IDF.

A U.S. official said there was no word from Hamas on whether they’d agree to the cease-fire.

Secretary of State John Kerry had called for a seven-day cease-fire earlier in the day during a news conference in Cairo as part of last-ditch efforts to resolve the 18-day conflict. He had proposed the cease-fire over the Muslim Eid al-Fitr holiday next week, marking the end of Ramadan.

He’s now headed to Paris for another round of talks.

As soon as Kerry finished his remarks, Israeli Minister of Defense Moshe Ya’alon announced that troops should be prepared for an expansion of their ground invasion in Gaza.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Pet of the Week

More Russian Troops Mass Along Ukrainian Border

Friday, July 25th, 2014 by

Posted in World News

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — Russian troops are continuing to gather along the border with Ukraine, the U.S. says.

“The number of Russian troops across — along the border continues to steadily increase. We have seen that in the past few days, but have seen no indication that the Ukrainians have fired back,” State Department spokesperson Marie Harf said on Friday.

Her remarks came after U.S. Ambassador to NATO Douglas Lute said at the Aspen Security Forum on Friday that there are 15,000 Russian troops massed along the border.

That number is slightly higher than the estimate of 10,000 to 12,000 troops that had been reported this week.

Pentagon spokesman Col. Steve Warren told reporters Friday morning that the estimate has likely moved upwards to 12,000. 

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Metal Depot

John Kerry’s Proposed Seven-Day Gaza Truce in Limbo

Friday, July 25th, 2014 by

Posted in World News

State Department photo/Public Domain(CAIRO) — The “seven days of peace” that Secretary of State John Kerry envisions as a path toward a Gaza cease-fire remain as elusive as ever after last-ditch efforts to resolve the 18-day conflict.

“We don’t yet have that final framework, but none of us are stopping,” he said Friday of negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians.

Addressing a news conference in Cairo, he said, “There’s a lot on the table, it didn’t get easy last night. But with good will and good effort, I think progress can be made.”

Kerry had proposed the cease-fire over the Muslim Eid al-Fitr holiday next week, marking the end of Ramadan.

He’s now headed to Paris for another round of talks.

Kerry said that there was never any formal proposal on which to vote, suggesting that reports that Israel had rejected a cease-fire deal were inaccurate.

“They may have voted on language from a framework but there was no proposal submitted by me on which there was a proposal or a ripe one,” he said.

He added later: “It’s fair to say that Israel had some opposition to some concepts, but that doesn’t mean a proposal, by any means.”

Mediators originally tried to sell this latest proposal as a week-long humanitarian truce designed to help the hundreds of wounded Palestinians. Israel wanted the deal to include a stipulation that some of its troops be allowed to remain in Gaza during the humanitarian cease-fire.

Kerry flew to Egypt and, later, Israel before returning to Cairo this week to help broker a deal alongside United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon.

He formally made the proposal to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Thursday evening and the Israeli Security Council held a meeting Friday afternoon to vote on the deal.

The U.N. has proposed a 12-hour “pause” in fighting to which, Ban says, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has agreed, and that Ban and Kerry hope would be extended to 24 hours.

Kerry made no mention Friday of Palestinian militant group Hamas, only referring to “many different Palestinian factions.”

Hamas, which has been accused of firing hundreds of rockets into Israel throughout the conflict, had rejected an earlier cease-fire deal.

The conflict, which emerged after three Israeli teenagers were kidnapped and killed, eventually escalated and the Israeli Defense Forces launched Operation Protective Edge on July 8.

Hundreds of Palestinians and dozens of Israelis, mostly soldiers, have died in the conflict.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Crusin In Cruces

No Survivors in Air Algerie Crash, French President Says

Friday, July 25th, 2014 by

Posted in World News

Purestock/Thinkstock(OUAGADOUGOU, Burkina Faso) — French troops are headed to a remote area in Mali to secure the site of Thursday’s Air Algerie jet crash, the third major international aviation disaster in a week.

French President Francois Hollande announced Friday that there were no survivors in the crash of the MD-83 aircraft, which disappeared from radar less than an hour after it took off early Thursday from Burkina Faso’s capital, Ouagadougou, for Algiers. The plane had requested permission to change course due to bad weather.

The jetliner — owned by Spanish company Swiftair and leased by Algeria’s flagship carrier — had 110 passengers and six crew members on board.

President Hollande, who spoke after a crisis meeting, also announced that one of the aircraft’s two black boxes have been located in the wreckage, in the Gossi region near the Burkina Faso border. It is being transported to the northern Mali city of Gao.

French forces, stationed in Mali to help combat al Qaeda and tribal separatists, are tasked with securing the crash site and gathering information. Much of the region is desert, rugged and remote, with few roads and an average high temperature of 101 degrees Farenheit this time of the year.

The airline said that among the passengers were 51 French nationals along with 24 Burkina Faso nationals, six Lebanese, five Canadians, four Algerians, two Luxemburg nationals, one Swiss, one Nigerian, one Cameroonian and one Malian. The six crew members were Spanish.

News of the plane’s disappearance came when Swiftair released a statement saying the plane had not arrived at its destination.

The crash of the Air Algerie plane is the latest in a series of aviation disasters. In March, Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 disappeared over the southern Indian Ocean with 239 people on board. No wreckage from the plane has been found.

And last week, a Malaysia Airlines jetliner was shot down over a war-torn section of Ukraine, with U.S. officials blaming it on separatists firing a surface-to-air missile.

On Wednesday, a Taiwanese plane crashed during a storm, killing 48 people.

While fliers are jittery about the tragedies, air travel remains relatively safe. There have been two deaths for every 100 million passengers on commercial flights in the last decade, excluding acts of terrorism. Travelers are much more likely to die driving to the airport than stepping on a plane.

There are more than 30,000 motor-vehicle deaths in the U.S. each year, a mortality rate eight times greater than that in planes.

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Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Kids Kare PC

River in China Mysteriously Turns Bloody Red Overnight

Friday, July 25th, 2014 by

Posted in World News

File photo. (iStock/Thinkstock)(BEIJING) — A waterway in eastern China has mysteriously turned a blood red color.

Residents in Zhejiang province said the river looked normal at 5 a.m. Beijing time on Thursday morning. Within an hour, the entire river turned crimson. Residents also said a strange smell wafted through the air.

“The really weird thing is that we have been able to catch fish because the water is normally so clear,” one local villager commented on China’s microblogging site Weibo.

Inspectors from the Wenzhou Environmental Protection Bureau said they have not found the cause of the incident, although water samples seem to indicate the suspicious color was a result of illegal dumping in the river.

“We suspect that somebody dumped artificial coloring in the water because he thought the typhoon yesterday would cause heavy rain, and nobody would notice [the color],” Jianfeng Xiao, Chief of the bureau told China News.

“It turned out there wasn’t heavy rainfall yesterday, so the evidence is left behind,” Xiao said.

Xiao said there is a paper manufacturer, a food coloring company and clothing-maker along the river.

The bureau is still investigating the incident.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Double Your Dollars

Clashes Break Out as Palestinians Declare ‘Day of Rage’

Friday, July 25th, 2014 by

Posted in World News

iStock/Thinkstock(JERUSALEM) — Could the conflict in Gaza spark a third intifada — or Palestinian uprising — in the West Bank?

Following a deadly strike on an United Nations school in Gaza, thousands of Palestinians from Ramallah demonstrated at a checkpoint near Jerusalem late Thursday night.

On Friday, clashes are breaking out in the Old City, where Israel put restrictions on who could attend Friday prayer services at Dome of the Rock.

Two Palestinians were killed by Israeli police during a violent demonstration at the Kalandia checkpoint that drew an estimated 10,000 people. Israel says it responded to protestors who opened fire with automatic rifles.

Palestinians have declared Friday a so-called “Day of Rage,” so Israel is bracing for mass protests again at Kalandia, in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Extra police and border patrol units are on duty the capital.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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US Pins Hopes on Last-Ditch Cease-Fire Proposal for Gaza

Friday, July 25th, 2014 by

Posted in World News

State Department photo/ Public Domain(WASHINGTON) — The last best chance for a quick resolution to the crisis in Gaza could come Friday, after Israel and Hamas review a cease-fire proposal drafted by Secretary of State John Kerry.

With the conflict becoming increasingly bloodier, Kerry is not much concerned with the Israeli response as he is with the militant group Hamas, which has so far rejected every plan to end the 19-day air and ground war.

According to Israeli officials, the proposal is in three parts and includes a one-week cease-fire in Gaza in which Israel will not totally withdraw its force; negotiations toward a more lasting agreement; and assurances from the U.S., European Union and United Nations that there will be serious talks about disarming Hamas of rockets and tunnels and the lifting of the blockade of Gaza.

Apparently, the major stumbling block is Hamas political wing chief Khaled Meshal, who has taken a harder line than other members of his militant organizations.

Foreign ministers from Qatar and Turkey will try to convince Meshal to accept the cease-fire plan. Failing to do so will likely mean Israel will escalate its offensive in Gaza, which has cost 800 Palestinian lives as well those of 32 Israeli soldiers.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Hometown Headlines w/ Brad Barrett

Iraqi Lawmakers Pick New President

Friday, July 25th, 2014 by

Posted in World News

iStock/Thinkstock(BAGHDAD) — Iraq moved one step closer to forming a new government Thursday, as lawmakers overwhelmingly approved veteran Kurdish politician Fuad Masum as the country’s next president.

Masum’s appointment comes a week after parliament chose a new speaker. Lawmakers now have 15 days to select Iraq’s next prime minister, without question the most crucial decision to be made as Iraq deals with the Sunni extremists who’ve taken over large swaths of the north and west.

According to the constitution, the prime minister must be a Shiite. Incumbent Nouri al-Maliki, who has been blamed for fomenting much of the political unrest in Iraq, wants to remain prime minister.

Maliki has resisted calls to form a unity government in order to better defeat the Islamic State, which has shown no signs of stopping its efforts to wrest control of Iraq from the central government in Baghdad.

Although returning Maliki to power would demonstrate some continuity, parliament also runs the risk of completely disenfranchising Sunnis and Kurds if he wins another term as prime minister.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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