Crusin In Cruces

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ISIS Recruiter and Cyber Specialist Believed Killed in Drone Strike

Wednesday, August 26th, 2015 by

Posted in World News

icholakov/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — The U.S. military believes it has killed a senior ISIS recruiter and cyber specialist, a senior U.S. official tells ABC News.

The Pentagon has not confirmed the death of Junaid Hussain, but the official said that he was targeted by a drone strike in Syria earlier this week. Hussain is believed to be a computer expert and propagandist for ISIS, which is known to effectively recruit online.

Prior to an attack on a Garland, Texas cartoon contest in May, one of the gunmen posted a statement on social media urging others to follow Hussain on Twitter.

Hussain is also believed to be responsible for producing “kill lists” in which ISIS calls on people to target particular Americans.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Double Your Dollars

Why Scott Kelly Will Be Taking Russian Spacecraft for a Spin

Wednesday, August 26th, 2015 by

Posted in World News

NASA(NEW YORK) — American astronaut Scott Kelly is spending one year in space, but he’ll get to briefly leave the International Space Station this week when he takes a short ride in the Russian Soyuz spacecraft, which is being moved to make room for the arrival of additional crew members.

The ride will take about 25 minutes, beginning when the Soyuz TMA-16M spacecraft undocks from the Poisjk module on Friday at 3:12 a.m. and moves to the station’s Zvezda port, freeing up room for three new crew members to park their spacecraft when they’re set to arrive at the station on Sept. 2, NASA officials said.

Kelly’s new neighbors in space will be Expedition 45 crew member Sergei Volkov of Roscosmos, and visiting crew members Andreas Mogensen from the European Space Agency and Aidyn Aimbetov of the Kazakh Space Agency.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Hometown Headlines w/ Brad Barrett

Dozens Found Dead in Hold of Ship Carrying Migrants from Libya to Europe

Wednesday, August 26th, 2015 by

Posted in World News

So-CoAddict/iStock/Thinkstock(ROME) — Dozens of people were found dead in the hold of a boat carrying migrants near the coast of Libya on Wednesday.

BBC News reports that about 50 people were found dead on Wednesday and 430 more were rescued alive by a Swedish coast guard ship. Thousands of migrants have died and many more rescued in recent months after setting sail from Libya for Europe.

The Italian coast guard told BBC News that Wednesday’s rescue was one of ten missions taking place off the coast of Libya.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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Gunman in Afghan Military Uniform Kills Two American Airmen

Wednesday, August 26th, 2015 by

Posted in World News

Hemera/Thinkstock(KABUL, Afghanistan) — Two American service members were killed after an attacker wearing an Afghan National Defense and Security Force uniform opened fire on their vehicle in Helmand province early Wednesday morning, military officials announced.

Members of the NATO-led Resolute Support Mission returned fire, wounding the attacker and another person in the same Afghan uniform.

The Department of Defense on Thursday said the two American victims were airmen: Capt. Matthew D. Roland, 27, of Lexington, Kentucky and Staff Sgt. Forrest B. Sibley, 31, of Pensacola, Florida.

Instances of Afghan forces turning on allied coalition members, known as insider attacks, have plagued the international war effort in Afghanistan.

In 2014, an insider attack claimed the life of Maj. Gen, Harold Greene, the most senior American officer killed in the 14-year conflict.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Song of The Day

WATCH: Humpback Whale Breaches Right by Tour Boat

Wednesday, August 26th, 2015 by

Posted in World News

Fuse/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Tourists on a whale-watching tour off the coast of Nova Scotia got their money’s worth when a whale put on a show, doing a series of what look like backflips right by their boat.

Penny Graham was leading the tour on Friday out of Brier Island, Nova Scotia, when she captured a photo of the whale in action, a sight she said she has not seen in over 30 years of whale watching.

“It’s a moment I’ll never forget,” Graham told CBC’s Maritime Noon.

Graham, the operator of Mariner Cruises Whale and Seabird Tours, said her tour boat was just about to turn around when they heard a bang in front of them and then saw the breaching whale.

“Now, what a show that whale was putting on. It was just non-stop,” said Graham, who estimated the whale breached about 30 times.

“I’m not a scientist, but I honestly believe that whale was having just as good of a time as we were,” Graham told the CBC.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Nugget of Knowldege

Serbia and Kosovo Normalizing Ties

Wednesday, August 26th, 2015 by

Posted in World News

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Serbia and Kosovo have taken big steps to normalize ties between the two nations, according to the BBC.

Federica Mogherini, the European Union’s foreign policy chief, moderated the talks.

Among the agreements, Kosovo will receive its own dialing code and ethnic Serbs in Kosovo will have more rights, according to BBC News.

In 2008, Kosovo split from Serbia after a ten years of conflict.

Both nations would like to join the European Union.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Pet of the Week

Images Purportedly Show ISIS Destroying Ancient Syrian Temple

Wednesday, August 26th, 2015 by

Posted in World News

Wolfgang Kaehler/LightRocket via Getty Images(DAMASCUS, Syria) — After reports surfaced that ISIS demolished a 2,000-year-old Syrian temple, images of the purported destruction have begun circulating on social media accounts associated with the terror group.

As dread over the fate of the ancient city of Palmyra continues to mount, the series of photos, which appear to have been screen-grabbed from a propaganda video, show how militants destroyed the Temple of Baalshamin.

ABC News has not independently confirmed the authenticity of the images.

UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova called the act “a new war crime” for ISIS, and “an immense loss for the Syrian people and for humanity.”

“The art and architecture of Palmyra, standing at the crossroads of several civilizations, is a symbol of the complexity and wealth of the Syrian identity and history,” Bokova said in a statement. “I call on the international community to stand united against this persistent cultural cleansing.”

Palmyra is a designated World Heritage site, but was taken over by the Islamic State group in May. Khaled al-Asaad, who was director of the city’s antiquities since 1963, assisted in evacuating many of the city’s treasures before militants could loot them and sell them to fund their activities.

Asaad’s friends told ABC News last week that after he stayed behind to protect the city’s ruins, he is believed to have refused to collaborate with ISIS in divulging the details of other hidden treasures in the site.

The 81-year-old was then publicly executed and hanged from columns inside the city.

Over the past year, ISIS has released multiple videos showing militants’ destroying ancient artifacts and bulldozing historical sites, with narrators explaining that the preservation of ancient ruins constitutes worship of idols.

Idolatry is a sin punishable by death, according to ISIS theology.

In an email exchange last Thursday with ABC News, Syria’s Antiquities Chief Maamoun Abdulkarim said there are worries that ISIS will destroy the iconic Temple of Bel next.

“The local community in Palmyra are playing now an important role to convince ISIS members that this temple was transferred to a mosque since the 14th century,” Abdulkarim said, adding that there is little optimism that reasoning will help.

“I am sure ISIS will continue the destruction in Palmyra,” he said. “Sometimes they destroy for revenge from the international community and sometimes as a type of propaganda to show their force. These gangs and their sick ideology will continue to destroy our cultural heritage as long as there is no strong deterrent.”

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Crusin In Cruces

Fourteen Detained in Anti-Terrorism Operation in Spain, Morocco

Tuesday, August 25th, 2015 by

Posted in World News

manuel velasco/iStock/Thinkstock(MADRID) — Fourteen people were detained on Tuesday in an anti-terrorism operation in Spain and Morocco, authorities said.

According to the Spanish Interior Ministry, arrests were made in San Martin de la Vega in Spain and in Fez, Casablanca, Al Hoceima and Driouch in Morocco. The individuals detained, authorities say, made up part of a network of capturing and sending foreign fighters to join ISIS in Iraq and Syria.

Spain and Morocco have arrested dozens of suspected jihadists and recruiters.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Double Your Dollars

Terrified Cyclist Films Ride Through Kangaroo ‘Apocalypse’

Tuesday, August 25th, 2015 by

Posted in World News

Tini31/iStock/Thinkstock(VICTORIA, Australia) — An Australian bicyclist captured on camera what he called a kangaroo “apocalypse.”

The cyclist, identified as Ben Vezina, was biking in Hawkstone Park in Victoria, Australia, when he came upon a scene he described in a YouTube video as straight out of a zombie movie, only with kangaroos.

As Vezina pedaled through the park, dozens of kangaroos stood still, on their two hind legs. Only a few kangaroos would move every so often.

“So this has been a really unnerving experience,” Vezina says in the YouTube video, posted Sunday. “I’m kind of terrified. I’m going to be honest. I’m a little terrified.”

The YouTube video, which has been viewed nearly 100,000 times, says the cyclist, Vezina, was unharmed during the incident.


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Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Hometown Headlines w/ Brad Barrett

Ukrainian Director Sentenced to 20 Years in Labor Camp on Terror Charges

Tuesday, August 25th, 2015 by

Posted in World News

Ukrainian film director Oleg Sentsov reacts inside a defendants’ cage as he listens to the verdict at a military court in the southern city of Rostov-on-Don on August 25, 2015. SERGEI VENYAVSKY/AFP/Getty Images(MOSCOW) — A Russian court has sentenced a Ukrainian film director to 20 years in a labor camp, bringing what some say is an exceptionally harsh close to the latest in a new run of what are widely considered political show-trials for those who oppose Vladimir Putin’s rule.

Oleg Sentsov, 39, with his co-defendant, Alexander Kolchenko, were convicted of plotting terrorist attacks against Russian organizations in Crimea following the region’s seizure by Russian troops in the spring of 2014. Sentsov has denied the charges, which Amnesty International and other rights organizations have condemned as fabricated.

Some say Sentsov appears to have been targeted for participating in pro-Ukrainian demonstrations criticizing Russia’s takeover of Crimea. The proceedings had the hallmarks of a show trial, with the chief prosecution witness withdrawing his testimony against Senstov midway through, saying he had been tortured into making it.

Sentsov himself has said he was also beaten by Russian security agents after his arrest. Police claimed bruises on Sentsov’s body were the result of sadomasochistic sex games prior to his detention. The U.S. State Department in a statement condemned Tuesday’s sentencing as a “miscarriage of justice”.

In court Sentsov, who has a family, has calmly dismissed the case against him as politically ordered.

“I won’t ask anything from you,” Sentsov told the judge in his closing statement, Radio Free Europe reported. “Everyone understands everything. A court of occupiers cannot be just by definition.”

The trial is the most high profile of a battery of criminal cases currently underway in Russia, which some say are intended to terrify the relatively small number of Russians who oppose the Kremlin’s actions in Crimea and Ukraine.

Russian authorities have shown themselves unwilling to brook any criticism of Crimea’s annexation—within days of the peninsula’s seizure, community leaders demonstrating against it began to be kidnapped by masked men.

Now prosecutors are investigating roughly a dozen cases against Ukrainian citizens; the most widely known involves Nadezhda Savchenko, Ukraine’s first female military pilot, who the Ukrainian government considers is being held hostage by Russia.

Even in a country familiar with political trials, the 20-year sentence handed to Sentsov and the 10 years to his co-defendant, Kolchenko, are exceptionally harsh. Both men will serve their time in maximum security labor camps.

Before being led away, the two men sang the Ukrainian national anthem. In his closing speech, Sentsov quoted the Russian novelist Mikhail Bulgakov, who suffered during the years of Stalin’s terror.

“Cowardice is the main and the worst sin on Earth. A big betrayal sometimes begins with a small act of cowardice,” he said. “Like when they put a bag over your head and beat you and after half an hour you are ready to renounce all your convictions.

“I don’t know what your convictions are worth if you aren’t ready to suffer for them.”

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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