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Understanding Why EU-Bound Refugees Risk Their Lives to Cross Mediterranean

Understanding Why EU-Bound Refugees Risk Their Lives to Cross Mediterraneanniroshan86/iStock/Thinkstock(PALERMO, Italy) -- Refugees have been journeying to Europe from Africa and the Middle East for years, but the numbers have seen a sharp climb recently because of several factors. Some of the reasons they make the treacherous trip: conflict, terrorism, poverty and persecution. Officials say this weekend marked what was possibly the deadliest refugee disaster. A boat capsized heading from Libya to Europe in the Mediterranean Sea, and survivors say more than 900 people could be dead.There’s an ongoing debate in Europe about how to handle the crisis. The European Union has scaled back rescue efforts to deter refugees from the journey, which has been ineffective. More than 35,000 refugees have arrived by boat in Europe this year, and an estimated 1,600 have died on the journey, according to the International Organization for Migration. In the video below, ABC News documents the perils these refugees face and the numbers behind the crisis. Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

US Aircraft Carrier Moves Into Arabian Sea Because of Yemen Security Situation

US Aircraft Carrier Moves Into Arabian Sea Because of Yemen Security SituationPhoto by Matt Cardy/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The Pentagon confirmed on Monday that the carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt and the cruiser USS Normandy have moved into the Arabian Sea because of the deteriorating security situation in Yemen. Col. Steve Warren, a Pentagon spokesman, said that U.S. Central Command moved ships because of the deteriorating security situation in Yemen. Warren specifically denied a media report that the two American ships were being moved so they could assist in the interception of a flotilla of seven to nine Iranian ships headed to Yemen to re-supply Houthi rebels. “They are not going to intercept Iranian ships,” said Warren. “That is absolutely not the case.” On April 1, the U.S. Navy boarded a Panamanian-flagged ship that was believed might be transporting supplies from Iran to the Houthis. No weapons were found and there have been no other boardings since then. Seven other American warships have been operating in the Gulf of Aden for weeks, including the amphibious assault ship USS Iwo Jima. The United States closed its embassy in the Yemeni capital of Sanaa in mid-February. In late March, the U.S. evacuated 300 military personnel from a base in southern Yemen. Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Muslim Family Seen Being Bullied on Viral Video Speaks Out

Muslim Family Seen Being Bullied on Viral Video Speaks OutCourtesy Hafeez Ahmed Bhatti(SYDNEY) -- A Muslim family who was captured on video being bullied by a passenger on a train from Sydney, has come forward and said they're working with police to identify the woman who allegedly harassed them, and they plan on pressing charges against the woman if she's found.Cellphone video uploaded to Facebook Wednesday showed Hafeez Ahmed Bhatti, wife Khalida and their 3-month-year-old son being picked on by a woman in a red shirt sitting across from them. The video was uploaded by passenger Stacey Eden, who can be heard trying to stand up for Bhatti's family.Though Eden has been widely praised for her defense, Hafeez Bhatti told ABC News on Monday that he wants people to know that before Eden began recording, he tried "calmly" educating and "politely" talking to the woman in red, who can be heard associating Bhatti's family with ISIS and accusing Bhatti's kids of "beheading people.""Before Stacey recorded that video, I tried to educate the woman across from us and say she should not generalize all Muslims based on a minority of terrorists and extremists," Bhatti, 33, said. "And though I appreciate Stacey standing up for us, I want the world to know why we stayed calm. If you try to control yourself and be calm, you can control the situation."Bhatti, a Bribane resident originally from Pakistan, said he was on a Sydney Airport line train from Sydney, where he was getting his baby's passport done."At some point, a lady in a red shirt came into the train in and just put her hand on my wife's head," Bhatti said. "She asked my wife, Khalida, why she was wearing that scarf, saying it was too hot. Then she sat across us and kept going."The beginning of the cellphone video shows a woman in red asking Khalida, who is wearing a hijab, "Why do you wear it for a man that marries a 6-year-old girl?"Eden can then be heard chiming in."She wears it for herself, OK?" Eden says. "She wears it because she wants to be modest with her body, not because of people like you who are going to sit there and disrespect her."The woman in red continues, telling the Bhatti's wife, "Your kids behead people," but Eden quickly interrupts her."That's not her doing it," Eden says. "That's a minority of people."When the woman in red then starts ranting about "148 Christians murdered in Kenya" and Muslims murdering each other in Syria, Eden asks, “What’s that got to do with this lady?"At the end, Eden says, "If you've got nothing nice to say, don't say anything, it's simple."Bhatti said he and his wife were able to connect with Eden via Skype Friday, and they’ve invited her to come visit his family and local mosque in Brisbane.He added he's working with the New South Wales Police Force, which is apparently working to obtain surveillance video footage and identify the woman allegedly making the racial comments.The New South Wales Police Force told ABC News Monday the department was aware of "an incident which occurred on a train traveling on the Airport, Inner-West and South Line involving alleged racial comments" on Wednesday and that an investigation was now underway. The department added it could not confirm or reveal the names of the victims of the alleged crimes.Once the woman is identified and found, Bhatti said he will "go through the proper channels" to press charges to make sure “this woman doesn't hurt any other Muslim women and families again.” Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

NASA: Death Star May Have Shredded Planet After Close Encounter

NASA: Death Star May Have Shredded Planet After Close EncounterNASA(NEW YORK) -- Astronomers have uncovered evidence that a white dwarf star may have gone into death star mode on the edge of the Milky Way, shredding a planet after a close encounter.NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and several other telescopes captured evidence of the Earth-sized star's destructive act. A white dwarf star has a dense core and is what stars similar to the sun can transform into after being depleted of nuclear fuel.When stars enter the dwarf stage, their matter is densely packed into a radius that can be just 1 percent of that of the original star.The reason for the planetary lashing comes down to the star's gravitational pull and tides being enhanced during a close encounter, according to NASA."When such a planet passes too close to a white dwarf, it can be torn apart by the intense tidal forces of the white dwarf. The planetary debris is then heated and glows in X-rays as it falls onto the white dwarf," researchers wrote.It's estimated the planet that was slayed by the star contained about one third of Earth's mass, whereas NASA said the powerful white dwarf has about 1.4 times the mass of the sun. Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

US Troops Begin Training Ukrainian National Guardsmen

US Troops Begin Training Ukrainian National GuardsmenYURIY DYACHYSHYN/AFP/Getty Images(KIEV, Ukraine) -- U.S. troops began training members of Ukraine's National Guard Monday to help them fight pro-Russian separatists in the east of the country.About 300 U.S. paratroopers are at the Yavoriv training facility in Western Ukraine, where they will train 900 guardsmen in three two-month rotations. President @poroshenko:Joint exercise with the U.S.should facilitate the establishment of peace http://t.co/BL061KBL2g pic.twitter.com/SjiyMjWayN — APU (@APUkraine) April 20, 2015 Pentagon spokesman Col. Steve Warren said the training will consist of defensive and civil operations including medical training, casualty evacuation, counter-unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) tactics, as well as human rights observance training.   Ukrainian troops are continuing to battle the Russian-backed rebels in certain Eastern areas, although fighting has largely stopped recently since a cease-fire was signed in February. Russia has warned, however, that the U.S. training could destabilize the cease-fire and hinder efforts to implement a peace agreement.In response to Russia's warning, Warren said Monday, “I would say it’s Russia that’s destabilizing Ukraine.” “They are the ones who are continuing to provide lethal weapons, they are continuing sending combat forces into Ukraine. Really it’s the Russians who are destabilizing the situation in Ukraine. This is training national guardsmen in national guard tasks,” he added. Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Why These Baby Crocodiles Can’t Wait to Get to Cuba

Why These Baby Crocodiles Can’t Wait to Get to CubaBo Jonsson/Skansen-Akvariet(STOCKHOLM) -- Ten baby crocodiles are on their way to Havana to be released into the wild, their former zookeeper at Skansen Aquarium in Stockholm, Sweden, told ABC News.Cuba's former president, Fidel Castro, gave the crocodiles’ parents to Russian cosmonaut Vladimir Shatalov in the 1970s. Symbolically named Castro and Hillary, as in Clinton, they were eventually transferred to a city zoo in Moscow.In 1981, the director of Sweden’s Skansen Aquarium visited Moscow where officials offered him the chance to bring the crocodiles to Stockholm, which he accepted. Since 1984, Hillary and Castro have produced more than 100 crocodiles for export around the world.Cuban authorities reached out to the zoo last year asking whether it would be possible to release some of the crocodiles into the wild in Cuba."We said yes immediately," said Bo Jonsson, one of their zookeepers. "Reintroducing animals into the wild is what zoos are for. Our dream is to contribute to animal conservation, taking them from nature to be saved and secured for future release into the wild."To survive the 48 hours of travel, the babies are being transported by plane in boxes with tubes in them because they are less stressed when they are in a small and confined space where they can't turn around, Jonsson said, adding that they will monitor the crocodiles during the trip and make sure they are kept humid.Cuban crocodiles are similar to American crocodiles but tend to be more muscular and aggressive, experts say. Once released into the wild, the zookeeper said, they will adapt to their natural habitat "on day one.” Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

What Prince George’s Childhood Will Be Like with His Younger Sibling

What Prince George’s Childhood Will Be Like with His Younger SiblingThe Duke and Duchess of Cambridge/PA Wire via Getty Images(LONDON) -- With the second royal baby due any day now, Britain's Prince George of Cambridge is about to become a big brother for the first time."Prince George and his little brother or sister will be incredibly close in age, and they will grow up side by side," said Daily Mirror royal correspondent and ABC News' royal contributor Victoria Murphy. "But of course, there's one huge difference, and that's that George is destined to be king and this baby is not."The obvious question is whether Prince George, who will turn 2 in July, will have a little brother or sister to watch over. Royal sources tell ABC News that George's parents, Duchess Kate and Prince William, do not know the baby's gender.Whether the baby is a boy or a girl, the two children will be third and fourth in line to the British throne. That means they likely will have a close bond fostered by sharing something completely unique, as did their father and his younger brother, Prince Harry, before them.It remains unclear whether the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will bring George to meet the new prince or princess at St. Mary's Hospital in London, where Kate is due to deliver sometime this month, ABC News has learned. Royal sources tell ABC News that William and Kate will make that decision on whether to bring George to the hospital after George's baby brother or sister is born.But who can forget William's visit to the Lindo Wing of St. Mary's Hospital 30 years ago to visit Prince Harry for the first time after Princess Diana gave birth? It is hard to imagine that George's parents won't want to do the same with this new baby.One thing is for sure, William, 32, is determined to give his children a normal life."I think that just like Kate, William is very keen for his children to have the upbringing that she had," Murphy said. "She had a very happy childhood. She's very close to both of her parents, who are still together and still very much in love.""It's a very secure family unit," she said of Duchess Kate's family, which also includes two more Middleton children, Pippa and James. "And I think that's what she and William want to give their children."From Prince George's very first photo op while with his parents on an official trip in New Zealand in April of last year, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have tried to ensure George has some semblance of life as a normal child.In that first photo op, George was introduced to the world at a playgroup with other children his age. Months later, like Princess Diana did for her sons 30 years ago, Duchess Kate brought Prince George to see Santa and he waited in line just like every other child, with no special treatment."Kate takes him to parks. She takes him to the beach. She takes him to the farm. She wants him to enjoy all of that, like any other child would," Murphy told ABC News. "She takes him to carol services at Christmas to mix with other children."ABC News has also learned that, like many young children, George loves to splash about in the pool and his parents are teaching him to swim.William and Kate currently rely on one nanny, Maria Teresa Turrion Borrallo, to help with George. Royal sources told ABC News the couple, for the moment, does not plan to hire an additional nanny or other staff after the baby's birth.Like many other young families, George and his sibling will also enjoy the company of their family's beloved dog, Lupo, a wedding gift to William and Kate from Kate's brother, James Middleton."Of course, this baby will be their second child, but in some ways this baby is their third child because you've got to remember they also have Lupo, who was there long before Prince George," Murphy said. "And Lupo is their absolute, beloved pet dog, who they treat exactly like one of the family.""And as well as having a great relationship with William and Kate, Lupo and George also get on really well," she said. Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

North Korea’s Kim Jong-un Climbed a Mountain, State Media Says

North Korea’s Kim Jong-un Climbed a Mountain, State Media SaysEd Jones/AFP/GettyImages(PYONGYANG, North Korea) -- North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has had quite an eclectic time at the helm of his secretive state, if the country’s state media is to be believed. He’s hopped into a fighter jet, ridden a roller coaster, directed live fire exercises and toured factories churning out everything from mushrooms and shoes to hosiery and cellphones.But his latest feat puts all those to shame.Kim climbed to the top of the country’s highest mountain at dawn Saturday, according to a report from the country’s strictly controlled, state-run media.A series of still photographs released by a state broadcaster Sunday appear to show Kim atop 9,022-foot Mt. Paektu, standing in the snow and smiling as the sun rises above him.Kim climbed the mountain with a group of fighter pilots visiting “revolutionary battle sites in the area,” North Korea’s Korean Central News Agency said.“Climbing Mt. Paektu provides precious mental pabulum more powerful than any kind of nuclear weapon,” the state media report said. Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Norway Plans to Ditch FM Radio

Norway Plans to Ditch FM RadioiStock/Thinkstock(OSLO, Norway) -- The FM radio dial will soon join the ranks of obsolete technology alongside the floppy disk, answering machines and VCRs -- well at least in Norway.The Scandinavian country's Ministry of Culture said in a statement that FM radio will be switched off in 2017 with digital radio taking its place.Norwegians won't lose their favorite radio programming and can instead expect higher quality and more choices, according to Thorhild Widvey, Norway's minister of culture, who said the move was first discussed in 2011."Listeners will have access to more diverse and pluralistic radio content, and enjoy better sound quality and new functionality," Widvey said in a statement. "Digitization will also greatly improve the emergency preparedness system, facilitate increased competition and offer new opportunities for innovation and development."Norway's digital audio broadcasting network (DAB) already includes 22 national channels with room for plenty more, whereas the country's FM radio station hosts five.When the FM dial dies, broadcasters will be able to decide whether to take their stations to DAB or the more cutting edge DAB+. The Ministry of Culture also said it expects the majority of future radio programming in Norway to be on DAB+.The move may be a win for everyone. According to the Ministry of Culture, the cost of transmitting FM radio is eight times higher than going digital.It's expected the switch could provide as much as $25 million USD in savings per year for national channels, allowing more money to be invested in programming. Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

New Royal Baby’s Security Likely to Be a Redux

New Royal Baby’s Security Likely to Be a ReduxChris Jackson/Getty Images(LONDON) — Arranging security for Kate Middleton and the new royal baby should be a little easier the second time around.That's because the Duchess is expected to give birth at the same hospital where George was born, St. Mary's in London.Notices have already been posted outside the hospital, forbidding any parking 24 hours a day April 15-30. Middleton is expected to give birth during that time.St. Mary's is also where Middleton's husband, Prince William, and his brother, Prince Harry, were born.The hospital is well-equipped to handle the privacy and security needs of the royal family. Its private Lindo wing, where Middleton gave birth last time, offers birthing suites and doctors with experience caring for "complex pregnancies," according to the hospital website.Like last time, there's not expected to be a "massive change in police presence" during and after the birth, as ABC News royal correspondent Victoria Arbiter outlined in 2013 before the birth of George. But police presence is expected to be "stepped up a notch."And just like before, Middleton will likely want to leave the hospital as soon as possible.After a photo op outside the hospital -- hopefully with young George in tow -- the family will head immediately to Kensington Palace, where Arbiter said they have a "secure, fortified" place that "gives them privacy and security without added worries."But their stay at Kensington is likely to be a brief couple days, royal commentator Victoria Murphy told ABC News recently."After that the intention is for them to leave and to go to their country home of Anmer Hall," Murphy said of their estate in Norfolk, England. "And really that is where they consider to be their home now, where they feel most comfortable and where they will spend the next few weeks."Roya Nikkhah, a royal family commentator and writer, explained that the country home has everything the family of four needs in one secure place."There's a huge amount of private space there," Nikkhah told ABC News recently. "There's an enormous garden. There's tennis, there's swimming but all in one place. They don't have to get protection officers to take them from one bit to the other as they do in London."Added Nikkhah, "It's a kind of completely enclosed childhood for Prince George and his new brother or sister that's about to arrive. And I think that's what William and Kate, particularly William, wants for his children. He wants to have that incredibly normal life that's completely private, that's away from the spotlight."Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

In Norway, Worms Rain from the Sky

In Norway, Worms Rain from the SkyiStock/Thinkstock(BERGEN, Norway) — Scientists and residents in Norway were stunned by an odd bit of precipitation recently: worms. A biology teacher named Karstein Erstad was skiing when he found the snowy mountainside in Bergen covered in the creepy crawlies, according to The Local. Similar reports were made throughout the country, as far as the country's border with Sweden. Erstad explained a weather pattern could have lifted the worms up in the air and scattered them miles away; he found similar reports dating back to 1920. "It's a very rare phenomenon," the scientist explained. "It's difficult to say how many times it happens, but it has only been reported a very few times." Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Hundreds Feared Dead After Migrant Ship Capsizes in Mediterranean

Hundreds Feared Dead After Migrant Ship Capsizes in MediterraneanPhoto by Tullio M. Puglia/Getty Images(ROME) -- As many as 700 refugees and migrants were reportedly onboard a boat that capsized in the Mediterranean Sea on Sunday morning, with many feared dead.Adrian Edwards, Head of News and Chief Spokesperson for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, called the incident a "catastrophe" on Twitter, noting that it "may be [the] biggest ever." Similar incidents aren't terribly uncommon. Edwards noted on Twitter that in 219,000 crossings last year, 3,500 people died. In about 35,000 crossings in 2015 -- Sunday's notwithstanding -- 950 individuals have died.   New Mediterranean catastrophe may be biggest ever. Still hearing only a few dozen survivors from boat said carrying 700 #refugees & migrants — Adrian Edwards (@AdrianEdwrds) April 19, 2015 Mediterranean facts update: - 219K crossings in 2014 & 3500 deaths; - 35K+ crossings so far in 2015 & 950 deaths (today's no.s not incl.) — Adrian Edwards (@AdrianEdwrds) April 19, 2015 Numerous ships are involved in the search for survivors, though Italian news agency ANSA reported only 28 survivors had been picked up through Sunday afternoon local time. The Maltese Navy is assisting Italian officials with the search. Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi is calling for a European Union meeting on immigration as soon as possible.The United Nations Human Rights Campaign reported saving thousands of migrants from the Mediterranean last week.   Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

USAID Pledges $126 Million to Help Rebuild West African Health Services

USAID Pledges $126 Million to Help Rebuild West African Health ServicesPawel Gaul/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The U.S. Agency for International Development announced this weekend that it would provide $126 million in funds to help rebuild health services in Ebola-affected nations in West Africa. The agency says the money will be used to "help Liberia, Sierra Leone, and guinea restart critical health services that stopped due to the Ebola outbreak, including vaccinations, water and sanitation services, prenatal and maternal health care and nutrition, and programs to prevent and treat malaria and other infectious diseases.""USAID has helped West African nations by beating back the Ebola outbreak." Associate Administrator Mark Feierstein said. "Now we're helping ensure people have food to eat, schools are open and educating children, people are able to communicate through a strong infrastructure network, and families can support themselves by returning to jobs and markets."With help from the international community, the Ebola outbreak in West Africa has been slowed. In Liberia, in particular, the number of new Ebola cases has dropped from 50 per day to zero. Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Kurdish Forces Retake Land from ISIS in Iraq

Kurdish Forces Retake Land from ISIS in IraqMarcio Silva/iStock/Thinkstock(BAGHDAD) -- Kurdish forces have seized large expanses of ISIS-held terrain in northern Iraq, the U.S.-led coalition said in a Sunday statement.During the operations, the Kurdish Peshmerga cleared 11 villages of enemy combatants and restored security to an area about 25 square miles in size. The Peshmerga were assisted by coalition air strikes, which destroyed ISIS weapons systems and fighting positions."The operation is yet another example demonstrating the commitment and ability of our partners to defeat [ISIS] forces on the battlefield in Iraq," Lt. Gen. James Terry, commander of the coalition forces said. "The determined efforts of the Peshmerga, combined with coalition support, further denies [ISIS] key terrain and freedom of movement in Northern Iraq." Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

ISIS Claims Responsibility for Bombing Near US Consulate in Erbil, Iraq

ISIS Claims Responsibility for Bombing Near US Consulate in Erbil, IraqPhoto by Emrah Yorulmaz/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images(ERBIL, Iraq) -- ISIS has claimed responsibility for the bombing that killed at least three people near the U.S. consulate in northern Iraq.The blast outside the consulate injured several others on Friday, but U.S. officials said no personnel at the consulate were hurt in the bombing.The extremist group also claimed to have carried out bombings in Baghdad that killed more than two dozen people. The attacks come as the hardline fighters are attempting to take over the western Iraqi city of Ramadi, where gunmen have seized villages in recent days.More than 2,000 families have fled the city and are residing outside the Iraqi capital of Baghdad. However, Iraqi forces were able to repel the Islamic States assault on the northern city of Bajji, a key center for oil refining, with the help of U.S.-led airstrikes. Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Alleged Terror Plot Thwarted in Australia

Alleged Terror Plot Thwarted in AustraliaTkKurikawa/iStock Editorial/Thinkstock(MELBOURNE, Australia) -- Five Australian teenagers were arrested Saturday on suspicion of planning a terror attack. The five men, between the ages of 18 and 19, were arrested after 200 state and federal police officers raided seven homes in Melbourne. The planning of the attack was described by police as being inspired by ISIS, and aimed at police officers.“Some evidence that we have collected at a couple of the scenes, and some other information we have, leads us to believe that this particular matter was ISIS inspired,” said Australian Federal Police Acting Deputy Commissioner Neil Gaughan in a news conference Saturday. Despite admitting sharp edged knives were intended to be involved, Gaughan stopped short of the saying that beheadings were planned. The alleged attacks were set to take place during an ANZAC Day parade, which commemorates Australian and New Zealand troops during Battle of Gallipoli from World War I.Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said on Saturday that police have been handling similar threats for several months“All you need these days is a knife, a flag and a camera and one can commit a terrorist attack. So it's very different, it's a different paradigm for us,“ he said. Abbott urged citizens to be defiant and live free and fair normal lives after the latest plot was thwarted.“Please don't be deterred,” Abbot said. “Turn up in the largest possible numbers to support our country, to support our values, to support our armed forces.” Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

ISIS Takes Credit for Suicide Bombing in Afghanistan That Killed at Least 33

ISIS Takes Credit for Suicide Bombing in Afghanistan That Killed at Least 33izustun/iStock/Thinkstock(JALALABAD, Afghanistan) -- ISIS took credit for a suicide bombing that killed at least 33 people and injured more than 100 others in eastern Afghanistan on Saturday. The blast occurred near a bank in Jalalabad, capital of the Nangarhar province, where soldiers and Afghan government employees receive their salaries. Police said the incident happened in morning rush hour, when most people were waiting in front of the bank to collect their salariesAt least one other bomb found outside the bank was later detonated by police. The Pakistani government, which is working with Afghanistan on counter-terrorism, condemned the attack on Saturday, calling it "cowardly and indiscriminate" in a statement. "We send our deepest sympathies and condolences to the families of the victims and pray for speedy recovery of the injured," the statement read. Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Italian Prime Minister Visits White House

Italian Prime Minister Visits White HouseOfficial White House Photo by Pete Souza(WASHINGTON) --  Italy’s young Prime Minister is hoping to bring back to Rome some much needed hope and change after his visit with President Obama.Prime Minister Matteo Renzi met with Obama on Friday, and discussed issues such as the American-European cooperation in Ukraine, the Iran nuclear deal, and at top of Italy’s agenda, how to help quell the chaos in Libya.Italy is struggling to cope with huge numbers of migrants escaping war in Syria, various African nations and Libya. The groups of migrants are crossing on small crowded boats in an attempt make it to Italy’s south. In the last week, the Italian coast guard has rescued well over 10,000 people.Like Obama, Renzi is a young leader, just 40 years old, and has come up against fierce opposition to a series of reforms he says are desperately needed to pull Italy out of its longest post-war recession. Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Former Saddam Hussein Aide Reportedly Killed in Iraq

Former Saddam Hussein Aide Reportedly Killed in IraqHope Milam/iStock/Thinkstock(BAGHDAD) -- One of Saddam Hussein former top officials has reportedly been killed.Iraqi officials said on Friday that Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri, Saddam's former deputy who later allied himself with ISIS, is believed to have been killed in fighting east of Tikrit.A senior commander said he was killed while in a convoy along with his bodyguards.In the George W. Bush era, al-Douri was known as the “king of clubs” in the deck of playing cards issued to help troops identify key members of Saddam's regime.Iraqi officials said on Friday that DNA tests are now underway. Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Chernobyl Survivor to Be Pushed in Team Hoyt Wheelchair for Boston Marathon

Chernobyl Survivor to Be Pushed in Team Hoyt Wheelchair for Boston MarathonBest Buddies(BOSTON) -- Alosha O'Brien was born perfectly healthy, but after living through the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster when he was nearly 2, his body didn't grow properly, and he developed disabilities. Now 30 and living with his adoptive family in the United States since leaving Ukraine, O'Brien mostly gets around with the help of crutches or a wheel chair. He never could have guessed that he would be preparing for his second Boston Marathon, where he'll be pushed in a specially designed wheelchair by Craig Welton, the Massachusetts director of Best Buddies International, a nonprofit working to give opportunities to people with disabilities. "Your dreams can be true," O'Brien told ABC News. "You have to believe instead of always thinking negatively. There are people around the world, so many, that are nice." O'Brien's chair was specially designed for him by Team Hoyt, the father-son team that became a fixture at the Boston Marathon after running it more than 30 times, including last year. Dick Hoyt pushed his son Rick, who has cerebral palsy, for the first time in 1977. To O'Brien, the Hoyts are celebrities, he said. "They are just inspiring at what they do," O'Brien said, adding that he met them last year. "To me, they're amazing." O'Brien, who is often approached by strangers who know his name, has become a celebrity in his own right, but he said Welton is the real hero. "It's not the easiest to run 26.2 miles, especially pushing a chair," he said. "He’s a great guy because... he can make things happen and believes that yes, you can do it. And there's no answer that you can't." Welton told ABC News the two of them have run three marathons together so far because they needed to qualify for each Boston Marathon. They talk the whole time, and O'Brien plays music from his iPod on speakers attached to the chair. The first time they approached a big hill, Welton said he'll never forget when O'Brien changed the song to "Eye of the Tiger." "It was hysterical," he said. "Everyone running around us is just laughing. It made it easier for all the other runners." Welton said the race is a great opportunity for O'Brian to show the world that being different isn't a bad thing. "He's a great example of what people with disabilities are capable of doing if given the opportunity," he said. Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
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