• Thu 77°F / 52°F
Home » Archives by category » World News (Page 4)

Pope Francis Gives First English Language Speech in South Korea

Pope Francis Gives First English Language Speech in South Korea

iStock Editorial(SEOUL, South Korea) — Pope Francis started his five-day visit to South Korea by making a public speech in English for the first time and riding inside a compact Kia hatchback.The pope read a 10-minute speech in English at the Presidential office in Seoul, noting Korea’s lack of peace, challenges facing solidarity and reconciliation, and the need to educate the young. Although he did not directly mention North Korea, the references were clear, with his speech following an address by South Korean President Park Geun-hye, who dedicated most of her message to slamming the North.“Catholics in North Korea had been stripped of their assets, religious leaders kidnapped and murdered,” she said at the welcome ceremonial speech. The South Korean government is “trying best to follow the road of peace, instead of war and nuclear weapons,” she stressed.“We trust the pope’s wish is also a denuclearized Korean peninsula,” she said.Before the pope’s arrival, North Korea test-fired three short-range projectiles from Wonsan, the North’s eastern coast. Two more were fired after he landed. The projectiles flew about 135 miles, according to the Ministry of Defense. North Korea this year has conducted an unusually high number of artillery tests expressing anger over joint military exercises between the United States and South Korean forces.Excitement and anticipation is high in the streets of Seoul with images of the pope decorating roadside banners and subway stations, mega-size welcome posters hanging from buildings and Korean television stations broadcasting his every public moment.Pope Francis, 77, has been studying his English to communicate better with the English-speaking Asians without a translator, according to a news release by the preparatory Committee of the Papal Visit to Korea. He sent a video message in English to the Philippines last year, but never a public speech.“English is the only universal language that he could communicate with people in Asia,” said Lionel Jensen, Associate Professor of East Asian Languages and Cultures at University of Notre Dame. ”It’s a symbolic gesture, making an overture to connect with the Asian youth, but it does put an enormous amount of pressure on him that his English is understandable.”Unlike his predecessors Pope John Paul II and Benedict XVI, who fluently spoke eight and seven languages, respectively, Pope Francis normally speaks Italian at public appearances, at times — but rarely — his mother tongue, Spanish. In his biography, El Jesuita, written by Sergio Rubin, he had admitted difficulties in learning phonetics of English words because he is “tone deaf.”For South Koreans, it was the pope’s choice of a modest, locally made Kia Soul car that fascinated the public rather than his new attempt at an English speech. The papal ride from the airport to the city was broadcast live, showing images of the entourage in the dark gray car escorted front and back by dozens of luxury SUVs and police motorbikes.“It was just funny, how he climbed into a tiny car like a cat going for a small cozy space,” said Kim Ji-hwan, a journalism student in Seoul. “It’s humbling and at the same time respectful. The Korean Protestant priests at mega-churches ride Mercedes-Benz.”The five-day papal visit is tightly-scheduled, with the pontiff expected to travel more than 620 miles. He plans to meet with children; relatives of the 300 victims, mostly school children, from the sunken Sewol ferry in April; the disabled; immigrants; as well as officials.He is to meet about 6,000 children Friday and answer questions at the Asian Youth Day event in Solmoe, 64 miles south of Seoul.The main reason for his visit is the beatification of 124 martyrs on Saturday at the heart of Seoul city, Gwanghwamun.More than 5.4 million, or 11 percent of the Korean population is Catholic, growing at a dynamic pace, especially after Saint John Paul II travelled here twice in 1984 and 1989. The Christian faith “was born in a very particular way” in South Korea, with residents researching the Christian faith and visiting China to meet with missionaries there, according to Father Federico Lombardi, spokesman for the Vatican. The early Christians were persecuted and thousands of missionaries suffered death, martyrdom.On a broader scope, Asia as a whole offers the Vatican potential for growth and influence. Roughly 60 percent of world population resides in Asia, but it is home to only 12 percent of the world’s Catholics.Catholicism, especially in China, has been growing dramatically in recent years. Official count stands at 9 to 10 million registered with the state-run Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association that refuses to acknowledge the Vatican.“That number is largely misrepresented because it does not reflect the underground church that grew steadily over many years,” Jensen said.On his way to Seoul passing through Chinese airspace, the pope sent a goodwill telegram message to China in accordance with tradition as all popes do as they fly over countries.“I extend best wishes to your Excellency and your fellow citizens and I invoke the divine blessing of peace and well-being upon the nation,” he said in a written message to President Xi Jinping.Beijing had refused to allow Pope John Paul II to fly over its airspace in previous visits.Pope Francis’ message on the trip will also be directed at North Korea, where religious freedom is virtually nonexistent. Pyongyang had declined Seoul’s invitation for its state-run church members to attend a papal mass for peace and reconciliation on the Korean peninsula scheduled on Monday in Seoul’s Myondong cathedral, the symbolic church of the Korean catholic community.
Watch more news videos | Latest from the US
Follow @ABCNewsRadio
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Queen’s Grandson Peter Phillips on His Latest Project

Queen’s Grandson Peter Phillips on His Latest Project

ABC News(LONDON) — Peter Phillips may be the queen of England’s eldest grandchild, the 12th in line to the British throne and a cousin of Princes William and Harry, but his royal lineage, he says, is no excuse to not work hard.“We get on with it ourselves,” Phillips, 36, told ABC News, “and work for our living.”Phillips, the son of the queen’s daughter, Princess Anne, is this week working on what many are calling the biggest event to hit London since the 2012 Olympics — the Longines Global Champions Tour, a premiere show-jumping event.
“The Longines Global Champions Tour is the diamond league of show jumping,” Phillips said. “It’s the top 30 riders in the world. The top 30 horses in the world.”Competitors in this year’s event include some boldface names from the United States, including Bruce Springsteen’s daughter, Jessica, former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s daughter, Georgina, and Jennifer Gates, the daughter of Bill Gates.”This is where all the riders want to be,” Phillips said.The Tour kicks off Thursday and runs through Sunday at the Horse Guards Parade, near Buckingham Palace, in London. The equestrian endeavor is one that is close to Phillips’ heart, considering his family’s passion for horses.The queen, at age 88, still rides horses, and shared her love of the animals with her grandchildren starting at an early age.“I was on a pony before I could really remember,” Phillips said of his childhood, growing up less than 10 miles away from his cousins, William and Harry.It was two summers ago, at the 2012 London Olympics, that Prince William and Prince Harry turned out to support Phillips’ sister, Zara Phillips, as she took home an Olympic silver medal in the team equestrian event.“To have an Olympics in your home city and then to have a family member win a medal was absolutely fantastic,” Peter Phillips said. “It was phenomenal.”Phillips said when he and his Royal relatives gather together again this Christmas, it will be a chance for his own young daughters, Isla, 2, and Savannah, 3, to reunite with their cousin, 1-year-old Prince George.“They’ve [Isla and Savannah] met him a couple of times,” Phillips said of George, son of Prince William and Duchess Kate. “They’re both at the age now where babies are obviously very interesting to them, especially since they’re now slightly bigger.””They get on pretty well,” he said of the three second cousins.Playtime among the second cousins, which this year will include a new addition, Mia, the 7-month-old daughter of Zara Phillips, is something Peter Phillips said came as second nature to him, Harry and William when they were growing up.“We had fun but we were kids, growing up as any other family would do,” Phillips said. “Going around to see your cousins as a normal family would do.””As children, you don’t know any different,” he said.

Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

A Chilling Trip to Death Camp for Holocaust Survivor

A Chilling Trip to Death Camp for Holocaust Survivor

Courtesy Gabriel Ferenczi(CHICAGO) — It was a story he needed everyone to hear.On his 69th anniversary of liberation, one Holocaust survivor wanted to share his memories with his whole family, on a trip to the concentration camp where he was held prisoner decades ago in Mauthausen, Austria.“It was extremely emotional,” said Gabriel Ferenczi, whose grandfather Pal Ferenczi was freed from the camp in 1945. “As we started going through the tour, each section we went to — it was indescribable.”Pal, 93, shared sad stories as the family toured the camp’s gas chamber and crematory, stopping at memorials like the Room of Names, where the thousands of names of men killed at Mauthausen are carved in granite.Passing an empty room, he recalled how corpses would be stacked on top of each other there, waiting to be burned in the furnace. At the gas chamber, he told his family how 50 men would be shoved into the tiny room to die. Terrified victims left scratch marks on the door.All the while, Pal wore his prisoner tag, a sad reminder of his time at the camp. He had visited the memorial several times before, but Gabriel suspects that this time was the most meaningful, because he was with his family.“He held himself together very well,” Gabriel said of his grandfather, who lives in Budapest, Hungary. “But there were a couple instances when he had to stop and collect himself…it’s just the power of being there, words can’t describe how emotional it becomes when you realize these terrible things that happened there, and he lived to tell about it.”After the May trip, Gabriel shared photos from the tour on Facebook and Reddit, where his grandfather’s story quickly went viral.“It was his wish to get it out to as many people as we could,” said Gabriel, who lives in Chicago.“He told us the main reason for him wanting to show us this and tell us these stories is so we can pass on what happened,” he added. “In the hope that people today can see that this sort of brutality existed, especially with the world today, that we can avoid those same mistakes.”Mauthausen was the only category III concentration camp — which means it had the most brutal conditions, according to the memorial’s website. Nearly 200,000 people were taken to the camp, and half of them died there.Gabriel hopes his grandfather’s account helps people better understand the Holocaust, and life inside the concentration camps.“There’s only so much a thick, boring textbook tells you,” he said.
Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Paying for Sex Costs Less Around the World

Paying for Sex Costs Less Around the World

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — It’s a buyer’s market for people who pay for sex, a new survey from The Economist suggests.After reviewing data from 190,000 female sex workers, better known as prostitutes, from 84 cities in 12 countries, the going rate per hour averages $260.While that might seem steep, the study shows that it’s down from $340 an hour in 2006.The two major reasons why paying for sex costs less, according to The Economist, are fairly obvious: the Great Recession and the relative ease of people selling their sexual wares on the Internet.Other reasons for lower prices among ladies of the evening are the migration of sex workers from poor countries to wealthier nations and the legalization of prostitution in some countries such as Germany.
There is one upside for the sex workers: by advertising online, they can eliminate the middleman.
Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

US Military Team Lands on Mt. Sinjar in Iraq to Assess Yazidi Crisis

US Military Team Lands on Mt. Sinjar in Iraq to Assess Yazidi Crisis

DoD photo by Lance Cpl. Evan R. White, U.S. Marine Corps/Released(WASHINGTON) — United States Marines, special forces and the USAID disaster assistance relief team briefly landed Wednesday on Mt. Sinjar in Iraq, a U.S. official told ABC News.It was the first time ABC News has learned of any Americans landing on the mountain, where thousands of Yazidis are trapped and facing a humanitarian crisis. “Today a team of fewer than twenty personnel conducted an assessment of the situation on Mt. Sinjar,” a defense official told ABC News. “All personnel have returned safely to Erbil by military air.”Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced on Tuesday that the United States has sent a 130-member military assessment team to Erbil in the autonomous Iraqi province of Kurdistan to determine what further assistance the U.S. can provide to the Yazidis.Thousands of members of the Yazidi minority group fled to the mountain in order to escape from ISIS in northern Iraq.The Yazidis, a religious minority in Iraq, have been targeted by the Islamic army for being what they call “devil worshipers” and were threatened with execution if they didn’t agree to convert to Islam.Addressing a group of Marines during a visit to Camp Pendleton in California, Hagel said the team had arrived in northern Iraq “to take a closer look and give a more in-depth assessment of where we can continue to help the Iraqis with what they’re doing and the threats that they are now dealing with.”The new team is in addition to the 40 U.S. military personnel already in Erbil, who for several weeks have been manning a Joint Operations Center with Kurdish military forces.Hagel said the team would soon provide an assessment to Centcom that would make its way to the Pentagon “very shortly.”
Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Gaza Cease-Fire Extended by Five Days

Gaza Cease-Fire Extended by Five Days

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip) — Both sides have agreed to a five-day extension of the existing cease-fire in Gaza, following extensive negotiations in Cairo.The extension was announced by both United Nations spokesperson Farhan Haq and Azzam El Ahmad, head of the Palestinian delegation to the negotiations. The extension was accepted less than one hour before the end of a 72-hour cease-fire. The Israeli delegation did not immediately confirm the extension of the cease-fire. Earlier on Wednesday, five rockets were fired from Gaza, violating the existing cease-fire.  No injuries were reported in Israel, nor were there any injuries reported in connection with an Israeli response in the form of airstrikes in open areas of Gaza.
Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Brazilian Presidential Candidate Killed in Plane Crash

Brazilian Presidential Candidate Killed in Plane Crash

Photo by Alexandre Schneider/Getty Images(SANTOS, Brazil) — A plane crash appears to have taken the life of Brazilian presidential candidate Eduardo Campos on Wednesday.BBC News reports that the crash occurred in a residential area amidst bad weather. In addition to Campos, four other passengers and two pilots were killed in the crash.In a statement, National Security Council spokesperson Caitlin Hayden said that the White House was “deeply saddened” by the crash. “We extend our profound condolences to the family and other loved ones of the deceased and to the people of Brazil,” the statement read.Campos had been considered a serious candidate in October’s election.
Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

UN Special Representatives Concerned by Reports of Sexual Violence in Iraq

UN Special Representatives Concerned by Reports of Sexual Violence in Iraq

Purestock/Thinkstock(BAGHDAD) — In a statement, a pair of United Nations special representatives expressed concern over continued reports of sexual violence occuring in Iraq.Special Representative to the Security General for Sexual Violence in Conflict, Zainab Hawa Bangura, and Special Representative to the Secretary General for Iraq, Nickolay Mladenov, issued a joint statement Wednesday, saying they were “gravely concerned” by the reports. “Atrocious accounts on the abduction and detention of Yazidi, Christian, as well as Turkomen and Shabak women, girls and boys, and reports of savage rapes, are reaching us in an alarming manner,” the statement read.The statement said that as many as 1,500 individuals may have been forced into sexual slavery.”We condemn, in the strongest terms, the explicit targeting of women and children and the barbaric acts [ISIS] has perpetrated on minorities in areas under its control,” Mladenov and Bangura said. They also called on regional governments and the international community to press for the release of the women and children currently being held against their will.
Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Pope Francis Writes to UN Secretary-General About Situation in Iraq

Pope Francis Writes to UN Secretary-General About Situation in Iraq

Ingram Publishing/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Pope Francis wrote a letter to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Wednesday regarding the situation in northern Iraq.Noting the reports of Christians and other religious minorities being forced to flee their homes and witness the destruction of places of worship, Pope Francis said he wrote the letter to express his concern for the “intolerable suffering of those who only wish to live in peace, harmony and freedom in the land of their forefathers.” As the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria continues to threaten more cities in northern Iraq and take part in violent attacks, the pope encouraged Ban and the U.N. charter nations to continue their efforts to assist refugees.The ISIS attacks “cannot but awaken the consciences of all men and women of goodwill to concrete acts of solidarity by protecting those affected or threatened by violence and assuring the necessary and urgent assistance for the many displaced people,” Pope Francis said. The pope’s emissary, Cardinal Fernando Filoni, left on a trip to the region on Tuesday. He is expected to travel to Baghdad and other parts of Iraq in the coming days.
Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Two Journalists Among Five Killed in Gaza Explosion

Two Journalists Among Five Killed in Gaza Explosion

David Silverman/Getty Images(GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip) — Two journalists were killed and another one critically injured Wednesday morning as they were reporting on a team of Palestinian bomb disposal experts who were attempting to defuse an Israeli rocket. The sudden blast claimed the lives of an Italian cameraman, a Palestinian translator, both who worked for the Associated Press, along with three members of the bomb disposal unit. A Palestinian photographer, also working for AP, is in critical condition after the blast.At the time of the explosion, the bomb squad was trying to neutralize a Israeli rocket that had landed in a northern neighborhood of Gaza City at some point before the start of the current ceasefire. Israel denies carrying out any airstrikes Wednesday, reports the New York Times.Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Why South Korea’s Only Astronaut Quit

Why South Korea’s Only Astronaut Quit

NASA/Victor Zelentsov(SEOUL, South Korea) — Yi So-yeon, South Korea’s first and only astronaut, quit her job this week, ending the country’s manned space program.The Korea Aerospace Research Institute said Yi sent a resignation letter by mail that explained she would be stepping down from her position due to personal reasons, according to local reports.Yi beat out more than 36,000 South Koreans who applied to become the first Korean astronaut. The government paid $20 million to Russia for her ticket to space, something that has been called a “matter of national pride.”She made history on April 8, 2008, when she boarded a Soyuz spacecraft bound for the International Space Station, becoming the first Korean and the 49th woman to visit space.During her 11 days at the ISS, Yi conducted science experiments and even hosted a traditional kimchi dinner in honor of the first Russian in space, Yuri Gagarin.The 29-year-old bio-engineering student’s space flight was celebrated across the country and a crowd of thousands convened in front of Seoul City Hall to mark the occasion. Gwang Ju Science High School, Yi’s alma mater, also held a rally to cheer on its famous alumna.Her return to Earth wasn’t so smooth. The space capsule, which was carrying two other astronauts, veered off course and landed 260 miles away, near some shepherds in Kazakhstan.”They thought at first we were aliens,” Yi said in an interview.Since her stint in space, Yi has worked on research from the ground, given speeches about her time in space and participated in educational programs to inspire students. In 2010, she began a new journey as a MBA student at the University of California, Berkeley’s Haas School of Business to pursue endeavors in the private sector.Reflecting on why she was chosen for the trip of a lifetime, Yi said: “I think they felt I was open minded and would easily reach out to the public.”
Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

American Tourist Found Dead in Suitcase in Bali, Daughter Arrested

American Tourist Found Dead in Suitcase in Bali, Daughter Arrested

iStock/Thinkstock(BALI, Indonesia) — An American woman was found dead and stuffed into a suitcase at a Bali resort, and her teenage daughter was arrested Wednesday in connection to the grisly murder, police said. The teen’s boyfriend was also arrested, police said.A taxi driver found the bloody suitcase containing 62-year-old Sheila von Weise-Mack’s remains in his trunk on Tuesday, authorities said. He told police the suspected couple had hailed his cab outside the ritzy Saint Regis Bali resort, and dropped off the suitcase and two bags before going back inside the hotel. They never returned, he told police.After the taxi driver turned the suitcase over to police, authorities found the couple sleeping at a hotel about six miles away, according to Indonesian media. They reportedly told police they had been held captive by gang members but escaped.Von Weise-Mack is from the Chicago area and lived in Oak Park for years, neighbors told the ABC News-owned station WLS-TV. Her husband James Mack, a popular composer and conductor, died in 2006. Von Weise-Mack was his third wife.James Mack also died while on vacation — of an aneurysm while in Athens, Greece, according to an obituary published in The Chicago Sun-Times.Neighbors told WLS that after his death, police often visited the home for domestic issues.A family member who did not want her name released told ABC News she was shocked by the news, but had “sensed [von Weise-Mack's daughter] Heather was going to be a troubled little girl.” She said von Weise-Mack didn’t get along with her husband’s family.”I was leaving this morning and going past the TV set and I heard something about Heather Mack, which is a very rare name,” the family member said. “But I just thought the world was too big for that to be her. …I don’t believe this.”
Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Pope Francis Heads to South Korea

Pope Francis Heads to South Korea

Franco Origlia/Getty Images(ROME) — Pope Francis is scheduled to arrive in South Korea Thursday, marking the first papal trip to Asia in 25 years.Before departing for Seoul Wednesday, the pope tweeted, “As I begin my trip, I ask you to join me in praying for Korea and for all of Asia.”During his five-day trip to South Korea, Pope Francis will beatify more than 120 South Korean martyrs who were killed several centuries ago for refusing to give up their Catholic faith.About 11 percent of South Koreans are Catholic. While most of the population is Buddist, the Asian country boasts the highest rate of conversion to Catholicism.
Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Egypt Presents Long-Term Ceasefire Plan to Israelis and Palestinians

Egypt Presents Long-Term Ceasefire Plan to Israelis and Palestinians

David Silverman/Getty Images(CAIRO) — With the 72-hour ceasefire in Gaza set to end at midnight Wednesday, Israeli and Palestinian delegations in Cairo were presented with a plan by Egypt that would bring a long-term ceasefire between Israel and the militant group Hamas.The Jerusalem Post said that news of the proposal revealed by Palestinian sources would bring an immediate end to Israeli air strikes against Hamas targets in Gaza and shrink the buffer zone along the Israeli border.However, the ultimate goals of the Israelis and Hamas, which include the demilitarization of Gaza and the lifting of a seven-year-long blockade, respectively, won’t be addressed until later.Neither the Israeli nor the Palestinian delegation offered a reaction to the Egyptian plan.So far, there have been no reports of significant progress made between the two sides in Cairo as the clock counts down to the end of the three-day temporary truce.Israel has expressed a willingness to extend the ceasefire in an effort to keep negotiations going but indicated that it will be up to Hamas on whether to continue the suspension of hostilities.The armed conflict involving Hamas rocket attacks on Israel and the Israeli military’s invasion of Gaza has left more than 1,900 Palestinians dead while 67 Israelis, mostly soldiers, have also been killed.Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Russia Aid Convoy Won’t Be Allowed into Eastern Ukraine

Russia Aid Convoy Won’t Be Allowed into Eastern Ukraine

iStock/Thinkstock(KIEV, Ukraine) — An agreement to provide humanitarian aid to pro-Moscow supporters in eastern Ukraine appeared on the verge of collapse Tuesday as both Kiev and the International Committee of the Red Cross alleged that a 280-truck convoy on the way from Russia was not part of the deal.The ICRC said that the convoy was not certified and there was no way of knowing what the trucks were carrying.  Therefore, the convoy would not be allowed to cross the border into Ukraine.The fear is that the convoy is actually some kind of subterfuge and that Russia will used the guise of humanitarian aid to conduct a full-scale invasion of eastern Ukraine.Adding to the suspicions are the Russian troops near the border, which are estimated at anywhere between 20,000 and 45,000.Russia is insistent that humanitarian aid is necessary since close to a million people have been displaced in the rebel stronghold regions of Donetsk and Luhansk.These areas have come under heavy fire from Ukraine’s military, which is seeking to return eastern Ukraine into its fold. It’s estimated that 1,100 people have died since rebels broke away from the central government last April.Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Iran Backs New Iraqi Prime Minister

Iran Backs New Iraqi Prime Minister

Hemera/Thinkstock(TEHRAN, Iran) — Attempts by Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to hang on to his job were dealt a major blow Tuesday when Iran’s Supreme National Security Council declared its support for Prime Minister-designate Haider al-Abadi.Although an endorsement of Abadi by the U.S. and the West was expected, Tehran’s announcement is particularly significant since Maliki has had close ties with Iranian leadership since ascending to power eight years ago.In other developments, the top Shiite militia in Iraq, another one-time supporter of Maliki, also expressed its support for Abadi.Although his political base appears to be crumbling as well, Maliki, for now, is going nowhere even as the country’s security situation remains tenuous with the rise of the militant Islamic State in the north and west.The fear is that Maliki could provoke an armed confrontation to remain prime minister, having deployed soldiers presumably still loyal to him on the streets of Baghdad.However, Maliki, who claims Iraq’s new Sunni president usurped the constitution by appointing his successor, may not have the stomach for deepening the chaos that already exists in his country.He’s quoted as telling his security chiefs “to distance [themselves] from the political crisis,” a sign that he would prefer to resolve the conflict without bloodshed.
Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Obama Speaks with Leaders of Turkey, Canada About Cooperation on Iraq Situation

Obama Speaks with Leaders of Turkey, Canada About Cooperation on Iraq Situation

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza(WASHINGTON) — President Obama reached out to a pair of world leaders on Tuesday, speaking with Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, in part to ensure ongoing cooperation in regards to the situation in Iraq.Obama offered his congratulations to Prime Minister Erdogan on winning an election to become the 12th president of Turkey, a term he will begin later in August. According to a readout of the call from the White House, Obama and Erdogan agreed on the importance of cooperation on both Iraq and Syria, noting the terrorist threat emanating from the region. The two leaders also discussed the tensions in Gaza, and Obama welcomed Turkish humanitarian aid to vulnerable Syrians and Iraqis. Speaking with his fellow North American leader, Obama and Harper agreed to work with the rest of the international community to continue to provide humanitarian aid to civilians near Mount Sinjar. Each of the three leaders also agreed upon the importance of the formation of an inclusive government in Iraq that can pull the country together.
Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

More than 100 US Military Personnel Sent to Iraq

More than 100 US Military Personnel Sent to Iraq

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(ERBIL, Iraq) — Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has announced that the United States has sent a new, 130-member military assessment team to Erbil in northern Iraq to determine what further assistance the U.S. can provide in easing the humanitarian crisis of thousands of Yazidis trapped at Mount Sinjar.
For now, the United States has provided five airdrops of food and water to the Yazidis and conducted 18 airstrikes targeting ISIS fighters surrounding the mountain or who were approaching Erbil.
Addressing a group of Marines during a visit to Camp Pendleton in California, Hagel said the team had arrived in northern Iraq “to take a closer look and give a more in-depth assessment of where we can continue to help the Iraqis with what they’re doing and the threats that they are now dealing with.”
The new team is in addition to the 40 U.S. military personnel already in Erbil who for several weeks have been manning a Joint Operations Center with Kurdish military forces.
Hagel said the team would soon provide an assessment to Centcom that would make its way to the Pentagon “very shortly.”
It is similar in scope to the assessment teams sent to Baghdad in June to determine potential U.S. assistance to Iraqi Security forces in the wake of the surprising ISIS advance in northern Iraq that led to the capture of Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city.
At the time Pentagon officials stressed that the teams would provide useful intelligence to help determine whether U.S. military advisors should be sent to work with the Iraqi military. The assessments were completed weeks ago, but a decision on whether to proceed to that step has yet to be made by the White House.
The new deployment to Erbil will raise to 935 the number of U.S. military personnel now in Iraq, including 100 who were already in Iraq serving at the U.S. embassy in Baghdad.
Hagel described the new team in Erbil as not going beyond the parameters President Obama has laid out for the earlier teams sent to Baghdad. He said the assessment team was “not a combat boots on the ground operation. As the president has made very clear, we are not going back into Iraq in any of the same combat missions dimensions that we once were in in Iraq.”
“We’re not going to have that kind of operation, but short of that there are some things that we are going to continue to do and we are doing,” said Hagel.
He said the team’s arrival in Erbil was “to find ways to assist and help advise Iraqi security forces which we have been doing.”
A defense official stressed that “these forces will not be engaged in a combat role” but will assess the scope of the humanitarian mission at Mount Sinjar and develop additional humanitarian assistance options beyond the airdrops.
The official said the team was “comprised of Marines and special operations forces from within the U.S. Central Command region.”
According to the official the team would coordinate with the State Department and USAID “to coordinate plans with international partners and non-government organizations committed to helping the Yazidi people.”
Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Sixth Humanitarian Aid Airdrop Made in Iraq

Sixth Humanitarian Aid Airdrop Made in Iraq

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(SINJAR, Iraq) — The U.S. military made a sixth airdrop of humanitarian supplies on Mount Sinjar on Tuesday.The airdrop was conducted from multiple airbases, according to the U.S. Central Command, and included two C-17 aircraft and two C-130 cargo aircraft. In total, 108 bundles of supplies were dropped, containing over 7,000 gallons of water and over 14,000 meals for Yazidi refugees in Iraq.To date, U.S. Central Command says over 100,000 meals and 27,000 gallons of drinking water have been dropped by U.S. military aircraft, in conjunction with the Iraqi government.
Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Spanish Priest Dies of Ebola in Madrid Hospital

Spanish Priest Dies of Ebola in Madrid Hospital

Creatas/Thinkstock(MADRID) — A Spanish missionary who contracted the Ebola virus while working in West Africa died at a Madrid Hospital.According to BBC News, Miguel Pajares, 75, was airlifted to Spain from Liberia last week, along with a nun who tested negative for the virus. For the past few days he had been treated with the experimental drug Zmapp. Pajares was part of a Catholic order at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Monrovia, Liberia. The hospital has since been closed due to the outbreak, BBC News says.The United Nations Health Agency says over 1,000 West Africans have died as the outbreak continues to spread.
Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Advertise With Us

Would you like to advertise on East Idaho News? Fill out this form to contact a representative.
  • Full and Last
  • The name of your company, business or brand.