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ISIS Shows Off Images of Libyan Fighters Loyal to Them

ISIS Shows Off Images of Libyan Fighters Loyal to Them

Marcio Silva/iStock/Thinkstock(SIRTE, Libya) -- The Islamic State has released dramatic propaganda images showing Libyan fighters loyal to the group parading through the streets of Sirte, Libya, earlier this week.Two days after Egypt launched its first publicly acknowledged airstrikes on what Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi claimed were weapons depots and Islamic State training camps, militants claiming loyalty to ISIS tore through the streets of the coastal city of Sirte in a public show of strength.

Men in camouflage gear and balaclavas waved Islamic State flags and drove what appeared to be brand-new Toyotas.In the nearly four years since longtime dictator Moammar Gadhafi was killed in Sirte, the country has been plagued by instability, giving birth to opportunist militant groups nationwide and two rival governments, one led by the Libya Dawn movement in Tripoli and the second headed by the internationally recognized Prime Minister al-Thinni, operated out of Bayda and Tobruk.Al-Thinni's government supports Operation Dignity, headed by General Khalifa Hifter, a group of eastern tribes, militias, federalists and Gadhafi-era career military officers. Since last summer, the two sides have been locked in an escalating civil war which has made it increasingly complicated to isolate the fight on terrorism, including that against ISIS.U.S. officials believe there are a "couple hundred" militants in Islamic State training camps in eastern Libya, but as Christopher Chivvis, associate director of the International Security and Defense Policy Center and a senior political scientist with the Rand Corporation, told ABC News this week, these fighters are not necessarily taking orders from ISIS core.“More likely,” he said, "they’re inspired by the idea of what appears to be the most popular and most gruesome jihadists organization today....And it’s clear that ISIS is actively trying to encourage them.”ISIS are relative newcomers on the ground in Libya, and analysts said jihadis loyal to ISIS began to gain a foothold in the country last fall but burst onto the international stage at the end of January when five foreigners, including an American, were killed at Tripoli’s Corinthia Hotel by attackers pledging allegiance to the group led by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi."But if they say they're [ISIS], then my view is, they are," Chivvis said.

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Pizza Delivery Now in Jordan’s Largest Refugee Camp

Pizza Delivery Now in Jordan’s Largest Refugee Camp

Jeff Mitchell/Getty Images(AMMAN, Jordan) -- The fast food scene in Jordan's largest Syrian refugee camp just got a whole lot, well, faster.Za'atari refugee camp now boasts a pizza delivery shop -- Pizzeria of Peace, or Mu'ajanat Esalam in Arabic.

 

Mu'ajanat Esalam (Pizzeria of Peace) 1st business 2 offer home deliveries in @ZaatariCamp, bike is ready 4 next order pic.twitter.com/sIfz18EwcI

— Nasser Touaibia (@NasserTouaibia) February 16, 2015

 

Owned by Abu Mahmoud, 48, previously a Syrian electrician with no dough-making experience, Pizzeria of Peace opened its doors in the summer of 2013 but business was hurting. It wasn't quite catching on, Naserddine Touaibia, a public information and mass communication associate for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, told ABC News."So they bought a bike, started delivering -- and now -- the business is really taking off," Touaibia said.Pizzas made by Mahmoud's 20-year-old business partner and chef, Yahya, go for about 70 cents a pie and the pizzeria now averages some 50 deliveries a day with a single bike. Touaibia admitted most of the clients are hungry humanitarian workers working in Za'atari, but says there are some refugee clients as well.The menu ranges from a standard margherita pizza to a more traditional Syrian mince-meat topping."Oh, it's all delicious," Touaibia gushes. "I'm a regular!"Now home to 83,814 people according to the UNHCR, the pizzeria is one of 2,000 shops in Za'atari supporting an economy of $10 million a month, according to the United Nations."All the shops are owned and run by refugees themselves -- it's a great example of resilience -- they do what they have to do to survive," said Touaibia.

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Britain’s Royals Search for New Chauffeur

Britain’s Royals Search for New Chauffeur

Chris Jackson/Getty Images(LONDON) -- If you are a licensed driver in the U.K. who knows all the quickest routes around London, then the British monarchy has a job for you.Britain’s royal family, led by Queen Elizabeth, has posted a job opening for a new chauffeur to be based at Buckingham Palace.The job pays up to $37,000 per year, includes meals and 33 vacation days, but does require nearly 50-hour work weeks, according to the posting on the Monarchy’s website.

Since royals like the Queen -- who, with her husband Prince Philip, lives at Buckingham Palace -- have places to be and people to meet, the job posting has a very specific requirement."...You will be able to plan efficient routes in order to meet arrival times, whilst remaining calm under pressure," the posting reads.There is also a need to be a team player with organizational skills and the ability to be “flexible and adaptable.”The chauffeur position is based out of the Royal Mews, the branch of the Lord Chamberlain’s Office that provides transportation for the Queen and her family by both horse-drawn carriage and car.Also included among the job’s tasks is helping to maintain the Royals’ fleet of cars in the Royal Mews garage.That maintenance would likely come during downtime for the 88-year-old monarch. While Queen Elizabeth is driven by a chauffeur in public, she has been known to drive herself around the royal family's private estates.

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Stunt Planes Collide in Mid-Air but Pilots Manage to Land

Stunt Planes Collide in Mid-Air but Pilots Manage to Land

File photo. (KuntalSaha/iStock Editorial/Thinkstock)(BANGALORE, India) -- Two Red Bull stunt aircraft collided in mid-air on Thursday while performing at the Aero India air show, but the pilots, who were unharmed, managed to land safely, eyewitnesses said.The aircraft were part of a three-plane formation and clipped one another's wings while attempting an inverted loop, a video shows. The wingtips of both aircraft were damaged, but the pilots managed to stay in control.The planes from the Flying Bulls stunt team, from the Czech Republic, were performing in the air show held on the outskirts of Bangalore city in southern India.

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Turkey Parliament Brawl Leaves Five Injured

Turkey Parliament Brawl Leaves Five Injured

Mahmut Tanal(ANKARA, Turkey) -- Punches were thrown, chairs hurled across the room and more than one lawmaker needed an ice pack.

 

VIDEO: Opposition MPs injured in scuffle as chairs fly in #Turkey's parliament http://t.co/80QEjVHlDL pic.twitter.com/eWyW0ggVVR

— Hurriyet Daily News (@HDNER) February 18, 2015

 

Video of Wednesday’s epic brawl in Turkey’s parliament has emerged Thursday, showing at least five lawmakers sustaining injuries.At least two legislators were hit with what appears to be a fairly hefty gavel, two were hospitalized and three others treated in the building’s medical office.

 

Four opposition MPs injured in scuffle during security bill debate at #Turkey's parliament http://t.co/80QEjVHlDL pic.twitter.com/wgAyzDuN1M

— Hurriyet Daily News (@HDNER) February 18, 2015

 

The scuffles broke out during a debate about a new security bill that would give police more power to break up demonstrations, and notably give governors, not just prosecutors and judges the right to order arrests.

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New Horizons Probe Gets First Look at Pluto’s Tiny Moons

New Horizons Probe Gets First Look at Pluto’s Tiny Moons

NASA/Johns Hopkins APL/Southwest Research Institute(NEW YORK) -- NASA's New Horizon Probe has gotten its closest ever look at two small moons orbiting Pluto.Coming on the 85th birthday of the discovery of Pluto, NASA on Wednesday released two long-exposure images showing two of Pluto's moons, Hydra and Nix, orbiting the dwarf planet. It was the first time the space probe had gotten close enough to view the moons.The photos were taken on Jan. 27 and Feb. 8 at a distance of 115 million to 125 million miles, according to NASA. Each moon is believed to be between 25 and 95 miles in diameter, but NASA will learn more as the New Horizons probe gets closer in July.Pluto has two other small moons, Styx and Kerberos, which are so faint they are not yet visible from the spacecraft.

New Horizons blasted into space atop an Atlas V rocket in January 2006. Pluto at the time was still considered a planet, with scientists later that year voting to demote its status to that of a dwarf planet.After a sleepy nine years, the probe woke up in December 2014 from the last of its 18 hibernation periods as it prepared for its initial approach toward Pluto. The spacecraft is scheduled to come as close as 6,200 miles from the surface of Pluto on July 14, 2015, the closest any manmade object has come to the dwarf planet.

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Meet Iran’s First Woman Vice President

Meet Iran’s First Woman Vice President

Iran Presidency/Pool/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images(TEHRAN, Iran) -- As the first female vice president of Iran and the head of Iran’s Environmental Protection Organization, Masoumeh Ebtekar may be the most powerful woman in Iran.But long before her current role, Americans came to know Ebtekar in 1979 as “Mary,” the English-speaking spokeswoman for the Iranian student group that overran the U.S. embassy in Tehran and took 52 Americans hostage.Thirty-six years after the hostage crisis, Ebtekar said Iranian society is open to dialogue and understanding with the American people, but that there is a persistent distrust of the U.S. government, specifically as it relates to the war against the militant group ISIS.“Well, I think there's a lot of skepticism about the role of the United States in dealing with ISIS, because the support they initially provided for ISIS in Syria strengthened this group at that time, and then also other reasons to believe this is not a genuine group, it somehow instigated or created by, I don’t know, a certain intelligence agency,” Ebtekar said, presumably alluding to the CIA, during an interview in Tehran.Ebtekar went on to say that there needs to be a shared goal of raising awareness about “the true face of Islam” as one means of countering the ideology of ISIS.“The reality is that we need to work, all with genuine intentions, and part of that is cultural, part of that is working with the young people, introducing them to the true face of Islam,” Ebtekar said. “The attempts that we see in certain countries to promote a very negative image of Muslims, of Islamic countries, that Islamophobia or Iranophobia, that will change into an attitude of dialogue and understanding.”“On the Radar” made a rare visit to Iran last week as the country celebrated the 36th anniversary of the Iranian Revolution. And while many Iranians chanted “death to America” during the festivities, Ebtekar explained that the chants are directed at the government -- and not the people -- of the United States.“That's death to the imperialistic policies that the United States had, the government had against not only Iran but many countries in the region -- militaristic approach, the intervention, the very negative image that the American government created for itself,” Ebtekar said. “But in dealing with the American people, in dealing with the society, I think that Iranians are very open, and human contact, dialogue and understanding between the two nations, I think that is very necessary.”She also praised what she said is an increasingly “vibrant civil society” within Iran, saying that the current government led by President Hassan Rouhani supports greater freedom of expression and dissent.“We have a very vibrant civil society now,” she said. “The government supports the civil society contrary to the previous government that didn’t like to hear their voices. We like to hear their voices even though sometimes it's full of criticism. Sometimes it's very bitter, but I think it's very important for us to listen to those voices.”Asked to identify the single issue that most concerns her for Iran’s future, Ebtekar pointed to the challenge of climate change.“The fact that countries in West Asia are experiencing long terms of drought, low precipitation and high temperatures…these are very difficult conditions for a country that is rapidly expanding in terms of economic growth, urbanization,” Ebtekar said.

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Under Fire for Spending Report

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Under Fire for Spending Report

Photo by Uriel Sinai/Getty images(JERUSALEM) -- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is coming under fire from his political rivals for living the high life on taxpayers' money. A report by the state auditor found that Israel's first family is the most lavish and wasteful in the country's history, putting another controversy on Prime Minister's Benjamin Netanyahu's doorstep a month before the elections. Comptroller Yosef Shapira said he discovered excessive and unreasonable spending of public funds at both Netanyahu's official Residence and his home from 2010 to 2012.  Budgets for food and cleaning, for example, doubled in 2011. Downplaying the report, Netanyahu's office said they made spending cuts back in 2013. While Netanyahu calls the new report on his spending - a "media carnival" meant to distract voters from the real issues, others say abusing public funds may cost him votes in the upcoming elections.

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Firestorm in Italy over Racial Comments by Soccer Pundit

Firestorm in Italy over Racial Comments by Soccer Pundit

Jupiterimages/Creatas/Thinkstock(ROME) -- Comments by a sports commentator in Italy have caused a furor. Italy's government has called for an end to racism, after a leading soccer commentator and former coach said Italy lacked pride because there were too many young black players. Italy's social media erupted when during an awards ceremony, Milan AC coach and TV soccer pundit Arrigo Sacchi said "too many blacks" played in Italy's under-20 leagues and that Italy no longer had "dignity or pride."Sacchi's comments come less than three months after the head of the Italian Soccer Federation was barred from holding any position with the world soccer federation FIFA for six months over derogatory comments he made about black players. The latest controversy comes as British authorities investigate an incident in Paris where a video, now gone viral, shows Chelsea fans blocking a black passenger from getting on the subway while chanting, "We are racist and that's the way we like it."

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Ukraine Cease-Fire Continues to Hold, Despite Troop Deaths

Ukraine Cease-Fire Continues to Hold, Despite Troop Deaths

semakokal/iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The cease-fire in Ukraine is holding up, despite the deaths of over 20 Ukrainian troops in Devaltseve, the strategic railroad town in the eastern part of the country. The Ukrainian government has made the decision to pull troops out of Devaltseve, a decision that many hope could allow that cease-fire to last just a little bit longer.A Pentagon spokesman said on Wednesday the administration is watching the situation in Ukraine closely, but ruled out U.S. military involvement.The violence is threatening the cease-fire agreement signed by Russian, Ukrainian and European leaders last week. Rear Admiral John Kirby said on Wednesday the recent violence has not changed U.S. strategy.“Our recognition here in the Pentagon is that a U.S. military solution is not going to be had here,” Kirby said. “What needs to happen is Moscow needs to abide by the agreement it signed up to.”The president of Ukraine will still have to go back to Kiev and explain why he is giving up the strategic town, which could undermine his ability to make concessions down the road.

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How Astronauts Prepare for a Space Walk at the International Space Station

How Astronauts Prepare for a Space Walk at the International Space Station

Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- American astronauts Barry Wilmore and Terry Virts are preparing for their first space walk of Expedition 42 when the duo step outside the International Space Station on Friday. How does an astronaut prepare for a space walk? Practice. Terry Virts, who will be taking the first space walk of his career on Friday, tweeted a photo of himself trying out the suit he'll use when he and Wilmore embark on their six-and-a-half hour space walk. It will be Wilmore's second space walk. The duo will be working on new docking ports for future spacecraft that will arrive at the station. Friday's space walk is one of three that are scheduled to complete assembly work outside of the station. NASA said Wednesday that the duo had inspected their rescue jet packs, which would be used in the unlikely event that either astronaut became untethered from the space station. Virts, who is one of the most active tweeters at the International Space Station, also shared a snap of himself hooked up to various health monitors doing a routine health check-in before his big day.

Periodic Fitness Evaluation- riding the bike with a heart rate monitor, EKG, and blood pressure machine hooked up pic.twitter.com/m1EV8zGzlr

— Terry W. Virts (@AstroTerry) February 17, 2015

 

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Ukraine Village Pummeled, with Drone Photos as Evidence

Ukraine Village Pummeled, with Drone Photos as Evidence

iStock/Thinkstock(DEBALTSEVE, Ukraine) -- After weeks of assault from the air, Debaltseve looks like a burned-out shell of a town.Impact craters from heavy shelling pock the Ukrainian land. Several homes appear to lie in ruin, their roofs and walls collapsed or full of holes.On Wednesday, Ukraine pulled its troops out of the strategic village in the rebel-held east, home to important railway infrastructure, after they were surrounded for days by Russian-backed rebel forces.Despite a ceasefire agreed to last week, rebel forces continued to pound the village. Rebel leaders insisted that gains made before the ceasefire went into effect at midnight Sunday meant the village should be part of their territory because it was cut off from the rest of Ukraine.At least 40 Ukrainian troops were killed and another 170 injured, according to the manager of the morgue in the nearby town of Artemivsk and a doctor at the hospital there.

Reporters who attempted to reach Debaltseve over the past week were turned back at checkpoints.Now, thanks to drone footage uploaded to YouTube Wednesday, the world is getting its first glimpse of the damage from the air.The village appears nearly abandoned, with only a couple cars visible along the roads.The continued fighting there threatened to undermine the fragile peace deal.Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko has painted the decision to cede Debaltseve as a strategic retreat, but leaders from the self-declared Donetsk People’s Republic, the main rebel body in the region, declared victory.The move comes a day after Russian President Vladimir Putin, long accused by the West and Ukraine’s government of arming and backing the rebels, urged President Poroshenko to pull out of Debaltseve.“I hope that the responsible figures in the Ukrainian leadership will not hinder soldiers in the Ukrainian army from putting down their weapons,” Putin told reporters.He suggested the rebels would allow that Ukrainian soldiers who turn themselves in to return to their families.Putin also took something of a victory lap, gloating over the negotiated stalemate that many believe favors the rebels.“To lose is always painful. It’s a hardship especially when you lose to yesterday’s miners and tractor drivers. But life is life,” he reportedly said.The Ukrainian withdrawal from Debaltseve gave some hope that the ceasefire might hold a bit longer, but some fighting continues elsewhere.Western journalists in Donetsk reported fresh sounds of shelling in central Donetsk, the rebel capital.An ABC News reporter crossing from Donetsk through a Ukrainian checkpoint Wednesday witnessed artillery fire and was told it was aimed at the Donetsk airport.

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Scuba Divers Discover ‘Priceless’ Gold Coins in Israel

Scuba Divers Discover ‘Priceless’ Gold Coins in Israel

File photo. (robynmac/iStock/Thinkstock)(JERUSALEM) -- Scuba divers off the coast of Israel have uncovered a treasure trove of solid gold coins dating back more than 1,000 years.“The largest treasure of gold coins discovered in Israel was found in recent weeks on the seabed in the ancient harbor in Caesarea,” Israel's Antiquities Authority said in a statement.The authority said 2,000 gold coins were discovered by chance off the northern coastal city when members of a diving club stumbled upon them and informed the Antiquities Authority's marine division.“At first, they thought they had spotted a toy coin from a game," the authority's statement said. "It was only after they understood the coin was the real thing that they collected several coins and quickly returned to the shore in order to inform the director of the dive club about their find.”Using metal detectors, the 2,000 coins were brought to the surface, weighing in at just more than 13 pounds. Experts believe the coins belonged to the Fatimid Caliphate, which ruled much of the Middle East and North Africa from 909 to 1171.The earliest coin was minted in Palermo, Sicily in the second half of the 9th century.Given the possibility of more buried coins in the area, archaeologists have launched further excavations.“I’ve been working at the authority for 23 years and I’ve never seen a cache this size," Antiquities Authority coin expert Robert Kool told Haaretz. "The preservation of the gold coins is excellent and although they were in the seabed for 1,000 years, they needed no cleaning or preservation in the lab. That is because gold is a noble metal, which is not impacted by water or air.”The authority didn't put a cash value on the coins. Instead, spokeswoman Yoli Schwartz described the record haul to AFP simply as "priceless."

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Close Call: Astronomers Pinpoint Nearest Known Flyby of a Star

Close Call: Astronomers Pinpoint Nearest Known Flyby of a Star

Michael Osadciw/University of Rochester(ROCHESTER, N.Y.) -- Astronomers have pinpointed the closest flyby ever of a dim star, which is believed to have passed through the solar system's cloud of comets around 70,000 years ago.Considering the vast abyss of space, this was a close encounter. At its nearest point, the newly discovered Scholz's star was believed to have been 0.8 light years from the solar system -- that's about five trillion miles.The only other star that has ever gotten closer to Earth is the sun. Scholz's star and the sun are now 20 light years apart, according to astronomers at the University of Rochester. The findings were published in Astrophysical Journal Letters and were a collaboration from a team spanning the globe.Eric Mamajek from the University of Rochester and the group closely studied the velocity and the path of the dim star."The small tangential motion and proximity initially indicated that the star was most likely either moving towards a future close encounter with the solar system, or it had 'recently' come close to the solar system and was moving away," he said in a statement."Sure enough, the radial velocity measurements were consistent with it running away from the sun's vicinity -- and we realized it must have had a close flyby in the past," he added.

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UN Report: Civilian Casualties in Afghanistan Up 22% in 2014

UN Report: Civilian Casualties in Afghanistan Up 22% in 2014

MatthewBrosseau/iStock/Thinkstock(KABUL, Afghanistan) -- The number of Afghan civilians who were killed or wounded as a result of the ongoing conflict in their country rose 22 percent in 2014 from the prior year, mostly due to an increase in ground fighting, the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) announced on Wednesday.In its 2014 Annual Report on Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict, UNAMA says there were 10,548 civilian casualties -- 3,699 deaths and 6,849 injuries -- in Afghanistan last year, marking the highest total recorded in a single year since 2009.Another first since 2009: More civilian casualties were caused by ground engagements than by improvised explosive devices (IEDs) or any other tactic. According to the 122-page report, civilian deaths and injuries from ground fighting jumped 54 percent in 2014, making it the leading cause of casualties.“In communities across Afghanistan, increased ground fighting among parties to the conflict and more IED attacks exacted a heavy toll on Afghan civilians,” United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan and head of UNAMA Nicholas Haysom said in a statement. “Rising civilian deaths and injuries in 2014 attests to a failure to fulfil commitments to protect Afghan civilians from harm." "Parties to the conflict should understand the impact of their actions and take responsibility for them, uphold the values they claim to defend, and make protecting civilians their first priority," Haysom added. "We need to see concrete steps and a real drop in civilian casualties in 2015.”Since 2009, UNAMA says the conflict in Afghanistan has killed 17,774 civilians and injured 29,971 others.

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Egypt Asking UN to Form Coalition to Defeat ISIS

Egypt Asking UN to Form Coalition to Defeat ISIS

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The United Nations Security Council is meeting Wednesday to discuss a request by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi to build an international coalition to fight the Islamic State.El-Sisi's request comes after Egyptian war jets bombed ISIS targets in Libya following the group's mass execution of 21 Egyptian Christians in that country, which has been in a constant state of upheaval since dictator Muammar Gadhafi was overthrown and killed in 2011.Although most of the international community agrees that ISIS poses a major threat to regions outside the Middle East, creating a large coalition to fight the extremists appears unlikely.It's believed that el-Sisi probably knows this already but is using efforts to defeat ISIS as a way to smooth relations with the West following the military coup that ultimately brought him to power.Just the same, Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry will present his government's arguments to the U.N. Security Council. The ministry is also warning Egyptians living in Libya to return home.Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Putin Tells Ukrainian Military to Surrender in Key City

Putin Tells Ukrainian Military to Surrender in Key City

Sean Gallup/Getty Images(MOSCOW) -- Russian President Vladimir Putin interjected himself directly into the conflict between Ukrainian national forces and rebels in eastern Ukraine Tuesday, when he urged Kiev to allow its soldiers to surrender in the battle-scarred city of Debaltseve.Although a ceasefire that went into effect Sunday has reduced fighting elsewhere, Debaltseve has remained under siege because it links the separatist strongholds of Donetsk and Luhansk with Russia, which has been providing rebels with military support.Under terms of the deal, both sides were supposed to remove heavy artillery from Debaltseve, but neither has. While conceding its troops are surrounded and confirming reports that rebels have taken control of parts of Debaltseve, Ukrainian officials contend that the city is still within its territory under terms of the temporary armistice.Putin's appeal to Kiev, which also includes a plea to rebels to allow Ukrainian soldiers to leave Debaltseve unhindered, is just the latest salvo in the conflict that has cost 5,300 lives since last April.In Washington, the State Department said it was "gravely concerned" about the situation in Debaltseve, while at the same time arguing that it makes no sense to begin a proxy war with Russia. That could be a signal that President Obama is leaning against providing Ukraine with lethal defensive weapons, as some military and political leaders are in favor of doing.Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Jewish Schools and Synagogues in UK Warned to Increase Security Measures

Jewish Schools and Synagogues in UK Warned to Increase Security Measures

Mapics/iStock/Thinkstock(LONDON) -- Jewish schools and synagogues in the United Kingdom have been warned to increase security measures after the shootings in Denmark, despite a recent increase of patrols in areas with large Jewish communities since the Paris attacks. "The global picture of terrorist activity does give us heightened concern about the risk to the Jewish community in the U.K.,” Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley of the National Policing Lead for Counter Terrorism said in a statement this week. “In addition to our existing security measures, we are in dialogue with Jewish community leaders about further actions that we will be taking, including more patrols in key areas,” Rowley said. British Prime Minister David Cameron has said that the $3.5 million funding for security around schools would be maintained next year, and Education Secretary Nicky Morgan is considering stepping up security measures around Jewish schools. The number of anti-Semitic offenses reported has more than doubled in a year -- from 535 in 2013 to 1,168 in 2014, according to the Community Security Trust, a charity that aims to ensure the safety and security of the Jewish community in the U.K. However, several representatives of the Jewish community in London told ABC News that they felt safe and believe security measures are only one part of the issue. "It is very clear that Jewish institutions are targets," Rabbi Menachem Margolin, general director of the European Jewish Association, told ABC News. "Jewish institutions should be under surveillance 24/7." Vivian Wireman, president of the U.K.'s Board of Deputies of British Jews, said such a request "is not sensible.” “Jews in the U.K. are living in a safe environment," Wireman said, "although there is a danger of copycat attacks, British Jews shouldn’t be too concerned.” Rabbi Barry Marcus of London’s Central Synagogue said, "Why is security needed around religious sites in 2015? The root of the problem is not being confronted. We need preventive measures and we need strong leadership, which is not the case everywhere." In France, where 300 Jewish graves were vandalized this week, increased security measures are also being discussed. "It is important to protect sites of the Jewish community, but it is not enough," Sacha Ghozlan, leader of the French Jewish Student Union, told ABC News. "We want the government to put in place education measures. Currently, our values and the values of the French Republic are being flouted by Internet propaganda and anti-Semitism."

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Ancient Wine Discovery In Israel

Ancient Wine Discovery In Israel

alexeys/iStock/Thinkstock(JERUSALEM) -- A wine discovery for the ages in southern Israel.

Archaeologists digging through the ruins of an ancient garbage dump have discovered 1,500-year-old charred grape seeds. Researchers believe the seeds were used to make one of the finest wines of the Byzantine Empire, what historical records called the "Gaza Wine" after the nearby port. Excavations at the Halutza site had already uncovered wineries and storage jugs, but the seeds are the first grape seeds according to the Israel Antiquities Authority. Researchers plan to sequence the DNA of the grape seeds to determine their origin and recreate the wine that was so famous, but didn't survive the ravages of time.

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Possible American Accent Detected in ISIS Horror Video

Possible American Accent Detected in ISIS Horror Video

Obtained by ABC News(NEW YORK) -- U.S. intelligence officials are analyzing facial features and speech patterns of the masked man who spoke in a recent ISIS video to determine who he is, and if he could be one of ISIS’s American recruits, according to a senior U.S. official. The masked man speaks briefly in the video, which purports to show the gruesome execution of 21 Coptic Christians in Libya, declaring that ISIS’s Libyan affiliate is “on the south of Rome,” an apparent reference to ISIS’s expansion into Libya and the threat it poses to the West. Professor Erik Thomas, a linguistics expert at North Carolina State University, told ABC News that based on distinctive word pronunciations, “he sounds like an American” with some Arabic influence. Another linguistic expert from another American university, who requested he not be named, said the masked man may be a native Arabic speaker but came to learn American English likely by spending a “significant amount of time” in the U.S. As in the hunt for the ISIS fighter dubbed “Jihadi John,” U.S. officials are conducting detailed analysis of the clues on the video. In the “Jihadi John” videos, believed to have been shot in Syria, authorities say they have been able to identify that masked figure with a British accent who appeared to murder Western journalists and aid workers. He is believed to be a British citizen, officials say, though he has not been publicly named. The potential role of an American ISIS recruit – which would not be a first for the terror group -- comes as the White House on Tuesday began a three-day effort with community leaders to stem the flow of the terror pipeline from the U.S. to the Middle East. One front on which ISIS has been successful in recruitment, analysts and U.S. officials have said, is on social media. J.M. Berger, terrorism expert and author of a forthcoming book on ISIS, estimates that the group has 30,000 to 40,000 supporters active online every day. The U.S. State Department has attempted to counter ISIS propaganda by engaging would-be jihadis one-on-one online, sometimes by calling adult ISIS fighters cowards who use women recruits only for sex. Some analysts say the U.S. campaign of insults misses the mark. “It’s not impacting the people who may be inspired by the ISIS ideology and will carry out attacks on its behalf,” said John Cohen, former Counterterrorism Coordinator at the Department of Homeland Security and current ABC News consultant.

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