Facebook

Twitter

iTunes

RSS

HEAR THIS HOUR'S UPDATE

Saturday
Oct252014

Iran Executes Woman Accused of Killing Man She Claimed Tried to Rape Her

GOLARA SAJADIAN/AFP/Getty Images(TEHRAN, Iran) -- A woman convicted of killing a man she claimed was trying to sexually abuse her was hanged on Saturday in a Tehran prison.

"The shocking news that Reyhaneh Jabbari has been executed is deeply disappointing in the extreme," Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Amnesty International's Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa Programme, said. "This is another bloody stain on Iran's human rights record."

Jabbari, 26, was arrested in 2007 for the murder of a former employee of Iran's Ministry of Intelligence and was sentenced to death by a criminal court in Tehran in 2009.

She admitted to stabbing the man in the back, claiming that he tried to sexually assault her. She also claimed that a second man was also in the house at the time of the incident. Amnesty International says that those claims were never properly investigated.

Jabbari's execution was deferred multiple times.

On Friday, Sahraoui noted that such occurrences are not uncommon. "Once again Iran has insisted on applying the death penalty despite serious concerns over the fairness of the trial."


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Oct252014

WHO Looking into First Ebola Case in Mali

Pawel Gaul/iStockphoto/Thinkstock(KAYES, Mali) -- The World Health Organization is looking into the first case of Ebola found in the African country of Mali, which involves a two-year-old child who traveled from Guinea with her grandmother.

According to the WHO, the child and her grandmother left Guinea on Oct. 19. Prior to leaving, the child is believed to have been bleeding from the nose, which the WHO notes is a sign that the girl "was symptomatic during their travels through Mali."

The pair traveled by public bus from Keweni, Guinea, through numerous towns, stopped for two hours in Bamako, the capital of Mali, and continued on to Kayes, a city of 128,000 people more than 300 miles from Bamako.

"Multiple opportunities for exposure occurred when the child was visibly symptomatic," the WHO said.

The child was examined by a health care worker in Kayes on Oct 20, and was admitted to the pediatric ward the next day with multiple symptoms including a fever and bleeding. She initially tested negative for malaria, but positive for typhoid fever. Further testing confirmed Ebola on Oct. 23.

The WHO is looking into the possibility that the grandmother traveled from her home in Mali to a funeral in Kissidougou in southern Guinea before making the trip back with the child.

"WHO is treating the situation in Mali as an emergency," a release said. "The child's symptomatic state during the bus journey is especially concerning, as it presented multiple opportunities for exposures -- including high-risk exposures -- involving many people."

The WHO data released Saturday indicated that the total number of Ebola cases worldwide have hit 10,141. Of those infected with the disease, 4,922 have reported died. Those figures include six affected countries -- Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Sierra Leone, Spain and the United States -- as well as Nigeria and Senegal, where the disease outbreaks have been declared over.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Oct252014

Marine Dead in 'Non-Combat Related Incident' in Baghdad

Marcio Silva/iStockphoto/Thinkstock(BAGHDAD) -- The U.S. Department of Defense announced on Friday night that a Marine was killed in a "non-combat related incident."

The Pentagon identified the Marine as Lance Cpl. Sean Neal, 19, saying he died on Thursday. He was from Riverside, Calif. The incident that caused his death is under further investigation.

Neal was one of about 1,400 U.S. military forces sent to Iraq since June. His death is the first since the official naming of Operation Inherent Resolve, the ongoing mission involving airstrikes against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, earlier this month.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Oct252014

US Military Launches 23 Airstrikes Targeting ISIS in Iraq, Syria

Stocktrek Images/Thinkstock(MOSUL, Iraq) -- U.S military forces conducted 23 airstrikes in Iraq and Syria on Friday and Saturday, many of them in the area of the Mosul Dam.

Only one of the 23 airstrikes was against a target in Kobani, Syria, which has been at risk of falling into the hands of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria for weeks. That strike destroyed an ISIS artillery piece, according to U.S. Central Command.

The heaviest of the strikes launched in Iraq were around the Mosul Dam, including one southeast of the dam and 10 west of the dam. Additional strikes targeted locations near Bayji, Fallujah, Qurayat al Hajjaj, Hayy Al Arabi and Aynzalah. The Iraqi strikes struck three large ISIS units and eight small units, destroyed five ISIS-held buildings, nine fighting positions, four staging locations and a vehicle and damaged one additional building.

The strikes in Iraq are being conducted by forces from the U.S., France, the United Kingdom, Australia, Belgium and the Netherlands. Meanwhile, the U.S., Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Jordan and Bahrain are involved in the strikes in Syria.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Friday
Oct242014

Canada's Top Cop Wants More Terror Arrests, But Needs Evidence

Getty Images(OTTAWA, Ontario) -- Canadian intelligence and law enforcement officers are “reevaluating” some 90 people they suspect are linked to terrorist groups in the wake of the deadly shooting near Canada’s Parliament, but the nation’s top cop said that unfortunately for him, no arrests are on the immediate horizon.

“We’re reevaluating all of our individuals to make sure that those that present the greatest sort of risk are assessed and [officers] have resources attributed to them either to do surveillance, focus on the investigation, to get evidence, to make arrests,” Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) Commissioner Bob Paulson told reporters Thursday. “We have not made arrests today. We do not have any intention of making imminent arrests. Generally, I would like to say that I have intentions of making lots of arrests, but in terms of the evidence and as the evidence is collected and the cases are built, we will be making arrests.”

Gunman Michael Zehaf-Bibeau was shot and killed by security forces Wednesday after he opened fire with a small caliber rifle in Canada’s Parliament in Ottawa. Minutes earlier, police say Zehaf-Bibeau had gunned down a uniformed soldier, Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, at a nearby national war monument.

Though Zehaf-Bibeau, was not one of the nearly 100 suspects that the northern nation had been watching -- and police say the only known link between him and other jihadis is an email found on another accused terrorist’s hard drive -- the case prompted Paulson and other top Canadian officials to question the nation’s current domestic anti-terrorism posture.

“…[W]e live in a dangerous world. Terrorism has been here with us for a while, and dangerously close on a number of occasions…We will not be intimidated. We will be vigilant, but we will not run scared. We will be prudent, but we will not panic,” Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper told Parliament Thursday, a day after he and other lawmakers had been within feet of the rifle-wielding gunman. “As members know, in recent weeks I have been saying that our laws and police powers need to be strengthened in the area of surveillance, detention, and arrest. They need to be much strengthened.”

Paulson wondered aloud about legally lowering the bar for taking law enforcement action against suspects.

“I understand that sort of we need to look at all options in terms of trying to deal with this sort of difficult and hard to understand threat and balance that against what we’ve seen in previous engagements with this threat, that we are able to act, you know, decisively, quickly, preventatively, and perhaps on a threshold that is somewhat lower,” he said during his press conference. “You know, without throwing somebody in jail forever, but being able to act decisively at a point where the suspicion is realized.”

Speaking next to Paulson, Ottawa Police Chief Charles Bordeleau said he has seen a “gap evolve over law enforcement’s ability to maintain control over these individuals that are being radicalized.”

Canada is hardly the only Western nation struggling with what to do about a number of citizens in country linked to terror groups abroad -- including a growing number of Westerners who have traveled to Syria and Iraq to join in the fight for or against the terrorist group the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). ABC News reported back in January that the FBI was already watching dozens of people who had fought in Syria and returned to the U.S.

British intelligence suspects that hundreds of its citizens have traveled to Syria to fight and last week law enforcement there announced terrorism charges against four men that had been arrested in London in the two weeks previous. The men, police alleged, had conducted “hostile reconnaissance” on an English police station and military base, had purchased a firearm and silencer and had reams of “jihadi material” on their computers.

The same day as that announcement, Metropolitan Police’s National Policing Lead for Counter Terrorism Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley wrote separately on the MET website that the MET has made over 200 arrests this year alone and is running “exceptionally high numbers of counter-terrorism investigations, the likes of which we have not seen for several years.”

Rowley too spoke about the delicate balance between disrupting potentially deadly plots and gathering enough evidence against the suspects.

“Public safety is our number one priority and we will always focus our disruption activity against those posing the greatest and most imminent threat. Sometimes this means intervening very early -- essential to prevent attacks, but presenting enormous challenges in securing sufficient evidence to charge,” he wrote.

In the U.S., reports of the rise in domestic terrorism investigations came on the heels of startling revelations about the National Security Agency’s pervasive foreign and domestic surveillance programs, adding fuel to an already raging debate about the balance between civil liberties and national security -- a debate not restricted by America’s northern border, as Canada was already considering conservative legislation to strengthen its security forces.

Thomas Mulcair, leader of Canada’s opposition New Democratic party, spoke immediately after the Prime Minister Thursday.

“[The attack] has only strengthened our commitment to each other and to a peaceful world. Let us not become more suspicious of our neighbors. Let us not be driven by fear because in Canada, love always triumphs over hate,” he said.

Then Justin Trudeau, head of the Liberty Party, added, “We are a proud democracy, a welcoming and peaceful nation. We are a country of open arms, open minds, and open hearts. We are a nation of fairness, justice and the rule of law.”

“We will not be intimidated into changing that, by anybody. These are instead the very values and ideals upon which we must rely in the days ahead…[Those who perpetrate attacks] are criminals, and criminals will not dictate how we act as a nation, how we govern ourselves, or how we treat each other. They will not dictate our values,” he said.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Friday
Oct242014

Louisiana Teen Shot Dead in West Bank Clash With Israelis

(JERUSALEM) -- An American teen from New Orleans was shot and killed during clashes in the West Bank village of Silwad near Ramallah Friday.

Orwa Abd al-Wahhab Hammad, 15, was born in Ramallah and moved with his family to New Orleans, according to his brother Mohammad. His mother and brothers had traveled with him to the West Bank and his father will arrive from the United States on Sunday for the funeral.

The State Department confirms Orwa was a U.S. citizen, and says officials from the Consulate General in Jerusalem are in contact with family and providing all consular assistance.

Orwa is the second American child to die in the region this week. On Wednesday, 3-month old Chaya Zissel Braun was killed in Jerusalem when a Palestinian man drove his car into a crowd of pedestrians at a transit stop. Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld described the incident as a “terrorist attack.” Her parents had traveled to Israel from Rockland County, New York, so her father could study in a yeshiva.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Friday
Oct242014

One Killed, 11 Injured in Explosion at Germany Construction Site

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(BERLIN) -- At least one person was killed and 11 were injured in an explosion at a construction site in western Germany.

A gas pipe suffered damage during construction work in Ludwigshafen, Germany, causing gas to leak and then catch fire.

The main blaze was extinguished quickly, but then crews had to tackle several smaller ones.

Several buildings and cars in the area were also damaged.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Friday
Oct242014

US Military Launches 18 Airstrikes Against ISIS in Syria, Iraq

iStock/Thinkstock(TAMPA, Fla.) -- The U.S. military continued its attack against Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) targets in Syria and Iraq, launching 18 airstrikes on Thursday and Friday.

According to U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM), six of the strikes were in Syria, near Kobani. They hit three ISIS units and destroyed a vehicle.

The remaining 12 airstrikes in Iraq destroyed two vehicles and a mortar position near Mosul Dam; hit two small units and destroyed a vehicle south of the Bayji Oil Refinery; struck a training camp near Bayji; hit two small units and destroyed three vehicles near Fallujah; and destroyed five ISIS buildings near Zumar.

CENTCOM said all the aircraft used in the attacks managed to exit the areas safely.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Friday
Oct242014

Ebola Outbreak Taking Its Toll on Doctors Without Borders 

P.K. Lee/MSF(GENEVA) -- Doctors Without Borders is paying a heavy price in treating Ebola.

The Geneva-based group tells ABC News that since the outbreak began in March, it has sent over 700 staff to the affected countries, working alongside roughly 3,000 nationals. Of all of those, two dozen have been infected and 13 have died.

In every staff infection case, Doctors Without Borders conducts a thorough investigation. It has found that most of those who contracted Ebola did so while away from work.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Friday
Oct242014

Kerry: Relationship Between US, North Korea Unchanged

State Dept photo(WASHINGTON) -- In case you were wondering, Secretary of State John Kerry isn’t planning on traveling to North Korea anytime soon.

Responding to a reporter Thursday who asked whether he would pay North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un a visit, Kerry joked, “Do you know something about an invitation I don’t?”

North Korea has reportedly closed its borders to foreign travelers due to Ebola concerns. Kerry didn’t seem to know whether that was true or not when asked whether that news could affect the two Americans still trapped in North Korea.

“I can't tell you how their decision will or won't affect anything with respect to the other Americans who are being held,” he said during an availability with the South Korean foreign minister.

On American Jeffrey Fowle, Kerry said the U.S. is “delighted” that North Korea released him but stressed that the U.S. is still “deeply concerned” about the other two.

Kerry also mentioned the agreement between the U.S. and South Korea -- reached Thursday -- that would delay the transfer of wartime control of the Korean military back to Seoul until the South is better equipped to handle threats from the North.

Currently, if South Korea became involved in a war, the United States would have to command combined U.S.-Korean forces. That’s an arrangement that goes back to the Korean War.

The transfer of “operational control” was supposed to happen first in 2012, then in 2015. Now, there’s no set date -- just whenever South Korea achieves “critical defensive capabilities against an intensifying North Korean threat,” per statements from the U.S. and South Korea.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio