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Monday
Apr252011

Gadhafi's Complex Struck in NATO Attack

ABC News(TRIPOLI, Libya) -- A NATO airstrike badly damaged two buildings in Colonel Moammar Gadhafi's residential compound in Tripoli, Libya Sunday night.

It was reported that one of the targeted sites hit by either large missiles or a bomb is often used by Gadhafi to hold meetings.

While four people were said to have suffered minor injuries, there was no word of Gadhafi's whereabouts during the attack.

One Libyan government official claimed that the air strike was an attack on the president's life but this account could not be verified.

In other developments, rebels in the western city of Misrata say they have consolidated control of the strategic city despite constant bombardment by government forces that left dozens dead over the weekend.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
Apr252011

Pakistan: Police Station Rocked by Explosion

USGS(PESHAWAR, Pakistan) -- An explosion at a police station in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar injured at least 10 police officers Monday, according to authorities.

While the cause of the explosion is still being investigated, police say short circuiting or an accumulation of gas in a sewage line could be to blame.

The officers' injuries did not appear to be life threatening.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
Apr252011

Man Arrested After Attacking Flight Attendant on Alitalia Jet

CHRISTOPHE SIMON/AFP/Getty Images (File)(ROME) -- A Kazakhstan citizen was taken into custody by Italian police after he allegedly attacked a flight attendant onboard an Alitalia flight on Sunday, and demanded that the plane land in Tripoli, Libya.

Authorities say the suspect, identified as 48-year-old Valery Tolmachev, used a knife to attack a female flight attendant on Alitalia Flight 329, which was headed from Paris to Rome. The suspect, who was described as being in an agitated state during the attack, was reportedly overpowered by other members of the flight crew and was arrested after the flight landed in Rome.

The flight attendant, who was attacked, reportedly suffered minor injuries.

A total of 131 people were reportedly onboard the flight. There were no other reports of injuries.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
Apr252011

Russia Cyber Security Mogul's Son Rescued from Kidnappers

Ryan McVay/Digital Vision(MOSCOW) -- The son of the founder of one of the world's largest cyber security firms, Russia's Kaspersky Lab, was rescued from kidnappers by Moscow police, Russian federal agents and the firm's own security forces on Sunday.

In a statement, a company spokesman said Kaspersky Lab had "wonderful news to share this Easter Sunday ... it's over."

"Ivan is alive and well and is currently located at a safe location," said the statement. "No ransom was paid during the rescue operation." Ivan's father, company founder Evgeny Kaspersky, was unavailable for comment.

Ivan Kaspersky, a 20-year-old Moscow University student, was kidnapped Tuesday while on his way to work. News reports last week said the kidnappers were demanding 3 million Euros for his release.

A Moscow police spokesman said Sunday that Moscow police, riot police, and agents of the Federal Security Service "recovered Kaspersky's son in the Moscow Region" without firing a shot. The spokesman said that five people were arrested in the raid, and that no ransom was paid. The Kaspersky Lab statement also said company security personnel participated in the operation. According to Russian media reports, the kidnappers were promised money but never received any.

After Ivan Kaspersky's kidnapping Tuesday, the company had posted a statement on the company website that did not deny reports of the abduction, but asked the media not to speculate on the case.

"Eugene [Evgeny] Kaspersky continues his day-to-day work at the company, and has stated that the unconfirmed information being spread at the moment is harmful for the company," the statement said.

Russian media later said that the son had been released after the ransom was paid, but a spokesperson for Kaspersky Labs told ABC News that was an "unconfirmed report."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
Apr252011

Do Americans Care About the Royal Wedding?

Chris Jackson/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- When Prince Charles of Great Britain married Diana Spencer in 1981, the wedding was watched by a television audience of 750 million people around the globe.

On Friday, the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton is expected to garner a worldwide television viewership of two billion people. Yet what some have termed "the event of the century" isn't generating much interest in the U.S., thanks largely to the changing times.

A recent PriceGrabber survey of 2,842 U.S. online consumers found that 95 percent of respondents won't host or attend a party to celebrate the nuptials of William and Kate, and 92 percent won't bother to purchase any royal wedding commemorative merchandise.

Debra Caruso, who heads the New York media firm DJC Communications, doubts that many Americans will set their alarms for 4:00 a.m. Friday to catch the beginning of the festivities, although their DVRs may be programmed to tape it.

"More of us are waiting to see how Jon Stewart, David Letterman and Stephen Colbert will frame the event,” Caruso said. “We’re attracted to the negative. Will there be a slip-up?"

At least the U.S. media thinks Americans are really hankering for wedding gossip. ABC devoted an entire 20/20 program to the upcoming ceremony, while network TV morning shows will feature extensive coverage beginning Monday leading up to the big wedding day.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Apr242011

Bahrain's Crown Prince to Miss Royal Wedding

KHALIL MAZRAAWI/AFP/Getty Images(MANAMA, Bahrain) -- Bahrain’s Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad Al-Khalifa has declined an invitation to the royal wedding of Prince William of Wales and Kate Middleton, citing the events resulting from the recent unrest in the Kingdom of Bahrain as the reason he won’t be able to make it.

According to a statement from the Court of the Crown Prince of Bahrain, Prince Salman sent a letter to the Prince of Wales saying that it was with "deep regret" that he reached the decision that he would not be attending the wedding, which takes place on Friday. The Crown Prince said he had hoped that the ongoing events in the kingdom would have improved so that he would have been able to attend the wedding without being overshadowed Bahrain’s issues, however this has not happened.

Prince Salman ended the letter by wishing "Prince William and Miss Middleton all good wishes for Friday and every possible happiness for the future ahead."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Apr242011

Yemen President Calls Protests a 'Coup'

GAMAL NOMAN/AFP/Getty Images(SANA’A, Yemen) -- Even with reports about Yemen president Ali Abdullah Saleh agreeing to a deal to step down, protestors continued demonstrations on the streets of Yemen on Sunday.

Thousands of demonstrators reportedly hit the streets of Sana’a and other parts of the country, protesting the deal offered to Saleh, according to published reports.

On Saturday officials said Saleh agreed to a deal that would see him stepping down from office within 30 days. The deal, which was brokered by the Gulf Cooperation Council, also includes immunity for Saleh and those who served as part of his regime.

On Saturday the White House issued a statement saying that the United States supports a peaceful transfer of power in Yemen that is responsive to the aspirations of the Yemeni people.

In an interview with BBC’s Lina Sinjab on Sunday, Saleh called the protests against him a “coup” and said that Al Qaeda is moving inside Yemen and being destructive in the country.

“You call on me to hand over power from the US and Europe, but who should I hand it over to?” Saleh said in the BBC interview. “We will do it through ballot boxes and referendums, we’ll invite international monitors, but we will not accept a coup.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Apr232011

Syria: Death Toll Continues to Rise

ANWAR AMRO/AFP/Getty Images(DAMASCUS, Syria) -- The death toll in Syria continued to rise Saturday, as there were reports that at least eight people were killed by security forces.

Thousands of mourners reportedly gathered at funerals in and around Damascus on Saturday, when witnesses say security forces opened fire on mourners, killing at least eight. Saturday’s fatalities followed a bloody day on Friday when at least 75 people were killed.

Anti-government demonstrators have been calling for the removal of President Bashar al-Assad from office. At least 280 people have reportedly been killed since protests began in March, according to BBC News.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Apr232011

Military Officials Confirm First Predator Strike in Libya

U.S. State Department(WASHINGTON) -- Military officials at the Pentagon have confirmed that the first strike by an unmanned Predator drone was launched in Libya on Saturday.

Pentagon spokesman Captain Darryn James said in a statement that the first Predator strike occurred early Saturday afternoon Libya time. Officials said per common practice, no additional details would be provided about the strike.

On Thursday President Obama gave approval for two armed American Predator drones to operate over Libya, according to Defense Secretary Robert Gates.

The U.S. has flown armed drones in Libya for the past several weeks, but they have been used only for surveillance. They will now be used to strike Gadhafi's forces as part of the civilian protection mission.

British, French and Italian forces have already agreed to step up their efforts to aid the rebels.

The use of drones is significant, too, because it marks the United States' return to using force for civilian protection mission for the first time since shortly after the U.S. handed full authority of the mission over to NATO last month. Bombing drops by U.S. planes that have taken place since then were only to take out Gadhafi's air defenses for the separate no-fly zone enforcement mission.

American forces are helping to enforce a no-fly zone in Libya, aiding rebel forces struggling against Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Apr232011

Two U.S. Service Members Killed in Iraq

Antenna Audio, Inc./Getty Images(BAGHDAD) -- The month of April continues to be a deadly one for U.S. troops in Iraq.

According to a news release by military officials, two U.S. service members were killed on Friday while conducting operations in the southern part of Iraq. The names of the deceased were not immediately released, pending the notification of their primary next of kin.

These latest fatalities bring the total amount of U.S. service members killed in Iraq during the month of April to eight.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







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