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Wednesday
Oct132010

Germany Opens First-Ever Hitler Exhibition

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(BERLIN) -- On Friday, The German Historical Museum will open post-war Germany's first-ever Adolf Hitler exhibition.  Spiegel Online reports that although the museum went to great lengths to ensure the exhibition is not an homage to Hitler, they are concerned about "attracting cheering neo-Nazis and protesters."

The extensive exhibition, developed by curator Hans-Ulrich Thamer, will focus on the life of Hitler. However, the show will be sure to leave out anything that may glorify or depict Hitler as a hero. 

"We cannot provide any opportunity to identify with him," Thamer told Spiegel Online.

The museum says on its website that the exhibition will address the influence of the dictator and the "long shadows of his oppression that extend on into the present day."

Developers of the show also took precautionary measures to provide context from historians on topics relating to Hitler that will be contained in catalogues accompanying the show.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Oct132010

Serb Nationalists Turn Italian Soccer Match Into Battlefield

Photo Courtesy - Claudio Villo/Getty Images(GENOA, Italy) -- Italians woke up Wednesday to alarming headline of "Guerriglia -- Warfare in Genoa."

Violent Serbian far-right nationalist soccer fans who had arrived in the Italian city to watch a European championship qualifying match between Serbia and Italy Tuesday night forced a suspension of the game after only six minutes of play.

The Serbs battled police and police reenforcements as they were herded out of the stadium with skirmishes raging until 2 a.m. Wednesday.

Sixteen people, including two police officers, were injured in the running battles outside the stadium. Seventeen people were arrested and another 35 were taken into custody, had their identification confiscated and released.

A focal point of the riots was a hooded and tattooed Serb who was caught in video and press photos throwing firebombs, smashing the stands with a metal bar and inciting the other 2,000 Serbian hooligans.

Italian police finally arrested the man late in the night when he was found hiding in the engine compartment of one of the buses which was to take the Serbian fans home. Although he wore a hood in the stadium, police identified him, thanks to the tattoos on his arms, as the notorious ring-leader and crime-linked hooligan named Ivan Bogdanov. Police also confiscated a variety of weapons including knives, sticks and metal rods.

The Serbian fans first clashed with police earlier Tuesday while they entered the city of Genoa, smashing shop windows and vandalizing streets. The initial burst of violence delayed the start of the match for 45 minutes.

The atmosphere grew more tense before the start of play as the violence and vandalism increased inside the stadium with the hurling of flares onto the field, the tearing down of a mesh fence and the breaking of a glass partition that separated the hard-core fans from the rest of the public.

The match started with both teams looking tense and worried as they played and flares continued to fly. After just six minutes of play the referee ended the match when a flare nearly hit the Italian goalie.

As the Serbian fans left the stadium they clashed with riot police in helmets and shields who tried to herd them onto the buses that would take them home to Serbia.

Reporters were trapped in the stadium with the battle raging outside reported hearing hours of ambulance sirens around the stadium as more and more emergency services arrived at the scene. Extra police were called in from Milan and Turin, but arrived after the violence had started to subside.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Oct132010

President Ahmadinejad's Visit to Lebanon Seen as Warning to Israel

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(BEIRUT) -- President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran touched down in Beirut Wednesday for a deeply divisive two-day visit to Lebanon, offering support to the terrorist group Hezbollah and a not-so-veiled warning to Israel. The trip to Lebanon is the first for the Iranian leader since his election in 2005 and comes at a time of high political tension in the country.

Tens of thousands of his supporters lined his route from the airport. Huge posters hung from every lamp post and as he passed by in his open topped car, people threw sweets and rice in traditional gestures of welcome.

"Ahmadinejad has done a lot for Lebanon, we are here to thank him," 18-year-old Fatima Mazeh told the Associated Press.

At the presidential palace, he met Lebanese President Michel Suleiman and shook hands with Prime Minister Saad Harriri. He heads a fragile coalition government which includes the radical Islamic group Hezbollah.

Under Ahmadinejad's rule, Iran has funneled hundreds of millions of dollars into Hezbollah's coffers and supplied it with thousands of rockets and missiles, depleted during its war with Israel in 2006.

The U.S. has backed a part of the Lebanese government that accuses Hezbollah of running a state within a state. The Hezbollah militia is widely recognized as being the strongest military force inside the country.

Analysts believe Ahmadinejad's visit is designed to boost Hezbollah's standing and send warning signals that Iran's allies in Lebanon enjoy powerful backing from Tehran.

Despite that, a group of 250 Lebanese politicians, lawyers and activists have written a letter of protest against the visit accusing the Iranian president of stirring up old divisions and pushing the country towards another conflict with Israel.

"Your talk of changing the face of the region starting with Lebanon.... and wiping Israel off the map makes it seem like your visit is that of a high commander to his front line," the letter said.

Ahmadinejad is scheduled to attend a rally in Beirut's southern suburbs, the traditional stronghold of Hezbollah. He may be joined there by the group's reclusive leader Hassan Nasrallah.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Oct132010

UPDATE: Chilean Mine Rescue Underway; Miners Surfacing

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(COPIAPO, Chile) -- UPDATE: The first 31 of 33 Chilean miners have ascended to freedom from the underground chamber where they've been entombed for 10 long weeks, the longest time ever for a successful rescue.

A cheer went up shortly after midnight as the first miner, Florencio Avalos, emerged from a rescue capsule wearing a helmet and sunglasses to protect his eyes from the nighttime lights at the San Jose Mine.  Waiting on the surface were hundreds of family members and reporters who have stood vigil since the mine collapsed August 5.

Avalos, 31, hugged members of his family, Chilean President Sebastian Pinera and onlookers after emerging.  He was then wheeled away on a stretcher to a triage area where the rescued miners are being assessed.

A second miner, Mario Sepulveda, 40, emerged from the rescue capsule around an hour later, and also was met with hugs all around, according to a live Chilean government television feed.

After hugging his wife, he reached into a bag and pulled out rocks, souvenirs of the mine that was his prison for more than two months.  Sepulveda gave them to Chile's president and the rescue workers.

"I was with God and I was with the devil, but God won...at no point in time did I doubt that God would get me out of there," Sepulveda said in Spanish.

A third miner, Juan Illanes, 52, emerged shortly afterwards.  He is a former soldier who encouraged the other miners to be disciplined.

Greeted by his wife, Carlos Mamani was brought to the surface next.  The 23-year-old is married with one child.  Once he got out of the stretcher he got down on his knees and said, "Thank you God."

Right after Mamani, the youngest of the 33 miners, Jimmy Sanchez, 19, emerged from the escape capsule.  He had the most trouble coping with the tight confinements.  "I have suffered much and do not want to suffer more," he said before taken away from the mine.

Osman Araya, 30, a father of two children, was removed next.  Then came Jose Ojeda, 47.  He has one child and served as a master drilling machine operator.

Claudio Yanez became the eighth miner to emerge after 7 a.m. local time.  He was greeted with a long embrace from his fiancee.

After being pulled to the surface, the ninth miner, the oldest of the group, Mario Gomez, hugged his family as he stepped out of the rescue capsule.  Before leaving the site, the 63-year-old dropped to his knees and prayed.  Gomez suffers from silicosis, a lung disease caused by constantly breathing in silicone dust during his 50 years in the mines.

Authorities planned to pull one miner to freedom each hour, into the arms of waiting loved ones.

Avalos and Sepulveda were airlifted from the mine site and arrived at a hospital by ambulance. A small group of people outside the hospital were waving Chilean flags and chanting "Bienvenidos Mineros" or "Welcome Miners."

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Oct132010

Troops Killed in Three Separate Incidents Afghanistan

Photo Courtesy - Major Paul Smyth/ISAF(KABUL, Afghanistan) -- Six International Security Assistance Force service members were killed in three separate incidents in Afghanistan on Wednesday.

Four ISAF troops were killed by an improvised explosive device, or IED, in the southern part of the country, marking the deadliest IED strike since August.  Another service member was killed in the south by an IED, as well, while the sixth fatality occurred in an attack in an eastern region of Afghanistan.

It is unknown whether any of the service members killed were American.

In total, there have been 17 confirmed U.S. fatalities this month.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Oct132010

George Clooney Urges Diplomatic Action to Prevent Conflict in Sudan

Photo Courtesy - The White House/ Pete Souza(NEW YORK) -- George Clooney is trying to raise awareness about the possible renewal of civil war in Sudan.  He recently returned from a week-long trip to southern Sudan, a region that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton calls "a ticking time bomb."

The region is torn from 21 years of a civil war that has killed two million people, according to the U.S. State Department.  Clooney is concerned that without immediate diplomatic action from the United States, Sudan is on its way to resume that bloody conflict.

The Oscar winner isn't the only one concerned.  In the past week, both the U.N. Security Council and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum have visited the region.  Both organizations are trying to intervene before a Jan. 9 referendum to decide whether animist and Christian south Sudan should secede from the Muslim north, and which side will obtain ownership of the oil-rich region of Abyei.

Clooney is making an urgent plea for "robust" diplomatic action, which he believes can prevent further conflict.  To that end, he met with President Obama and Indiana Sen. Richard Lugar, the ranking Republican on the Foreign Relations Committee, on Tuesday before making a presentation to the Council on Foreign Relations last night.

During his trip, Clooney traveled to remote, conflict-prone areas of southern Sudan.  With him was human rights activist John Prendergast, co-founder of the Enough Project, an anti-genocide advocacy group, and co-author of The Enough Moment: Fighting to End Africa's Worst Human Rights Crimes.

Clooney first visited the region in 2008 with his father, when he shot a film on the genocide in Darfur to teach Americans about the conflict.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Oct132010

YouTube Orchestra: Online Auditions Now Open

Photo Courtesy - YouTube(NEW YORK) -- Practice, practice, practice may get you to Carnegie Hall, but these days, the Web, Web, Web will get you worldwide fame.

Building on the success of its first global online orchestra, which performed at New York's Carnegie Hall in 2009, YouTube Tuesday announced the launch of the YouTube Symphony Orchestra 2011.

At events in New York and Sydney, Australia, YouTube, the video-sharing site owned by Google, said it was taking its second internationally crowd-sourced orchestra to the land Down Under, to perform at the Sydney Opera House in March 2011.

"This is such a great way to connect and inspire people and show how YouTube can unite people around the world," said Ed Sanders, senior marketing manager at YouTube.  "It's wonderful to see an example of where technology brings people together in the virtual world and the real world."

From Oct. 12 through Nov. 28, musicians around the world can upload audition videos to show off their abilities.  A panel of judges from top orchestras around the world will then select a group of semifinalists.  In December, YouTube users will get to vote for their favorite musicians online.  The winning musicians will be announced on Jan. 11, 2011.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Oct122010

Hungarian Toxic Sludge Visible From Space

Photo Courtesy - NASA(NEW YORK) -- The toxic sludge from a reservoir spill at an aluminum plant in Hungary can be seen from space.  At least eight people have died as a result of last week's spill and more than 120 people have been burned.  Environmental advocates on the scene tell ABC News tests show the sludge is far more caustic than the dust at ground zero on 9/11. 

Pictures from Nasa's Hubble telescope show a fearsome sight.  The red sludge flows for miles.  While NASA does sometimes enhance the color in many of its images, it says this one is natural. 

The alkaline mud is a byproduct of the aluminum manufacturing process, which uses caustic soda to turn bauxite, or aluminum ore, into the lightweight metal.   The spill decimated the Marcal River in western Hungary before flowing in a more diluted state into the Danube River.  Officials and environmentalists are gravely concerned about the long-term health risks associated with the sludge. 

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Oct122010

Afghanistan Air Strikes Up 172 Percent

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The number of U.S. and NATO air strikes over Afghanistan has spiked since General David Petraeus replaced General Stanley McCrystal as commander of the war effort in June.  U.S. Air Force statistics show a 172 percent increase, with 700 separate missions flown in September.  A total of 257 assault missions were flown in September, 2009.  Surveillance flights increased to nearly three times the number from September 2009 and supply flights are up as well.

Civilian casualties had led McCrystal to issue restrictive rules of engagement, curtailing the number of airstrikes and, critics say, tying the hands of forces trying to beat back a crafty insurgency best located from above.  Petraeus is sometimes seen as more willing to risk the so-called "collateral damage" of civilian deaths but has said publicly that the rules of engagement would not be changed.  Experts say the troop surge could be behind part of the intensified airwar, with more boots on the ground calling for more air support. 

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

 

Tuesday
Oct122010

Asteroid Alert: 30-ft. Rock Whizzes by Earth

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(PASADENA, Calif.) -- The earth had another close encounter with an asteroid on Tuesday.

It was approximately 28,000 miles away at closest approach -- slightly more than a tenth of the distance to the moon.  The incident occurred Tuesday morning over southern Asia.

NASA's Near Earth Object Program estimates it was roughly 15-30 feet across, and says that had it entered the atmosphere, at 49,000 miles per hour, it would have quickly burned up. 

The last of these to be headlined by NASA -- two in 24 hours -- were just a month ago.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio