SEARCH

Saturday
Jan222011

Japanese Cargo Rocket Headed to ISS

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(TANEGASHIMA, Japan) -- An unmanned Japanese rocket headed for the International Space Station was launched Saturday.

The Konotori 2's cargo includes several tons of food, clothing, and equipment for the ISS's six-person crew. The space station can expect the cargo rocket to arrive on Thursday, before it essentially takes out the trash and self-destructs in the atmosphere to conclude its mission.

It was launched on Tanegashima Island, south of the Japanese island of Kyoshu. The Japanese space agency JAXA intends to increase the number of similar missions in the wake of NASA cutbacks.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Jan222011

Iran Nuclear Talks End Inconclusively

Photo Courtesy - Atta Kenare/AFP/Getty Images(ISTANBUL) -- Nuclear talks with Iran ended inconclusively in Istanbul Friday, according to published reports.

At the Turkey-hosted conference, Iran remained adamant that its nuclear program is only intended for energy, and refused to discontinue its atomic facilities. As Iran's uranium enrichment grows more alarming to world leaders, the delegation of diplomats from France, Russia, China, Germany, the U.K, and the U.S. sought an agreement that would prevent Iran from ever creating nuclear weapons.

Talks have yet to be rescheduled.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Jan222011

Muqtada al-Sadr Back in Iran After Iraq Visit

Photo Courtesy - Qassem Zein/AFP/Getty Images(BAGHDAD) -- The radical cleric Muqtada al-Sadr has returned to Iran following a short visit to Iraq this month, according to The Los Angeles Times.

The 37-year-old Shiite cleric's trip to Iraq marked al-Sadr's first homecoming after years of self-imposed exile. He left Iraq in 2007 to boost the Shiite Islam cause abroad, but has remained an indelible force in Iraqi politics. His adherents currently lead eight ministries in the Iraqi government, which Sadr has endorsed on the condition that it works towards the expulsion of American troops.

Al-Sadr's militia was responsible for some of the heaviest fighting in the Iraqi Civil War, and fought with U.S. troops on two occasions following the 2003 invasion.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Jan222011

US Military Joins Search for Missing American Boaters

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(MANILA, Philippines) -- The U.S. Coast Guard, Navy, and Air Force have now joined the search for a missing sailboat carrying five Americans.

The crew left Guam for the Filipino island of Cebu on Jan. 6. The 38-foot catamaran was scheduled to arrive last week.

Helicopters  scanned the Philippine Sea from above, while a Coast Guard ship searched waters below.

A friend of the boat's captain says he had more than 35 years of experience. The licensed captain was headed to the Philippines for a routine boat delivery.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
Jan212011

Pope Asks Officials to Set Good Example Amid Berlusconi Scandal

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(ROME) -- The pope appeared to scold Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi Friday over a sex scandal involving a 17-year-old prostitute, preaching that Italian public officials need to "offer a good example."

It was the second time in recent days that the Vatican expressed its displeasure over the scandal that has dominated Italian news for weeks.

Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Vatican's No. 2, said Thursday that the church was following the Berlusconi investigation closely and stressed his desire for a "more robust morality, a sense of justice and legality," especially for those who serve the public.

Pope Benedict XVI added his voice Friday during an audience with Rome's police officers. He called on public officials to "rediscover their spiritual and moral roots."

"The singular vocation that the city of Rome requires today of you who are public officials is to offer a good example of the positive and useful interaction between a healthy lay status and the Christian faith," said the pontiff.

The criticism comes as Berlusconi is under investigation for allegedly paying a 17-year-old girl for sex and using his office to cover up the illegal activity. Berlusconi's extravagant lifestyle and love of beautiful woman is well known and prosecutors said that during parties at his Milan estate the Italian premier had sex with multiple prostitutes.

The 74-year-old Berlusconi denies the allegations and has come out forcefully refuting the claims. In two video recordings and an audio monologue he meticulously counters the prosecutors' and claims they are politically motivated.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
Jan212011

Stolen Degas Painting Returned to France After 37 Years

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Thirty-seven years after a laundress in a white veil disappeared from her home in northwest France, U.S. authorities discovered her at a New York City auction house, and Friday officially returned her to her rightful owners.

The woman in question is not a real person, but the subject of a 6.5-by-8.5 inch painting by French impressionist Edgar Degas that had been heisted from a Normandy art museum in 1973.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement investigators discovered the masterpiece in a Sotheby's catalogue in October. Later, markings on the bank confirmed a link to the Louvre in Paris.

At the French Embassy residence in Washington Friday, U.S. and French officials formally signed documents transferring ownership of the painting.

Although only valued at an estimated $350,000 to $450,000, the work is particularly prized by the French, given the relative paucity of Degas paintings remaining within their national borders, officials said.

The recovery was also hailed as an example of international collaboration to combat the illicit trafficking of high-value cultural property.

Morton said no suspects are in custody in conjunction with the theft and declined to comment on specifics of the ongoing investigation. In the U.S., art thieves and illicit traffickers of cultural property can face up to 20 years in prison if caught and convicted.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
Jan212011

US Revokes Visas for Haitian Officials over Alleged Election Fraud

File Photo: Angry election protesters fill the streets of Haiti after the handpicked protoge of President Rene Preval had claimed a place in the disputed presidential polls. Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The U.S. State Department confirmed rumors Friday that it had revoked visas for some Haitian officials and supporters of President Preval, but declined to elaborate because visa records are confidential by law.
 
A senior U.S. official, however, told ABC News that visas were revoked for nine -- mostly low-level -- members of Preval’s party citing their alleged role in voter fraud in last November’s election.  

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
Jan212011

Cuba Halts Mail Deliveries to the US

Photo Courtesy of Getty Images(NEW YORK)-- Cuba terminated all mail deliveries to the Untied States Friday. According to Cuban officials, the halt was the result of what they called, imposing new security procedures.

The United States revised its postal procedures in November when it began applying stricter anti-terrorism measures to mail from a number of countries. Cuba is among the countries for which the new procedure has been applied.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio



Friday
Jan212011

Pentagon: Iraq Withdrawl Timeline Is Still 'On Track'

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Despite violent attacks to thwart its efforts, the U.S. military is on track to completely withdrawal troops from Iraq by the end of this year, says a Pentagon spokesman.

"These spectacular attacks are perpetrated to try to derail the process but thus far the Iraqi security forces have handled those, they haven't asked us for assistance," spokesman David Lapan said.

The 50,000 U.S. troops still in Iraq ended their combat mission in late August 2010 and now focus primarily on training local forces. 

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
Jan212011

Muslim British Cabinet Member Warns Against to Anti-Muslim Attitudes

Photo Courtesy - Getty Image(LONDON) -- The first Muslim woman to sit in the British cabinet is calling attention the social acceptability of discrimination against Muslims in Britain, reports say.

Sayeeda Warsi, who is Pakistani in origin, recently told BBC News, "It has seeped into our society in a way where it is acceptable around dinner to have these conversations where anti-Muslim hatred and bigotry is quite openly discussed."

Friday in a speech at the University of Leicester, Warsi was expected to speak out against anti-Muslim sentiments, blaming the media for "fueling misunderstanding with labels such as 'moderate' or 'extremist,'" reports the Gulf Daily News.

The British cabinet member is also calling for the Muslim community to speak out against Islamic extremism.  This issue has been a major concern for government officials since a homegrown suicide bombing killed 52 people in London in 2005.

In a recent display of responsiveness to Muslim discrimination, Britain refused to allow U.S. pastor Terry Jones into the country.  Jones incited controversy last year with threats to burn the Quran.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio