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Thursday
Dec092010

Child Thought Dead in 2004 Tsunami Discovered Alive

Photo Courtesy -- USGS.gov(SRI LANKA) – A Sri Lankan child believed to have died during the 2004 tsunami has been found alive, the BBC reports.

According to the country’s Child Protective Authority, the child, who turned six on Thursday, had been taken in illegally by a family who falsely claimed to be her parents and forged documents for the child. 

"We will now be conducting DNA tests to find her real parents,” said Anoma Dissanayake of the National Child Protection Authority (NCPA).

The NCPA will look after the child until her parents are found, which it says could take anywhere from a week to a year.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Dec092010

FBI Aided in WikiLeaks “Operation Payback” Investigation

Photo Courtesy -- ABC News(WASHINGTON) – The FBI has told ABC News that they assisted in Wednesday’s arrest of a Dutch youth who was involved in a cyber-attack that was carried out by a group of WikiLeaks supporters.

The Dutch National Police arrested a 16-year-old boy who they say was part of “Operation Payback,” which aimed to bring down international credit card sites that decided earlier this week to halt donations to the whistleblowing site.

In the past 24 hours, the anonymous group behind most of the attacks has brought down sites belonging to the Swedish government and its prosecution agency after an arrest warrant was issued by the country for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

At a press conference Thursday, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder acknowledged that the Justice Department is involved in the investigation related to “Operation Payback.” “We are aware of the incident that you have described and I will simply say we are looking into it,” Holder said.

A Dutch National Prosecutors Office confirms spokesperson said the teenager has confessed to involvement in the attacks. A court hearing is set for Friday.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Dec092010

Prince Charles, Camilla Unhurt after London Mob Takes to the Streets over Tuition Hikes

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(LONDON) -- Angry protestors taking to the streets of London Thursday attacked a car carrying Prince Charles and his wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall.

A Clarence House spokesperson confirmed the attack and said the heir to the throne and his wife were unharmed.

Photos in Britain's Daily Mail show that the car was hit with paintballs.

The royal couple was on their way to a performance of the Royal Variety show, the spokesperson told ABC News.

One witness to the attack on the prince and his wife told the BBC that he saw "a couple of people were kicking the door."

"I didn't see who done the graffiti, I didn't see who smashed the window," the witness said, "but I saw Prince Charles in his car get attacked. It was Prince Charles in the car, it was - I couldn't believe it."

The incident was an example of how heated the protests over tuition hikes have gotten. Protestors Thursday smashed windows, threw flares and tussled with police. The Daily Mail called the protestors "anarchists."

The British newspaper reported that tens of thousands of people were protesting the government's decision to raise the cap on student tuition from 3,290 pounds to 9,000 pounds, or about $14,160.

Pictures of London Thursday showed police officers being yanked off their horses by protestors and emergency workers tending to both injured officers and civilians.

One woman was even photographed swinging from a Union flag.

Much of the protestors' anger was directed at Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, who signed a pre-election promise to avoid such hikes.

"I'm here because the Liberal Democrats broke their promise," said 19-year-old college student Shivan David from London's Trafalgar Square. "I don't think education should be free but I do think that tripling fees doesn't make any sense. We are paying more for less."

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Dec092010

USAID Awards $5.8 Million to Aid Haiti’s Cholera Fight

Photo Courtesy -- Getty Images(WASHINGTON) – USAID has announced they would provide $5.8 million to fight the cholera outbreak in Haiti.

On Thursday, the USAID Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance said they would provide the grant to the International Medical Corps (IMC) to aid in the treatment and prevention of nearly 1.3 million people and address areas where there are existing gaps in coverage.

IMC will use the funds to open eight treatment centers, seven mobile medical units and several rehydration points.

The grant will also go toward prevention through health education. 

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Dec092010

Chinese Government Boycotts Nobel Prize, Hands Out New Award

Photo Courtesy -- Getty Images(BEIJING) – China awarded the Confucius Peace Prize Thursday, its version of the Nobel Peace Prize, after a long campaign to vilify this year's Nobel Peace laureate, Chinese pro-democracy activist Liu Xiaobo.

To the dismay of human rights activists around the world, Beijing has conducted a sweeping crackdown on dissent and demanded that other governments boycott Friday's Nobel ceremony in Oslo.

"The Chinese government is not happy that Liu Xiaobo is receiving this award, and that was to be expected," Minky Worden, the director of Global Initiatives at Human Rights Watch, said. "But the overreaction that we've seen from Beijing is not worthy of a government that projects [itself] abroad as a strong, confident, growing and responsible power."

Liu, 54, whose long career of activism stretches back to the 1989 Tiananmen Square movement, was sentenced last year after he co-authored a manifesto calling for human rights and political reform titled "Charter 08."

Rights group Amnesty International estimates more than 250 people have either been stopped from going abroad, detained, or put under house arrest ahead of Friday's ceremony, as part of a clampdown in China that has blocked Western media. BBC and CNN's websites were both down in China on Thursday, while BBC is completely blocked on television. Though CNN's broadcast is still up, all reports about Liu and the Nobel Prize are blocked.
 
Meanwhile, China presented the inaugural Confucius Peace Prize at a ceremony Thursday, honoring a man who was not aware he was receiving the award. The office of former vice president of Taiwan, Lien Chan, said he had not heard of the Confucius award, and he was not present at the ceremony to collect it. Instead, a young girl, of no relation to the recipient, accepted the award of $15,000.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Dec092010

Lawyer: Assange Accusers 'Treated Like Perpetrators'

Photo Courtesy - BERTIL ERICSON/AFP/Getty Images(LONDON) -- The two Swedish women who have accused Wikileaks founder Julian Assange of sex crimes, including rape, are angry at the suggestion their claims are politically motivated, the women's lawyer said Thursday.

"They were attacked by Mr. Assange and then they are treated like perpetrators themselves," attorney Claes Borgstrom told ABC News. "He has molested them and then sacrificed them for his own interests."

One woman accused Assange of sexually coercing her twice in August, including one time when he allegedly "forcibly parted her legs, preventing her from moving... then had intercourse without a condom," according to prosecutors. The second woman claimed that Assange had unprotected sex with her while she slept.

Borgstrom told ABC News one of the women went to the hospital following one of the alleged attacks.

Assange's arrest earlier this week came in the midst of an international controversy over the publication of more than a quarter million classified U.S. diplomatic documents by Assange's website, Wikileaks. The timing of the arrest led a Wikileaks spokesperson, Assange's lawyer Mark Stephens and hundreds of Assange's supporters to claim they were part of a political effort to marginalize the Wikileaks founder.

But Borgstrom said his clients were hardly against Wikileaks. Rather, the two were employed by Wikileaks and were in fact "admirers" of Assange's work.

"They want that there will be a trial so Julian Assange must answer to what he has done and so the world sees it's true and it really happened," Borgstrom said.

The accusations against Assange were previously dropped by one Swedish prosecutor before being picked up by another. When the accusations were read in a British court Tuesday, the judge said the case is "about serious sexual offenses on three separate occasions, involving two separate victims...extremely serious allegations." 

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Dec092010

US Pressures China as Chinese, North Korean Officials Meet

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il. Photo Courtesy - Pool/Getty Images(TOKYO) -- A top Chinese foreign policy official met with North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il Thursday as Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen dialed up pressure on China to use its influence to reign in the North Korean regime.

North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency reported Chinese State Councilor Dai Bingguo and Kim discussed ways to strengthen their bilateral relations, but gave no details involving discussions about the regime's recent artillery attack.

China has been facing mounting international pressure to defuse tensions on the Korean peninsula.

"We must recognize there is no normal anymore," Mullen said.  "What once was routine is anything but.  And what once was unusual is becoming all too routine."

The top U.S. military chief made his comments during a brief stop in Tokyo, part of an Asia trip aimed at strengthening trilateral ties with South Korea and Japan.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Dec092010

First US Soldier Killed in Iraq for Month of December

Photo Courtesy - U.S. Department of Defense/Petty Officer 2nd Class Ted Green, U.S. Navy(BAGHDAD) -- A U.S. soldier was killed in action in Iraq Wednesday, marking the first death of an American troop in that country for the month of December.

The soldier was killed while conducting operations in Southern Iraq.  The service member's name is being witheld until family members are notified of the death.  The U.S. Department of Defense will release the name after next of kin have been notified.

Officials are investigating the incident.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Dec082010

US Says It Will Attend Nobel Peace Prize Ceremony

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The State Department on Wednesday confirmed that its ambassador to Oslo, Barry White, will attend the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize ceremony on Friday.
 
China has campaigned for countries to boycott the event and has already received support from 19 countries, including American allies like Afghanistan, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Egypt, Morocco, and Colombia who will not attend.  This year's winner is Chinese human rights activist Liu Xiaobo, who is currently imprisoned in China for his involvement with Charter 08, a manifesto promoting democratization and political reform in China.
 
On Wednesday, the State Department refused to criticize those countries publicly. “All we can say is that we will be there on Friday to observe this recognition, and we know that we will not be alone,” spokesperson PJ Crowley told reporters. “Different countries will make up their own minds,” he added when pressed.

“We obviously strongly support the statement that was made by the Nobel committee in selecting Liu Xiaobo to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. We think it's well-deserved. We think there absolutely should be a ceremony. We think there absolutely should be recognition. We think that Mr. Liu and his wife should be there to be able to receive, you know, the award,” Crowley said.

When announcing this year's winner, The Norwegian Nobel Committee said that it chose Xiaobo as the 2010 Peace Prize recipient "for his long and non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights in China." The committee added, "The campaign to establish universal human rights also in China is being waged by many Chinese, both in China itself and abroad. Through the severe punishment meted out to him, Liu has become the foremost symbol of this wide-ranging struggle for human rights in China."

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio 

Wednesday
Dec082010

American Airlines Cancels All Flights to Haiti Amid Election Protests

Photo Courtesy -- Getty Images(PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti) – American Airlines has cancelled all flights between Port-au-Prince and the United States due to violence that has erupted over elections.

Thousands of protestors on Wednesday rampaged the city and ransacked offices of the ruling party, INITE, after its candidate, Jude Celestin, advanced to the second-round runoff. Chants of “Hang Celestin” can be heard throughout the city.

Michel “Sweet Mickey” Martelly did not make the second round, as he trailed Celestin by only 6,800 votes. It is believed that Martelly supporters set fire to an INITE office where guards allegedly shot protestors.

On Election Day, Martelly along with 11 other candidates called for an annulment of the vote over concerns of fraud.

Both the U.S. and the United Nations have questioned the election results.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio