World News

New Afghan President Tore Page Straight from Obama-Like Playbook

Zoonar/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The road to a new Afghan government has been paved with confusion over election results, accusations of fraud and the shape of a new unity coalition. But for newly inaugurated President Ashraf Ghani, his campaign strategy was just the opposite, largely mimicking those of successful Western politicians like President Obama, Ghani’s social media guru and longtime adviser said.“We did take cues from other campaigns; we studied up on them,” Hamdullah Mohib said in an interview with ABC News before Ghani’s victory was certified Sunday by a United Nations-supervised election audit.The exact vote tally is being withheld for now but, as of Monday, Ghani was officially the new president. During Mohib’s visit back in July, he shared some keys to his candidate’s victory, which bears a striking resemblance to those that netted Obama two terms in office.1. Keep it simple.Ghani’s background as an academic and technocrat meant he was used to speaking with high-level officials, not throngs of everyday Afghans. So he had to work on appealing to voters without speaking down to them. “His language is not as simple,” Mohib said. “He had to work on that to make sure he can simplify what he says so he can reach the masses.”Plus, not everyone in the country is literate. To make the balloting process simple, Ghani campaign workers passed out cards with symbols that would show them what to do, as in showing which box they would need to tick next to a picture of Ghani’s face. That was a lesson learned after a preliminary round of voting in which Ghani lost handily to Abdullah. “We had problems in the first round,” Mohib said.2. Network, network, network.Like successful U.S. campaigns, the Ghani team first targeted the support of influential voices within individual communities. In Afghanistan, those tend to be the leaders of mosques and, Mohib said, Ghani’s campaign won the coveted clerical vote. “The day before this election, in these provinces the imams told people it’s their civic duty to vote,” Mohib said.The campaign also used a robust social media presence (like Obama, Ghani signs his personal tweets with his initials -- “AG” -- and his team routinely live-posted about his campaign events) to reach better connected, more educated Afghans who, in turn, would sway their family members toward whom to support. “When we reach one influential, educated person who has access and can afford Internet in the country, [he] has influence over the rest of the family,” Mohib said. “It’s a conservative society where people go by what others say.”3. Keep that network.Like the Obama campaign, which converted its Obama for America campaign apparatus into “Organizing for Action,” a second-term organization that focused on implementing the president’s policies, the Ghani campaign wants to apply its Election Day(s) network to the business of governing. “We have a way for [Ghani] to know what’s happening and how [voters] feel” down to the tiniest village, Mohib said. “Once you build a network, you don’t let a network go.”Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);;js.src="";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Government Robots Will Decide If Your Thai Food Tastes Right

iStock/Thinkstock(BANGKOK) -- Pad Thai dishes don’t always taste the same. But they could from today onward.Thailand is unveiling two new robots that can evaluate whether Thai food around the world is made according to government-standardized recipes, according to a spokeswoman from the Thai National Innovation Agency (NIA), which was tasked by the Ministry of Science and Technology to promote Thai food."It is found that the flavors of Thai food in many standalone restaurants and in hotels abroad are deviated from the authentic ones," the NIA said in a written statement.To resolve the issue, the agency developed equipment to measure and analyze flavors of Thai food.Dr. Krit Chongsrid, who developed the robots, told ABC News the biggest challenge was syncing the taste analysis to the smell analysis."There is a 5 to 10 percent error probability," Chongsrid said.The first robot is called e-Delicious, according to a report provided by the NIA to ABC News.The machine, equivalent to a human food critic, is composed of an electronic nose made with 16 gas sensors and an electronic tongue made to detect sweet, sour, salty, bitter and umami (meat or savory) flavors.The second robot is called ESenS, according to the same report. It’s a smart application on Android, and is the size of a printer that uses micro-sensors to compare samples to an existing database of recipes.It took Chongsrid's team about a year to develop the two robots. He told ABC News the team hoped to develop at least 100 or more.So far, samples can be compared to 11 recipes approved by the Thai government and its “Thai Delicious Committee.”The recipes include Tom Yum Kung, Pad Thai, Mussaman Curry and Golek Chicken Sauce, according to the NIA. The agency is currently working on standardizing 10 more recipes.The NIA also launched an iPad and iPhone app called “Thai Delicious” for users to download recipes.Many university laboratories and nanotechnology companies around the world have joined the race to develop "taste robots."For example, Spanish researchers recently managed to distinguish between different varieties of beer using an “electronic tongue.” According to the journal Food Chemistry, the beer tasting technology is accurate in 82 percent of cases.Similarly, in Denmark, scientists have inaugurated a nano-sensor that evaluates a wine's quality by measuring its astringency. They've called it "mini-mouth."While Thailand’s goal to preserve its culinary reputation is understandable, questions remain on the government’s ability to market the new robots and make sure it is used properly -- or to get restaurants to use them at all.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);;js.src="";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Nigerian Ebola Hoax Results in Two Deaths

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Two people have died and at least 20 were hospitalized, all because of a social media prank urging Nigerians to drink excessive amounts of salt water to avoid catching the Ebola virus.The hoax started with a text message sent by a Nigerian student at the beginning of August, according to Edwin Ikhuoria, a development consultant for U2 frontman Bono’s ONE campaign who lives in Nigeria."Once the word was out, it spread like wildfire," Ikhuoria told ABC News.Within hours of the first text being sent, Ikhuoria said that everyone he knows had received the message multiple times on social media -- including the Minister of Health.The Nigerian newspaper Vanguard News reported two dead and 20 more hospitalized due to excessive consumption of salt water. The deceased were believed to have had high blood pressure, a condition that is especially sensitive to high salt intake."Please ensure that you and your family and all your neighbours bath with hot water and salt before daybreak today because of Ebola virus which is spreading through the air," the text said in part, according to Ikhuoria.The message also urged people to drink as much salt water as possible as protection against catching the deadly virus, which has killed nearly half of the more than 6,000 infected throughout West Africa.Symplur, a company that tracks health information trends on Twitter, said that Nigerians first began sending tweets using the words "Ebola," "salt water" and "drinking" starting on Aug. 4 with social network activity ramping up to a peak of about 450 tweets on the day of Aug. 8."People seem to [have been] woken up by friends and relatives in the early morning in order to drink and bathe with salt because the local town doc said you needed to do this before sunrise," said Thomas Lee, co-founder of Symplur, noting that much of the activity took place overnight.And then, just as quickly as the rumors proliferated, they were quashed.Ikhuria said as soon as the government got wind of the hoax, it immediately began its own campaign using both traditional and social media to reiterate the fact that there is no vaccine or cure for the virus."Other people also amplified the message from the ministry and it was all over," he said.By Aug. 10, there were almost no tweets mentioning the bogus treatment, Symplur data revealed."The power of social media to rapidly spread information, both accurate and inaccurate, is enormous, and nowhere is that more impactful than on topics related to our health," said Lee.According to Informa Telecoms, nearly 70 percent of the Nigerian population owns a cell phone, a typical onramp to popular social media platforms such as texting, Twitter and Facebook. The ability to mobilize information quickly through social channels has contributed to an effective campaign against the Ebola virus in that country, Lee speculated.Nigeria had only 17 confirmed cases of Ebola and there are currently no new cases, the Nigerian Health Ministry reports. Nearby Sierra Leone, where under 2 percent of the population uses the Internet, has seen nearly 2,000 Ebola cases, according to the World Health Organization.Toheeb Ojulari, a Nigerian blogger who also received the salt water tweets, said that when the prankster realized what she had done, she immediately took to social media again to apologize."All efforts to tell people that I was the one who started the joke failed," reads the message Ojulari and thousands of other Nigerians reposted. "Even my mum [called] me this morning, I did not know what to tell her."Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);;js.src="";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Hong Kong Protests Grow Over Demands for Reforms

PHILIPPE LOPEZ/AFP/Getty Images(HONG KONG) -- The pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong is showing no signs of receding as demonstrators continued filling the streets Tuesday to protest Beijing's attempt at quashing reforms.At issue is mainland China's determination to run its own candidate in Hong Kong's 2017 leadership election with most in the financial hub of seven million demanding open nominations.Up to now, Chinese soldiers have not intervened as demonstrators are condemning what they say are heavy-handed tactics by police that include tear gas and billy clubs.Massive protests are rare in Hong Kong, which returned to Chinese rule in 1997. However, fears are growing that Beijing is increasingly trying to wield more influence in what has long been an autonomous city.If Beijing doesn't respond by Wednesday, leaders for reform say they will announce new civil disobedience rules.Meanwhile in Washington, White House press secretary Josh Earnest urged Chinese authorities to "exercise restraint," adding, "The United States supports universal suffrage in Hong Kong" and residents should have "a genuine choice of candidates."Follow @ABCNewsRadio!function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);;js.src="";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

US Doing 'Everything Possible' to Avoid Civilian Deaths in Airstrikes

Hope Milam/iStockphoto/Thinkstock(BAGHDAD) -- The Pentagon was unable to corroborate reports of civilian casualties caused by U.S. and coalition airstrikes in Syria.According to Pentagon spokesperson Col. Steve Warren, the U.S. and partner nations are doing "everything possible to mitigate the risk to civilians." Still, when reports of civilian deaths come out, "we'll certainly look into them," he said.Air Force Deputy Director of Operation Maj. Gen. Jeffrey Harrigan spoke to reporters Monday to discuss the role the U.S. Air Force has had in the airstrikes in Iraq and Syria. He noted that 74 percent of those missions in Iraq and 50 percent in Syria have been conducted by the U.S. Air Force. In total, the U.S. and coalition forces have conducted 224 strikes in Iraq and 66 in Syria.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);;js.src="";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs"); Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

University of Hong Kong Condemns Violence at Protests, US Not Taking Sides

Photo by Paula Bronstein/Getty Images(HONG KONG) -- The University of Hong Kong issued a statement on Monday condemning violence that occurred at protests between police and citizens."The University of Hong Kong profoundly regrets the escalation of events in recent days," the statement said. "We condemn violence of any kind by any party. We cannot understand the use of tear gas yesterday: the police and the government are accountable for that decision."The school also implicitly allowed students and staff to participate in peaceful pro-democracy protests, saying that they "will be flexible and reasonable in understanding the actions of students and staff who wish to express their strongly-held views."The U.S. consulate general in Hong Kong said on Monday that it wouldn't take sides in the ongoing protests.In a statement, the consulate general said that the U.S. "strongly supports Hong Kong's well-established traditions and Basic Law protections of internationally recognized fundamental freedoms." As such, the U.S. will not offer its support to either side of the debate, "nor do we support any particular individuals or groups involved in it."The consulate general did say, however, that it would urge "all sides to refrain from actions that would further escalate tensions, to exercise restraint, and to express a peaceful manner."Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);;js.src="";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs"); Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Pentagon's Field Hospital Arrives in Liberia to Help with Ebola Outbreak

U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Kelly Goonan(WASHINGTON) -- A U.S. military 25-bed field deployable hospital arrived in Monrovia, Liberia, this weekend, three weeks after the Pentagon announced plans to send the hospital there to help with the Ebola outbreak.Pentagon spokesman Col. Steve Warren said on Monday the hospital was shipped to the African country aboard three C-17’s. Additional military personnel also arrived in Liberia this weekend, pushing the total up to 150. The extra 40 personnel who arrived include 34 who will set up the hospital and six who will set up a mobile lab. The plan all along has been that military personnel will set up the facility but not staff it or treat Ebola patients.The hospital, which is intended to be used to treat health care workers who become infected with Ebola, is expected to be up and running in mid-October.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);;js.src="";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Netanyahu Stresses Iran's Nuclear Capabilities Must Be Dismantled

Uriel Sinai/Getty images(NEW YORK) -- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday said "the world's hopes for peace are in danger" because of Iran's nuclear weapons program. "Iran, the world's most dangerous regime, in the world's most dangerous region, would obtain the world's most dangerous weapons. Allowing that to happen would pose the gravest threat to us all," Netanyahu said, addressing the United Nations General Assembly.He said Iran must not be allowed to acquire the ability to make atomic bombs."Iran's nuclear military capabilities must be fully dismantled," the prime minister stressed.While he acknowledged "ISIS must be defeated," Netanyahu said having Iran as a nuclear power would be a graver threat than the militant group."[T]o defeat ISIS and leave Iran as a threshold nuclear power is to win the battle and lose the war," he said.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);;js.src="";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

US Mission in Yemen Has 'Had Success' Despite Weekend RPG Attack

Jon Gorr/iStockphoto/Thinkstock(SANA'A, Yemen) -- State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki said on Monday that even though an al-Qaeda splinter group fired a rocket-propelled grenade near the U.S. embassy in Yemen over the weekend, the American mission there is still "successfully" fighting back against terrorism there."We still believe that we've had success, and of course going after core al-Qaeda and the elements that have been in Yemen," Psaki said. "It doesn't mean that there's not more concerns about security and stability that we need to continue to address." The attack came just days after the U.S. moved much of its staff from the Sana'a embassy.Ansar al-Sharia, a group affiliated with al-Qaeda, claimed responsibility for the attack.A State Department official told ABC News on Monday that no U.S. personnel were harmed in the attack. Psaki noted that the attack was not targeted at the embassy, and that it simply occurred nearby.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);;js.src="";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs"); Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Battle of Kobane: ISIS, Kurdish Fighters Battle Along Turkey-Syria Border

iStock/ThinkstockREPORTER'S NOTEBOOK By ABC News' Terry Moran(KOBANE, Syria) -- It was another surreal day on the hills overlooking the Syrian border, watching the battle for city of Kobane, inside Syria.ISIS is tightening its grip here. Kobane is a Kurdish city and it is nearly surrounded. Tens of thousands of residents have fled across the border, and the Kurdish defenders left behind seem both outgunned and outmanned.But they are tough. And this place is their home.This morning, ISIS fighters shelled the city. It was very strange and very sad to stand on a hill less than a mile away and watch the shells fall on the downtown streets and into the neighborhoods of the city. There is no targeting, no military objective here; ISIS is just raining fire on civilians.This whole campaign -- now more than a month old -- has shown again how ruthless and efficient is the ISIS playbook for taking territory.First, a lightning advance seizes roads, villages and key points and shapes the coming battle. Then, ISIS forces move forward slowly and engage on the ground, probing the defenses, looking for opportunities to advance further. Next come the bombardment and that is followed by the final assault -- and the slaughter.In the past few days, the city's Kurdish defenders have finally gotten some help. The U.S. and it's allies have carried out air strikes against ISIS -- apparently targeting ISIS positions and supply lines. In fact, we saw what seemed to be several air strikes to the west of the city today. Kobane's defenders say these strikes have not stopped the jihadist advance.Perhaps that is because ISIS may be getting some help here, too, from Turkey.Turkey has long been concerned about Kurdish separatists in its southeastern provinces and their allies across the border in Syria -- in Kobane. There were reports earlier this year of arms shipments from Turkey crossing the border into ISIS-controlled Syria. The Turkish government called these shipments "humanitarian aid" -- and slapped a court order banning any further press coverage of the issue.The politics are murky. But the progress of the battle is clear.A few miles west along the border, we watched the Kurdish defenders of Kobane try to hold a key approach to the city. As night fell, the ISIS fighters moved forward, trying to flank the Kurdish positions. The fighting grew fierce, as the crack-and-thump of tracer rounds, the thud of mortar fire and the increasingly desperate snapping and pinging of small-arms exchanges filled the narrow valley. The jihadist fighters just kept pushing ahead.In the gathering darkness, we could hear the wind carry across the barren hills chorus after chorus of their ancient, piercing cry: "Allahu Akbar! Allahu Akbar!"Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);;js.src="";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

US, Partners Launch 11 Airstrikes Against ISIS in Syria and Iraq

Stocktrek Images/Thinkstock(TAMPA, Fla.) -- The U.S. military, with the help of partner nations, conducted 11 new airstrikes against Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) targets in Iraq and Syria, U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) said Monday.Eight of the strikes were conducted throughout Syria on Sunday and Monday. According to CENTCOM, two near Dayr ar Zawr destroyed an ISIS armed vehicle and anti-aircraft artillery transport vehicle; two near Aleppo targeted a compound and an ISIS-held airfield; two were conducted on compounds near Ar Raqqah; and two more struck a training camp and vehicles near Manbij.Fighter and remotely piloted aircraft from the U.S. Air Force, United Arab Emirates and Jordan participated in these eight strikes and all managed to exit the areas safely.In Iraq, the U.S. military destroyed two ISIS vehicles near Kirkuk in one strike and two armed vehicles near Sinjar in another. CENTCOM said a third strike against an armed vehicle in the northwestern part of the country was unsuccessful.The attack and remotely piloted aircraft used in these attacks, which were carried out on Sunday and Monday, also managed to exit the areas safely.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);;js.src="";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Ashraf Ghani Sworn in as New Afghan President

Haroon Sabawoon/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images(KABUL, Afghanistan) -- Afghanistan swore in its newly elected president on Monday, marking the first peaceful transition of power since the fall of the Taliban.Wearing a traditional Afghan turban, Ashraf Ghani took the oath of office inside the presidential palace. The inauguration was attended by more than 1,000 local and international delegates and was kicked off by outgoing President Hamid Karzai, who thanked the international community for its support over the past 13 years.Ghani is a technocrat who was educated in the United States. He inherits a Taliban insurgency that's growing and an economy rife with corruption that's almost entirely dependent on foreign aid. For his part, the new president says he'll tackle those problems head on and quickly sign a new military deal allowing foreign troops to stay in the country.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);;js.src="";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Why Hong Kong Residents Are Taking to the Streets

Alex Ogle/AFP/Getty Image(HONG KONG) -- Hong Kong police on Sunday night fired tear gas into a rowdy but largely peaceful crowd of pro-democracy protesters, which seemingly ballooned and spread across the city only after the moment the tear gas was released from its shell.The crowds -- for which there were no official numbers, although activist groups were estimating them to be in the tens of thousands -- effectively brought parts of the international financial hub to a virtual standstill for the second straight day Monday.The student protests and the Occupy Central movement were initially about electoral reforms. Beijing said in August that it would allow Hong Kong to elect its own leader if the candidates were pre-screened and friendly to Beijing. That did not sit well with some of the electorate.When the Hong Kong government and its police force decided to respond to protesters with force, some locals who did not initially support the week-long student protest or the plan to disrupt Hong Kong’s financial district seemed to galvanize behind the two movements. A new movement and hashtag arose from the tear gas: the #UmbrellaRevolution, named after the accessory of choice the protesters chose to defend themselves.In the brief, unexpected violence, moderate Hong Kong residents may see a future that resembled any other mainland Chinese city, where dissent is removed by a show of force.‘Hong Kong Exceptionalism’Hong Kong, a self-governed southern Chinese territory, prides itself on its freedom of speech and assembly -- a freedom its cousins in mainland China do not share.There lies the heart of the issue: Call it “Hong Kong exceptionalism,” or, at least, the perception of it -- because, after all, Hong Kong is part of China. It was this “Hong Kong identity” that people seemed to be flooding into the streets to defend.When Hong Kong was handed back over to China from British colonial hands in 1997, the former colony was promised eventual “full democracy” under a “one country, two systems”-type of governance. Authorities also guaranteed the Hong Kong way of life would be preserved until at least 2047.Despite its freedoms,  full democracy and universal suffrage was something that Hong Kong never enjoyed as a British crown colony and something no Chinese citizen had on the mainland.Seventeen years on, pro-democracy activists believe China is reneging on its promise.Public opinion in Hong Kong is divided. Many residents remain politically conservative and opt for stability above all else.Cantonese Worry About Mandarin-izationDespite that, relations between Hong Kong and the mainland are at their frostiest since the 1997. Hong Kong has flourished as an international financial hub since the handover but the mostly Cantonese-speaking population is also going through an identity crisis. Their idea of “Hong Kong exceptionalism” is under threat.Some Hong Kong residents are feeling squeezed out of opportunities by what they believe is a “Mandarin-ization” of the Hong Kong economy, where the highest wages are going to Mandarin-speakers with extensive mainland Chinese connections, creating an increasing wealth gap. They also believe wealthy business elites are pandering to the Chinese government in order to access the mainland market at the expense of everyday Hong Kong residents.Changing DemographicsIn 1984, when it was decided Hong Kong would return to China, the city of Shenzhen, which sits on Hong Kong’s border with the mainland, had roughly 200,000 residents. Shenzhen is now dwarfs Hong Kong’s 7.2 million residents as megacity of 15 million people.The influx of mainland Chinese investors and tourists into Hong Kong have also raised property prices and a strain on some consumer goods.When the Hong Kong police, held up as heroes in local films and on TV, fired tear gas at its own people, some may not have recognized the city they called home.The New York Times quoted a recent university graduate Steve Lee in the thick of the tear gas saying, “Hong Kong has gone crazy. It is no longer the Hong Kong I know, or the world knows.”Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);;js.src="";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio 

Has the Luster Worn Off Kate Middleton?

Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Kate Middleton, otherwise known as Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, is among the most admired women in the world.However, when polled in a survey by Newsweek Europe, it appears that virtually all the women of Britain are comfortable in their own skin when asked if they wished they could be Kate.Just one percent said they would while 89 percent of the female respondents admitted they wouldn't want to be the 32-year-old duchess even for a single day.Perhaps even more incredibly, just six percent of the men polled in England, Scotland and Wales said they'd like to be married to Kate while six percent wanted to date her.And while news of Kate's second pregnancy made international headlines, just two percent of those surveyed cited it as the most important story of the day.About 2,100 people responded to the survey.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);;js.src="";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Two Killed in Monster Truck Accident in Netherlands

Tracy Fox/iStockphoto/Thinkstock(AMSTERDAM) -- A monster truck crashed into the crowd during a show on Sunday in the Netherlands, killing two and injuring at least 10 more.Police confirmed the two deaths, but said that they were not certain of how many people were injured. It wasn't immediately clear what caused the truck to careen into the stands.The injured onlookers have been taken to local hospitals in unknown condition. Police are expected to hold a press conference later on Sunday.Follow @ABCNewsRadio!function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);;js.src="";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Cops Outnumber Marchers in Belgrade Gay Pride Parade

Photo by Medin Halilovic/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images(BELGRADE, Serbia) -- Some things are the same at gay pride parades everywhere -- rainbow flags, colorful balloons, music pumping from the sound systems, everyone singing and dancing. In Belgrade, though, the parade on Sunday had an unusual accompaniment.Thousands of Serbian police officers in full gear with water cannons and armored personnel carriers sealed off capital's sunny downtown, in a reminder that Belgrade is not quite San Francisco, London or Amsterdam when it comes to gay demonstrations.Several hundred gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transsexuals not only from Serbia but from across the former Yugoslavia, as well as from Italy, Greece, Germany and Canada marched their way trough practically empty streets of Belgrade, for the first time since 2010, calling for greater tolerance, equal rights and the right to civil partnerships.The event, a culmination of Pride 2014, a week-long festival of parties, films and debates, showed Belgrade to be a place where gays and lesbians aspire the level of acceptance found in the West, yet remain a part of Christian Orthodox society that is still generally opposed to homosexuality and where politicians do not seem ready or willing to change that.Although there were only several hundred participants, the parade is most likely the largest gathering of its kind in Serbian history, where the event was banned for the last three consecutive years because of threats of violence.In 2010, the event went forward in Belgrade but opponents attacked armed police with stones and Molotov cocktails, shouting "Death to homosexuals!" Police clashes with rioters trying to disrupt the parade left more than 140 people injured, most of them policemen.For most part, the parade went smoothly, but many gay men and lesbians say they continue to fear repercussions from coming out of the closet."I lived in Amsterdam, there and here are two different worlds," says Ana, a sociologist from Nis.About 5,000 police officers were there to control the crowd, five policemen for every participant of the march. A Greek man, who said he was there to show his support, remarked that he had never seen so much security at a gay pride parade in his life."Maybe next year this ratio will change," U.S. Ambassador to Serbia Michael Kirby said as he walked in parade. "It takes time, but hopefully, this will become a new normal."In Belgrade, local media live-streamed the day's events and one of the city's iconic landmarks, Albania Palace, turned on its rainbow lights to mark Pride 2014.There were several high-profile ministers and a mayor of Belgrade marching, but even if the ruling parties wanted to send gay legislators to join the march, they couldn't have -- not even one member of Serbian Parliament is openly homosexual.It's probably the law of paradox that says that the country to provide the hub for sex-change surgery is Serbia. And transgender surgery is subsidized by Serbia's national health insurance.Ivan Djuric, one of the organizers of the Pride, says he sees improvement not just in Belgrade but also outside of the capital in more conservative corners of Serbia."Every year there are fewer negative reactions," Djuric said. "People see that the gay clubs are more friendly, that these are the places where there are no fights and you can have fun."Visitors from abroad said they've come specifically because they've heard the situation for gays in Serbia was bad."I wouldn't go on a gay pride march in Brussels," a man from Italy who identified himself only as Lorenzzo. "But we've been having a great time here."Follow @ABCNewsRadio!function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);;js.src="";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

At Least 30 Believed Dead Near Peak of Japanese Volcano

seiiiiico/iStockphoto/Thinkstock(TOKYO) -- At least 30 people are believed dead near the peak of Mount Ontake in Japan.Thirty lifeless bodies were found high up on the volcano after its Saturday eruption. Fire and Disaster Management Agency officials believe as many as 250 people may have been on the volcano at the time, but that most made it down safely. Japan's national public broadcasting organization NHK reports that officials had been working to confirm the whereabouts of approximately 45 people.The eruption is the first in seven years. The Japan meteorological agency warned hikers to stay away, issuing a level three out of five warning.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);;js.src="";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs"); Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Several Injured in Volcano Eruption in Japan

iStock/Thinkstock(TOKYO) -- A volcano erupted in central Japan early Saturday morning, forcing climbers and workers to flee.In its first eruption in seven years, Mt. Ontake sent a plume of ash nearly two miles into the sky, diverting planes from local airports. The 10,000-foot Mount Ontake is on the border of Nagano and Gifu prefectures.At least 40 people were injured, NHK reports. More than 200 hikers were stranded, but most have made their way down the mountain.The Japan meteorological agency has warned hikers to stay away, issuing a level 3 out of 5 warning, which places a "do not approach" notice on the mountain. Agencies are also forecasting further eruptions and hikers in a 2.5 mile radius have been warned of falling debris.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);;js.src="";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

British Parliament Approves Airstrikes Against ISIS

Hemera/Thinkstock(LONDON) -- The British Parliament has voted to join the coalition against ISIS.By an overwhelming majority, members of Parliament on Friday approved airstrikes against the militant group.Prior to the vote, the British had backed off from joining airstrikes against ISIS targets in Iraq. They were also not part of the multi-nation effort earlier this week to attack the group inside Syria.British Prime Minister David Cameron, who recalled Parliament for the session Friday, had urged members that they "should not turn away from what needs to be done."He stressed that any British involvement would not entail ground troops.Earlier this month, ISIS executed British aid worker David Haines and has threatened to kill another national in its custody.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);;js.src="";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Muslims Use #MuslimApologies Hashtag on Twitter to Respond to Stereotypes

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- As terrorist groups like ISIS grew in notoriety over the past few weeks with acts of violence, Muslims worldwide took to Twitter and other social media to remind the world that ISIS did not represent them or their religion.But now many young Muslims, tired of having to defend themselves and their religion whenever violence flares up in the Middle East, have begun venting their frustrations online with the hashtag "#MuslimApologies."The Twitter campaign combines references to Muslim civilization's contributions to philosophy and science with absurdist jokes meant to highlight the frustration felt by many young Muslims at having to prove, again and again, that Islamist groups do not speak for them. All labeled, of course, with the tongue-in-cheek hashtag "#MuslimApologies."One person wrote, "I'm sorry for inventing surgery, coffee, universities, algebra, hospitals, toothbrushes, vaccinations, numbers, & the sort #MuslimApologies."Another wrote, "Sorry that it was a Muslim woman who established the world's first university. #MuslimApologies."Hamdan Azhar, founder of the Muslim Writers Collective, told ABC News that this campaign was a great way for Muslims to speak out. "The imperative is on us as young Muslims to go from a position of apology to one of positivity," he said. "We should be able to say, 'This is who we are. These are our contributions.'""It's offensive that 13 years [after 9/11] we're still asked to explain ourselves or say sorry for things other people are doing," he said.#MuslimApologies is not the first hashtag Internet-savvy Muslims have used to speak out against stereotyping and Islamophobia. Earlier this month, a British organization led the "#NotInMyName" campaign, designed to counter ISIS' messages. "Let your voice be heard rejecting the ideology of hate," the campaign's website reads. "Tell ISIS that they can't murder in your name."But many young Muslims online pointed out that it was an unfair for them to have to constantly prove that extremist groups like ISIS or al Qaeda did not represent them. The sarcastic "#MuslimApologies" hashtag campaign grew out of that frustration."I think it's really incredible," Haris Durrani, a former board member of Columbia University's Muslim Students Association, told ABC News. "It's honestly funny. You can point to a lot of different things and say that that negative stereotype of Muslims is wrong."Durrani is the founder of "The Muslim Protagonist," an annual conference discussing the portrayal of Muslim characters and figures in fiction, film and the media. "You see the power of social media to create change, and this is an agent of social change," he said.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);;js.src="";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Answers to Five Simple Questions About the Syria Strikes

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The airstrikes by the U.S. and its allies against ISIS in war-torn Syria leave many questions to be answered. ABC News contributor Steve Ganyard, a former deputy assistant secretary of state and a retired Marine Corps colonel, answers five of these questions:1. This week the U.S. has been conducting airstrikes against ISIS targets inside Syria. What do we know about what has been targeted? Are the targets concentrated in one area inside Syria?"As the week goes on there seem to more targets being hit in Iraq than in Syria. The targets inside Syria are in the north and east of the country, the areas held by ISIS, especially around the city of Raqqua. The types of targets seem to be pieces of military equipment such as tanks."2. What was the goal of these strikes? Do we know if they are working?"The goal of the strikes in Syria is to degrade ISIS's conventional military capability so that they cannot threaten Iraq. We can track the amount of military equipment that is destroyed as a way to estimate ISIS’s military capabilities."3. The situation in Syria is complicated. ISIS is both an enemy of the U.S. and the Syrian regime, which the U.S. does not support to say the least. In fact President Obama has called for Bashar al-Assad to step down and thought airstrikes against the regime were in order following alleged chemical weapons attacks. So does the U.S. targeting ISIS inside Syria actually help the Syrian regime?"The unintended consequence of striking at ISIS in Syria is that it will decrease pressure on Assad. The president has made the decision that degrading ISIS's ability to threaten Iraq is more important at this point. The administration hopes, however, that more moderate groups opposing Assad will be strengthened by the weakening of ISIS."4. The U.S. also targeted the "Khorasan Group" right? What was our goal there?"It's important to make the distinction between Khorasan and ISIS. Khorasan is a terrorist group, an offshoot of al Qaeda, that was plotting attacks against the West. The intelligence community has been tracking this new group for a few months and was concerned that press reports about their existence would drive Khorasan underground, making them more difficult to attack. Their cell is in Syria and so the decision was made to attack Khorasan at the same time as ISIS. But the two groups, while both Islamists, have very different goals, structures and intent."5. So, what is the endgame here? How long should we expect these strikes inside Syria to continue?"There is no foreseeable endgame. That said, as ISIS's military capability is degraded over time, the number of strikes in Syria will decrease. But in Iraq it will be up to the Iraqi ground forces to eject ISIS. U.S. airpower will assist the Iraqis but the president has made it clear that he has no intention of putting U.S. ground forces back into Iraq."Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);;js.src="";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

US Airstrikes Hit ISIS in Iraq and Syria

Department of Defense/YouTube(WASHINGTON) -- The U.S. military continued airstrikes against ISIS in Iraq and Syria, conducting 10 since Thursday in the two countries, according to U.S. Central Command.Airstrikes in Syria began earlier this week, as coalition warplanes have targeted ISIS' lucrative oil production facilities.ISIS is said to be one of the most well-funded terrorist groups ever because it is generating its own funds through the illicit sale of oil from seized oil fields inside Syria.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);;js.src="";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Russia Warns Facebook, Twitter, Google to Register with Government

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(MOSCOW) -- Russia is taking aim at top American social media sites.Facebook, Twitter and Google have been warned that they must register with the government, or face fines and eventually be banned in Russia. Registration would require they store six months of data on Russian servers, where, of course, the security services will have full access. The move appears to be the latest attempt by the Kremlin to control information and monitor communications -- a trend that has only accelerated in recent months. State-owned newspaper Izvestia reports Facebook, Twitter and Google are all prepared to comply with Russia's demands.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);;js.src="";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Canadian Postal Worker's Apology for Non-Delivery: 'Bear at Door'

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Postal workers typically take the blame, and the fury, when a package is not delivered on time, but no one is blaming one postal worker in Canada for failing to make the appointed rounds.The Canada Post employee checked "Other" on the package slip to explain why the package was not delivered Monday and then left a note, writing, "Bear at the door."The package slip was left at the mailbox of Vancouver resident Matthew Fane, who tweeted a photo of it Wednesday. Ok, fair enough @canadapostcorp that’s a decent reason to not drop the package off at my door.— M Fane (@IamFane) September 24, 2014 Two days later, Fane also tweeted a photo of the bear that he says was taken by the postal worker. The story checks out (photo via @DerpinaLolwut) #MeanwhileInCanada— M Fane (@IamFane) September 25, 2014 Fane seemed to take the delayed package delivery in stride, humorously using the hashtags #bearmail and #MeanwhileinCanada with his tweets."A black bear is very common," Fane told ABC News Friday. "They don't really bug anyone, as long as you don't bug them.""So, no, it wasn't a big deal to us in our area at all, just funny," he said.Fane was able to pick up his package Tuesday night at a postal delivery station near his home.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);;js.src="";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Connecticut Girl Helps Kenyan Girl Stay in School

ABC News(BETHEL, Conn.) -- In June, 14-year-old Lily Daniels made a 7,286-mile trek from her home in Bethel, Connecticut, to Enkijape, Kenya.Lily was eager to make a difference outside of her community, so she partnered with Big Life Foundation, a conservation group in East Africa, to raise funds to sponsor 15-year-old Sein Lepayon’s tuition and rebuild desks and bring supplies to Sein’s school.“On my birthday, instead of asking for gifts…my mom and I asked that my friends bring money that I could bring to the school that we would use for supplies,” Lily said in an interview with ABC's Good Morning America.In total, Lily raised $370 -- enough for two years’ worth of tuition for Sein. It allowed Sein to avoid being sold into an arranged marriage to a far older man.Lily went to Kenya with her aunt and uncle, and, on the final day of her trip, she was able to meet the Sein. Lily described the meeting as “a life-changing experience.”The two girls hugged and held hands.“Her grandmother gave me a hug and her grandmother was crying, and gave me the necklace and it was just really…amazing,” Lily recalled, adding: “I did make a difference in her life."As for Sein, who has just started school, she told ABC News that she’s grateful to have a brighter future and the chance to use her education to become a leader in her community.Lily says her friendship with Sein will continue through emails and letters, and she hopes to inspire others to take action.Back home, Lily said her friends and family are thinking about how they can help other children with money for supplies and other needs.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);;js.src="";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

UK Counterterrorism Police Arrest Two More Men in London

iStock/Thinkstock(LONDON) -- Police in London arrested two more men Friday as part of ongoing investigations into "Islamist related terrorism."The two men are in addition to nine others arrested Thursday, the city's Metropolitan Police Service said in a statement.All but one of the men are accused of being members of a banned group and encouraging terrorism. The eleventh man was arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender, police said.Anjem Choudary, a former leader of a banned radical group called al-Muhajiroun, was among the nine arrested Thursday, reported British media, but that wasn't confirmed by police.Several homes and businesses in London were also being searched as part of the investigations, police said.The statement issued Friday reiterated that the arrests and searches "are not in response to any immediate public safety risk."Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);;js.src="";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio