World News

What We Know About the Latest Deaths in European Migrant Crisis


Antonio Melita/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Hundreds of people are feared dead off the coast of Libya in the latest shipwreck of migrants desperately trying to cross the Mediterranean to reach Europe.“We are still waiting for more details, but we have learned there were 400 migrants on one of two boats; 100 have already been rescued," the International Organization for Migration's (IOM) Chief of Mission for Libya, Othman Belbeisi, said in a news release Friday.At least 100 bodies were taken to a hospital in Libya, the IOM said.Libyan authorities "are expecting to receive another 150 survivors Friday. The rest of the people are still missing in the sea," Belbeisi said.Here is what you need to know about the latest victims in the ongoing European migrant crisis:Who are they?Of the 100 people already saved, nine were women and two were girls, Belbeisi said.The bodies recovered included five children, ages between 1 and 3, according to the IOM.Where are they from?The IOM said, "according to media reports from Libya, victims included migrants from Syria, Bangladesh and several sub-Saharan African countries, although he explained the information could not be independently verified."Zuwara, on the coast of Libya, is a major launch pad for the thousands of people fleeing poverty and persecution. Zuwara's coastline spans 120 kilometers.Why are more people dying overall?"Smugglers are becoming increasingly violent and cruel," Federico Soda, director of IOM’s Coordinating Office for the Mediterranean in Rome, said in a release by IOM. "Migrants are forced to stay in the hold, where they asphyxiate."Migrants in the Mediterranean, by the numbers:This was just the latest in many unsuccessful attempts for migrants trying to cross the Mediterranean in hopes of reaching Europe.This year so far, about 2,432 migrants have died while traveling to Europe, according to IOM.Migrant deaths in the Mediterranean region account for about 72 percent of global migrant deaths so far in 2015, according to the Missing Migrants Project.ABC News Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

American's First Thought During Train Attack Was 'Just Trying Not to Die'


Aurelien Meunier/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- U.S. serviceman Alek Skarlatos, who helped stop a gunman on a Paris-bound train last week, said his first thought was "just trying not to die."Recalling on ABC News' Good Morning America Friday what ran though his mind when he first saw the gunman and realized his life was in danger, Skarlatos said, "I immediately recognized what was happening, and I just thought, ‘There is just no way. There is no way this is happening right now.’”"Then we just acted, and I didn’t have another conscious thought for the next two minutes,” he continued.Skarlatos, 22, an Army National Guardsman assigned to an infantry unit in Roseburg, Oregon, was on vacation in Europe with his friends after a tour in Afghanistan. Skarlatos, Airman 1st Class Spencer Stone, 23, of Carmichael, California, and Anthony Sadler, 23, a senior at Sacramento State University in California, were among the train passengers last Friday when they helped stop a man armed with guns and a box cutter who had started firing.Skarlatos said as he, Salder, Stone and British businessman Chris Norman worked together to subdue the gunman, "Everybody behind the terrorist just ran back about two or three cars. And then everybody in our train car either helped out in some way or just kind of sat there in shock."Skarlatos described his initial decision to jump in and help as a "gut reaction,” noting that his military training didn't kick in until later."We were just acting on adrenaline and doing what we had to do to survive," he said. "Once we were able to think again, that was kind of when training kicked in, but before that, we were just trying not to die.”After the train was stopped and the gunman was in custody, he said the magnitude of the event still hadn't hit him."I thought they would just question us and then put us on the next train to Paris," Skarlatos said. "I didn’t think it was going to be this big at all."And when Skarlatos finally returned to the United States this week, he was shocked to see law enforcement officers at the airport lining up to shake his hand."I was so grateful to everybody that showed up for that. That was just amazing," he said. "That many law enforcement officers showing up ... it meant a lot to me."While Skarlatos and Sadler escaped the attack without injury, their friend Stone underwent surgery to reattach his thumb after the gunman slashed him with the box cutter. Stone was released from a French hospital then taken to Germany for further medical treatment."He’s still stuck in Ramstein, but he’s doing great," Skarlatos said on Friday of Stone. "He's in high spirits. He just couldn’t be here today, unfortunately."Skarlatos doesn't know what's next for him, but said, "I’m probably going to go back to Germany and hang out with Spencer."Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Former Archbishop Accused of Sexual Abuse Dies Awaiting Trial


ERIKA SANTELICES/AFP/Getty Images(ROME) -- The first Vatican official set to stand trial for sex abuse died in Rome Friday. Disgraced former Archbishop Josef Wesolowski was a high-ranking Vatican diplomat accused of paying young boys for sex in the Dominican Republic, where he was ambassador for five years. His trial inside the Vatican was set to begin earlier this summer but was postponed at the last minute when he became ill. He was to be tried under a new court system, set up by Pope Francis for Vatican sex offenders.Wesolowski was recalled to Rome more than two years ago after authorities began investigating the Polish priest for allegedly picking up shoeshine boys and handing them stacks of cash to perform sex acts on him.After a year of living in Rome, the Vatican moved to defrock him. During that time, Wesolowski used his computer to access child pornography. He was facing charges for that, as well.Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Hundreds Feared Dead After Two Boats Capsize Off Libyan Coast


iStock/Thinkstock(ROME) -- Hundreds are feared dead after a pair of boats carrying people fleeing conflict and poverty capsized near Libya. Libyan officials have been working around the clock trying to find survivors of two boats that sank off the coast of Libya Thursday night. One carrying 50 people capsized first, then later, another with 400 passengers.Rescuers report the bodies retrieved so far are of people from Syria, Bangladesh and African countries. They were hoping to make it to the safety of Italy.The capsizes occurred as coffins of 52 people arrived in Palermo, Italy. They died of asphyxiation in the hold of a migrant boat earlier this week.So far, about 2,500 people have died trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea this year.Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Buzz Aldrin's Master Plan for Colonizing Mars


Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Leave it to Buzz Aldrin to come up with a grand plan for colonizing Mars.Aldrin, 85, who was the second person to walk on the moon in 1969, is teaming up with the Florida Institute of Technology to create an actionable plan for getting humans to Mars in the next quarter century.Mars is located approximately 140 million miles away from Earth, which translates to about nine months of space travel to get to the Red Planet.While some initiatives like the private Mars One bill the possible trip as a one-way mission, Aldrin said he believes humans could go on 10-year tours of duty with the intent of returning to Earth.Part of the plan, which Aldrin has dubbed "Cycling Pathways to Occupy Mars," involves Phobos and Deimos, Mars' two moon. The idea is the moons could serve as first stops for astronauts before reaching humans finally reach the Red Planet.Aldrin said he hopes NASA will be interested in his plan and also intends to ask for international feedback.Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Tropical Storm Erika Hits Caribbean, 4 Dead


NOAA NWS National Hurricane Center(MIAMI) -- Another powerful storm is churning in the Caribbean.Tropical Storm Erika arrives in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands Thursday night and it may threaten Florida's Atlantic coast as soon as Monday.So far, the storm's 12 inches of rain over the Island of Dominica caused floods and mudslides that led to the deaths of four people.Will Erika become a hurricane?To be considered a Category 1 hurricane, the storm's maximum sustained winds have to hit at least 74 mph. The National Hurricane Center says Tropical Storm Erika's winds are at 45 mph with no projected significant change during the coming days.However, the National Hurricane Center cites "unusually high uncertainty" in the intensity of the forecast over the next few days.According to the National Hurricane Center, there is a Tropical Storm Warning in effect for Anguilla, Saba, St. Eustatius, St. Maarten, Montserrat, Antigua, Barbuda, St. Kitts, Nevis, St. Martin, St. Barthelemy, Puerto Rico, Vieques, Culebra, the U.S. and British Virgin Islands, and the north coast of the Dominican Republic from Cabo Engano to the border of Haiti.There is a Tropical Storm Watch in effect for Guadeloupe, the Southeast Bahamas, and the Truks and Caicos Islands, said the National Hurricane Center.Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Calgary's Air Quality Affected by Washington State Wildfires


iStock/Thinkstock(CALGARY, Canada) -- The air quality in one Canadian city may be similar to Shanghai's.Because of wildfires burning in Washington State, those living in Calgary can smell, see, and taste the smoky air.One resident, Nolan Hill, says he's especially affected because of his asthma. He said "even climbing up a little bit of an incline...I have to go through a coughing fit."Doctors in the area are telling everyone, even those at high risk, to be cautious."Anything people can do to get less smoke in their lungs, we recommend that," said Medical Officer of Health, Calgary Zone, Dr. Jason Cabaj.Doctors also suggest doing exercise indoors and keeping outdoor activity to a minimum. Some kids are even being kept indoors at day camps.Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Saudi Arabian King Salman Visiting Washington Next Week


Carolyn Kaster/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Saudi Arabia's king is making a trip to Washington soon.On Thursday, the White House announced Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud would be making his first trip to Washington D.C. since his ascension to the throne.Next Friday, the Saudi king will meet with President Obama to discuss Syria, Yemen, and Iran's actions to destabilize the region.White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest broke the news to reporters aboard Air Force One on Thursday where he said the visit "underscores the importance of the strategic partnership between the United States and Saudi Arabia.Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

ZSL London Zoo Holds Annual Weigh-In for 2015


Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images(LONDON) -- It's time for these animals' annual check-up.On Wednesday, the Zoological Society of London's London Zoo held its annual "weigh-in," weighing more than 17,000 animals as a way to keep a record of their health and well-being.According to ZSL, the data is then inputted into a database called the Zoological Information Management System (ZIMS), where other zoos can compare and share their information on their animals and endangered species.The data recorded can also be used to identify pregnant animals, said ZSL.Among the animals being weighed, 10-week-old penguin chicks and 80-year-old tortoises."With different behaviours, personalities and traits to take into consideration, zookeepers use ingenious tactics to entice the animals in their care to stand up and be measured; getting penguins to walk over scales as they line up for their morning feed and training tortoises to clamber onto scales hidden in their grassy paddock," said a statement on the ZSL website.Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

American Kids Try Foreign School Lunches


iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- After watching this hilariously enlightening video, your kid heading back to school might not be complaining about that cafeteria sloppy joe after all.Cut.com has compiled a video of American children trying school lunches from all over the world, with typical cuisines from India, Sweden, Japan, Cuba, France, Kenya and Afghanistan.The results are not only adorable, but rather unexpected.“The worst reaction was probably the food from India,” Mike Gaston, Cut.com’s creative director, told ABC News. “Right off the top they were definitely not enjoying it.”“I apologize in advance,” the first child began in the video when confronted with a bowl of the Indian food, a combination of Sambar, sweet kesari, rice and chaas. “It looks like a big piece of poo surrounded by corn.”The chaas, a yogurt-based drink, did not go over so well.“It’s not milk. I know it’s not milk,” the little boy said, hesitating before taking his first sip.“I don’t like it,” said another, shaking his head.The meal from Afghanistan, a high energy biscuit, was far and away the favorite.“It was really interesting to see them get excited about the lunch from Afghanistan,” Gaston explained. “It was really surprising, actually. It’s basically a 900-calorie cookie. It’s a very dense, hard cookie.”The children guessed that it was either a sponge cake, old bread or even a piece of cheese.“I don’t know, but it looks delicious,” said one little girl staring at the Afghani meal.“This is actually really sweet and tastes really good,” said another young girl.Cut.com’s main goal for creating this video was “to show kids something about these other cultures that’s familiar so that when they are confronted with bigger international news it has more of an impact because it’s been contextualized into something they can relate to,” Gaston said.He said the whole point of viral content is to entertain the online community, but at Cut.com, they hope to create moments that invite people to empathize with situations beyond their typical upbringing.“What can we do to make other cultures relevant for kids in a real way?” Gaston said. “It’s interesting that American kids view other cultures in a way that’s always so academic or out of a textbook, but this gives them an opportunity to empathize and little bit with the kinds of things they would gravitate toward.”Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Hubble Telescope Captures Shimmering 'Cosmic Butterfly'


ESA/NASA(NEW YORK) -- The cosmic butterfly, or as its known more formally, the twin jet nebula, was captured in a vibrant new image taken from the Hubble Telescope.The glowing colors and expanding gas seen in the image are the final gasps of life for an old star, according to NASA.The old star shed its layers, leaving its core exposed and illuminating the layers to create a rainbow colored light show in space.Planetary nebula have one star at the center, but the twin jet nebula is characterized as a bipolar nebula because it has two stars which help give it the wings that have led to the nickname cosmic butterfly.While the larger star is nearing death, its companion star has already crossed over to the other side becoming a small white dwarf, essentially the corpse of a star. The butterfly-like shape is likely caused by the motion between the two stars orbiting their common center of mass, according to NASA. The gas from the larger star forms the two lobes instead of taking on a spherical appearance.The cosmic butterfly's wings are expected to continue to spread, according to NASA's measurements. It may look pretty, but this cosmic butterfly is vicious. The growing lobes are twin jets of gas streaming into space at more than 621,400 miles per hour.Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Segway Cameraman Wipes Out Usain Bolt After 200m Victory in Beijing


Michael Steele/Getty Images(BEIJING) — Usain Bolt may be the world’s man, but his speed was no match for an out-of-control Segway at the World Athletic Championship in Beijing Thursday.A cameraman following behind Bolt on the two-wheeled electric vehicle after his 200m victory over American Justin Gatlin collided with the Jamaican sprinter, taking him down as he celebrated.Bolt did not appear to be hurt in by the incident, telling reporters the Segway “hit me in my calf area,” The Guardian reports. He added, “I am just going to get it massaged, ice it up a bit and I should be fine.”According to The Guardian, the repeat world champion even had jokes about his run-in with the Segway cameraman for his rival Gatlin.“The rumor I’m trying to start right now is that Justin Gatlin paid him off,” he said.Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Parole Review Board Sets Hearing Date for Oscar Pistorius


Alon Skuy/The Times/Gallo Images/Getty Images(PRETORIA, South Africa) -- Oscar Pistorius could be released from jail in about three weeks.A parole review board has set a Sept. 18 hearing date that could result in the release of the former Olympic runner.Pistorius was found guilty of culpable homicide in the killing of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, on Feb. 14, 2013.Pistorius was sentenced to five years in prison but has served less than one-fifth of the term.Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Ukraine Reaches Debt Deal


iStock/Thinkstock(KIEV, Ukraine) -- Ukraine has reached a debt restructuring deal with its creditors, according to the BBC.The repayment period will be extended and Ukraine's sovereign debt will be cut by one-fifth, says Ukrainian Finance Minister Natalia Yaresko, according to BBC News.Since the conflict with pro-Russian rebels began in the country's eastern side, the Ukrainian economy has suffered.Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Austrian Authorities Find Dozens of Bodies in Truck


iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- At least 20 bodies have been found in the eastern Austrian province of Burgenland, according to the BBC.At a police press conference on Thursday, an Austrian regional police commander said a refrigerated truck was found on the highway. The truck was apparently parked there on Wednesday.BBC News says there could be as many as 50 bodies in the truck. Authorities described a strong smell of decomposition.An investigation is underway to find who is behind this.The deaths come at a time when many migrants are heading to Europe to escape war and conflict in Africa and the Middle East.Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Sinkhole Swallows People Waiting at a Bus Stop in China


AbleStock.com/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A sinkhole swallowed up at least four people in China as they were waiting at a bus stop, according to The Independent. The sinkhole opened up on Saturday night and was caught on surveillance video. The video shows the pavement opening up and people falling in. Bystanders came to their rescue and attempted to pull them out, says The Independent. The incident is under investigation. Four people are in the hospital with minor injuries.Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Gunman in Afghan Military Uniform Kills Two American Airmen


Hemera/Thinkstock(KABUL, Afghanistan) — Two American service members were killed after an attacker wearing an Afghan National Defense and Security Force uniform opened fire on their vehicle in Helmand province early Wednesday morning, military officials announced.Members of the NATO-led Resolute Support Mission returned fire, wounding the attacker and another person in the same Afghan uniform.The Department of Defense on Thursday said the two American victims were airmen: Capt. Matthew D. Roland, 27, of Lexington, Kentucky and Staff Sgt. Forrest B. Sibley, 31, of Pensacola, Florida.Instances of Afghan forces turning on allied coalition members, known as insider attacks, have plagued the international war effort in Afghanistan.In 2014, an insider attack claimed the life of Maj. Gen, Harold Greene, the most senior American officer killed in the 14-year conflict.Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

ISIS Recruiter and Cyber Specialist Believed Killed in Drone Strike


icholakov/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The U.S. military believes it has killed a senior ISIS recruiter and cyber specialist, a senior U.S. official tells ABC News.The Pentagon has not confirmed the death of Junaid Hussain, but the official said that he was targeted by a drone strike in Syria earlier this week. Hussain is believed to be a computer expert and propagandist for ISIS, which is known to effectively recruit online.Prior to an attack on a Garland, Texas cartoon contest in May, one of the gunmen posted a statement on social media urging others to follow Hussain on Twitter.Hussain is also believed to be responsible for producing "kill lists" in which ISIS calls on people to target particular Americans.Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Why Scott Kelly Will Be Taking Russian Spacecraft for a Spin


NASA(NEW YORK) — American astronaut Scott Kelly is spending one year in space, but he'll get to briefly leave the International Space Station this week when he takes a short ride in the Russian Soyuz spacecraft, which is being moved to make room for the arrival of additional crew members.The ride will take about 25 minutes, beginning when the Soyuz TMA-16M spacecraft undocks from the Poisjk module on Friday at 3:12 a.m. and moves to the station's Zvezda port, freeing up room for three new crew members to park their spacecraft when they're set to arrive at the station on Sept. 2, NASA officials said.Kelly's new neighbors in space will be Expedition 45 crew member Sergei Volkov of Roscosmos, and visiting crew members Andreas Mogensen from the European Space Agency and Aidyn Aimbetov of the Kazakh Space Agency. Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Dozens Found Dead in Hold of Ship Carrying Migrants from Libya to Europe


So-CoAddict/iStock/Thinkstock(ROME) -- Dozens of people were found dead in the hold of a boat carrying migrants near the coast of Libya on Wednesday.BBC News reports that about 50 people were found dead on Wednesday and 430 more were rescued alive by a Swedish coast guard ship. Thousands of migrants have died and many more rescued in recent months after setting sail from Libya for Europe.The Italian coast guard told BBC News that Wednesday's rescue was one of ten missions taking place off the coast of Libya.Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Gunman in Afghan Military Uniform Kills Two American Soldiers


Hemera/Thinkstock(KABUL, Afghanistan) — Two American service members were killed after an attacker wearing an Afghan National Defense and Security Force uniform opened fire on their vehicle in Helmand province early Wednesday morning, military officials announced.Members of the NATO-led Resolute Support Mission returned fire, wounding the attacker and another person in the same Afghan uniform.Instances of Afghan forces turning on allied coalition members, known as insider attacks, have plagued the international war effort in Afghanistan.In 2014, an insider attack claimed the life of Maj. Gen, Harold Greene, the most senior American officer killed in the 14-year conflict.Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.