World News

Hong Kong 'Fish Ball Revolution' Erupts in Violent Crackdown


Lam Yik Fei/Getty Images(HONG KONG) -- Violent clashes erupted overnight in Hong Kong after protesters defended unlicensed food vendors, set up for Chinese New Year celebrations, from being shut down by police.The night market has become popular over the years, with officials usually turning a blind eye. But police decided to issue tickets this year.Reports of a crackdown against the hawkers who sell fish balls and other local food delicacies quickly spread on social media along with the hashtag #fishballrevolution.More than 100 individuals are believed to have taken part and police told reporters Tuesday that 54 were arrested “on suspicion of assaulting and obstructing officers, resisting arrest and public disorder,” despite instructions to disperse."The government strongly condemns such violent acts," Hong Kong's Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying told reporters, adding: "The police will apprehend the mobs and bring them to justice."The violence, which took place in a working-class neighborhood called Mong Kong, was the worst that the city had experienced since the wave of pro-democracy protests in 2014 known as the #umbrellarevolution.The vendors' cause resonated with pro-democracy activists because of their concerns that local culture is disappearing as China tightens its hold on the semi-autonomous city.Hong Kong’s “Localist” movement activists, who are calling for more autonomy from Beijing, were among those taking part in the protest. The group said on its official Facebook page that its candidate for local council, Edward Leung Tin-kei, had been arrested.Police later said they did not expect another riot Tuesday when fireworks have been planned, but they will increase the numbers of officers on patrol as a precautionary measure.Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Two Trains Collide in Germany, Eight Dead, at Least 100 Injured


iStock/Thinkstock(BAD AIBLING, Germany) — Two morning commuter trains have collided in Bad Aibling in southern Germany, killing four people and injuring more than 100 others, police said.The train manufacturer, Meridian released a statement in German, saying two trains collided just after 7am local time.There is no detail on the condition of the two train drivers."The accident was a huge shock to us. We do everything to help travelers, families and employees" Managing Director of the Bavarian Oberland Bahn GmbH, which operates the trains, Bernd Rosenbusch says."We were quickly on the scene and were able to get an idea of the serious collision. We thank the emergency services and employees who have provided assistance as quickly" Fabian Amini, the technical director says.The German Justice Minister, Heiko Maas, tweeted: "Quite bad news from #Bad Aibling. Our thoughts are with the victims + injured. Thanks to rescuers."Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

North Korean Satellite Tumbling In Orbit, Rendering It Useless


iStock/Thinkstock(PYONGYANG, North Korea) -- The North Korean satellite launched this weekend is tumbling in orbit, rendering it useless, just like another one of the country's satellites launched in December, 2012.A U.S. official told ABC News that while the Unha 3 rocket was able to get its payload into orbit, it has been tumbling ever since. While the North Korean satellite may not work, the U.S. official said North Korea considers the launch to have been a success because the payload reached orbit. That is of most concern, said the official, since the same technology used to get a payload into orbit is the same needed for a nuclear armed intercontinental ballistic missile to reach the continental United States.The Joint Space Operations Center (JSPOC) at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California has been tracking the North Korean satellite as well as a rocket booster stage that has also gone into orbit.Both objects have been given catalog identification numbers and have been added to U.S. Strategic Command’s satellite catalog on the public website Space-Track.org.According to Space Command “The object with NORAD catalog identification number 41332 is KMS-4, the payload (satellite). The object with NORAD catalog identification number 41333 is UNHA 3 R/B, the rocket body.”“These objects are in a nearly circular orbit, essentially over the poles” at a rotation at a 97.5 degree angle from the Earth's equator.The tumbling orbit will make the payload re-enter the Earth’s atmosphere faster than a satellite in earth orbit. But that could take some years as JSPOC continues tracking the payload and three debris items from North Korea’s December, 2012 missile launch.That payload has also been tumbling since its launch and no transmission signals have ever been detected coming from the satellite despite North Korean claims to the contrary.Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Wife of ISIS Figure Charged in American Woman Kayla Mueller's Death


Courtesy Mueller Family (WASHINGTON) -- The U.S. Department of Justice charged the wife of a top ISIS leader on Monday for her role in a “conspiracy” that led to the death of American aid worker Kayla Mueller, who was reported killed by the terror group in Syria a year ago.It was unclear Monday night whether the U.S. was expecting to take custody of Nasrin As'ad Ibrahim, known as "Umm Sayyaf.” American forces had originally captured Sayyaf, who is accused of being the "sole" individual "responsible" for Mueller, in a May 2015 but was handed her over to the Kurdish government in August.Sayyaf was the wife of ISIS's oil and gas "emir," or chief, Abu Sayyaf, a Tunisian who U.S. officials say oversaw the terror group's sales of illicit fossil fuels to fund the ISIS war machine.Kayla Mueller, 26, of Prescott, Arizona, was a committed humanitarian aid worker captured in Aleppo, Syria, and held for 17 months as a hostage with other Westerners. In the fall of 2014, she was personally selected by ISIS "Caliph" Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi to be his personal hostage against her will, family and counter-terrorism sources have said.For several months, Mueller was believed held by the Sayyafs in their homes in Syria and visited by Baghdadi, who repeatedly raped her, her anguished parents Carl and Marsha Mueller said."We were told Kayla was tortured, that she was the property of al-Baghdadi. We were told that in June by the government," Marsha Mueller told ABC News in August.The Justice Department on Monday alleged that Umm Sayyaf has admitted to the FBI that al-Baghdadi “owned” Mueller during her captivity at the Sayyaf compound and "admitted that 'owning' is equivalent to slavery."Mueller was captured in a vehicle on a road in Aleppo, which the humanitarian medical group Medicines San Frontiers (Doctors Without Borders) has said happened while she was traveling with several of their staff, one of whom was an MSF contractor who had asked her to assist him in a trip to an MSF hospital.The MSF contractor later tried to rescue her by telling ISIS she was his wife -- but Mueller had already told the terrorists holding her that she was not married and feared the consequences of lying to them, another close confidante of Kayla's told ABC News.Mueller was held captive with, but at times segregated from, a group of American, British and European hostages held at an old oil refinery site south of ISIS's de facto capital of Raqqa, Syria.The U.S. Army’s elite unit Delta Force attempted a rescue mission in the area in July 2014 but the hostages had been moved just days before the counter-terror squad moved in, U.S. officials said.One by one, the western hostages were beheaded beginning in August on video by ISIS "executioner" Mohammed Emwazi, dubbed "Jihad John." But Kayla Mueller was never shown on video or publicly threatened.But in February 2015, ISIS claimed she had been accidentally killed by a Jordanian airstrike. U.S. officials denied that there had even been any Jordanian airstrikes that day, and some vowed to find Abu Sayyaf and bring him to justice in a lower Manhattan federal court where many terrorists have been tried and convicted.That opportunity came for Delta on May 15 in a ground force operation against a house in Syria, the White House said in an announcement afterward. As Sayyaf's guards tried to hide from the American commandos, they all were killed. The Delta operators then killed Abu Sayyaf "when he engaged U.S. forces," Defense Secretary Ash Carter said.Umm Sayyaf, his wife, was captured alive and one Yazidi girl was rescued. The wife of the Tunisian senior ISIS leader was grilled for weeks by the FBI-led High Value Interrogation Group and she quickly confirmed that Mueller had been held prisoner in their household for Baghdadi, who had raped her, counter-terrorism sources told ABC News. Some intelligence prior to Umm Sayyaf's interrogation had assessed that Abu Sayyaf held her and had taken the American hostage as his own forced "wife," but it became apparent that he had actually kept her as a captive for his leader.Last August, the U.S. turned Umm Sayyaf over to the Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government’s Ministry of Interior, the Defense Department announced. "The decision to transfer Umm Sayyaf to the Iraqi government was based on the U.S. government determination that the detainee’s transfer would be appropriate with respect to legal, diplomatic, intelligence, security, and law enforcement considerations," the DOD statement said.“The charges filed today allege that Umm Sayyaf and others conspired to provide material support to ISIL and that this conspiracy resulted in the death of Kayla Jean Mueller,” said Assistant Attorney General Carlin in a statement Monday. “Sayyaf is currently in Iraqi custody for her terrorism-related activities. We fully support the Iraqi prosecution of Sayyaf and will continue to work with the authorities there to pursue our shared goal of holding Sayyaf accountable for her crimes. At the same time, these charges reflect that the U.S. justice system remains a powerful tool to bring to bear against those who harm our citizens abroad. We will continue to pursue justice for Kayla and for all American victims of terrorism.”Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Giant Rabbit From Scotland Looking for a Home


SPCA(GLASGOW, Scotland) -- A rabbit in Scotland is looking for a home, but it might need a little more space than just a cage on a table.The Scottish SPCA center in Glasgow has a 7-month-old continental giant rabbit up for adoption. The rabbit, Atlas, is already about the size of a Westie dog and is still expected to grow, according to a February 8 press release from the Scottish SPCA.Atlas is not only the same size as a dog, but acts like one too, being “a very friendly rabbit who loves attention and getting cuddles,” Anna O’Donnell, SPCA center manager, said in the press release.“Atlas is also an inquisitive boy who makes everyone laugh with his mischievous character,” she added.The center’s Facebook page posted they are looking for someone who could provide the specific needs of Atlas, since he will need more space than the typical rabbit.“Atlas needs an owner with the knowledge to properly care for him, so ideally someone who has kept a continental giant before,” O’Donnell said.Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Chinese New Year Fireworks So Dangerous That Only a Few Get to Witness


ABC News(HONG KONG) -- For much of the next two weeks, millions of Chinese will welcome in the Year of Monkey, which begins Monday, with a cavalcade of fireworks lighting up the night’s sky.In almost every corner of every city or village in Mainland China, families will light their own firecrackers and boxes of fireworks, with the sounds and flashes of explosions lingering each night into the early hours of the morning.In the village of Nuanquan, however, which sits on the edge of China’s coal country in Western Hebei province and a five-hour drive from Beijing, there is traditional a pyrotechnic display so unique and dangerous that it is still only found here.A brave blacksmith, wearing only a wide-brim hat and sheepskin vest for protection, hurls molten iron against the old city wall. When the hot liquid metal, with temperatures of over 2,900 degrees, makes contact with the cold brick, an arc of sparks rains down over the blacksmith like snow.They call it “DaShuHua” or, literally, “Beating down the tree flowers.”Nuanquan villagers claim it has been performed for over 500 years by local blacksmiths. It was traditionally only performed once a year on Lantern Festival, which is the 15th day of the New Year and the unofficial climax of the annual two-week-long festivities. Nowadays, there are a few more opportunities to witness it.ABC News visited Nuanquan a week before the Lunar New Year and met Sui Jianguo, a 14th generation blacksmith. Sui has been performing “DaShuHua” for more than 25 years and shows off his skills on a new nightly cultural show hoping to draw more tourists to the neglected region.Sui explained to ABC News correspondent Bob Woodruff that DaShuHua started out being the “poor man’s fireworks.” In the past, only the wealthy residents of Nuanquan could afford firecrackers to ring in the New Year.So the town’s blacksmiths, noticing sparks flew out when they poured on their molten iron, tried throwing it in the air against a wall. The result is still on display every year since.When asked whether he thought DaShuHua was more beautiful than traditional fireworks, Sui simply said, “It certainly is the most unique.”Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Video Shows Survivor Pulled from Debris of Taiwan Earthquake Collapse


SAM YEH/AFP/Getty Images(TAINAN, Taiwan) -- A woman was still alive Monday after being buried under debris of one of the collapsed buildings from the earthquake that shook Taiwan two days ago. Rescuers were able to pull her out to safety, as video footage shows.Taiwan’s Eastern Broadcasting Corp. was able to get footage of the rescuers’ pulling victims out of the rubble. At least three other people were rescued Monday morning, including an 8-year-old girl, the BBC reported.The 6.4-magnitude earthquake hit Taiwan Saturday morning, causing at least two buildings to collapse in the southern city of Tainan. The capital of Taipei had no signs of damage after the quake.So far, at least 38 people have been killed by the earthquake, according to the BBC. More than 100 others are believed to be buried under the debris. Dozens have been rescued but people are beginning to lose patience as they wait for information concerning loved ones who are still missing.Nearby counties -- Kaohsiung and Pingtung -- had their rescue teams help rescue people from the buildings, as well. About 20 counties in Taiwan, including, Taipei, will continue to support Tainan in this tragedy, according to a Feb. 8 news brief from the Tainan City Government.The Tainan City Government could not be immediately reached by ABC News.Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Suspected Bomb Hand-Off Caught on Camera Before Ill-Fated Flight


Stringer/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images(MOGADISHU, Somalia) -- Authorities in Somalia have released video footage from inside Mogadishu’s airport that they say shows a laptop packed with explosives being handed to a passenger before the mid-air explosion that forced a Daallo Airlines flight to make an emergency landing last week.In the video, reportedly taken by surveillance cameras after security checks, two men can be seen walking together when one of the men hands a laptop case to a third man.The suspected bomber was sucked out of the airplane after the mid-air explosion left a relatively small hole in the plane, authorities said.It is still unclear exactly who is responsible for planning the explosion, but authorities are looking into whether the al Qaeda-linked terrorist group al Shabab, based in Somalia, may be behind it, and they're not ready to rule out ISIS, sources said.Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Leopard Runs Wild in School in India, Injures at Least Two Before Capture


iStock/Thinkstock(BANGALORE, India) -- A leopard found its way into a school in southern India Sunday afternoon, attacking at least two people who tried to capture the animal, according to video of the incident and local authorities.Video footage was taken of the leopard making its way past a fence, then dashing across the fenced-in area and scaling up a wall of Vibgyor School in Bangalore, and making its way into the school building. Other videos online show two men, identified by reports as scientist Sanjay Gubbi of the Nature Conservation Foundation and forest department employee Benny Maurius, trying to capture the leopard.The two men are in the pool area of the school where the leopard was roaming. As one of the men tries to climb a locked gate to get away, the leopard charges at him and pulls him down. He tries to run off, but the leopard attacks him again, almost knocking him into the pool.After several seconds, the man was able to knock the leopard off his arm, and the leopard runs away from the pool, exiting the frame of the video. The one man is then brought over to a group of people on the other side of the pool. He can be seen limping with his shirt covered in what appears to be blood on his right arm.It took several hours for the leopard to be shot with a tranquilizer dart and then finally go down.The Nature Conservation Foundation, Vibgyor School, Wildlife Trust of India and the Karnataka Forest Department could not be immediately reached by ABC News for comment.Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Hubble Space Telescope Photo Reveals Merging Galaxies


ESA/Hubble & NASA(NEW YORK) -- Check out this galactic merger captured by the Hubble Space Telescope.The photo shows a galaxy known as NGC 1487, located 30 million light-years away from Earth, but rather than viewing it as an object, NASA said it can be thought of as an "event.""Here, we are witnessing two or more galaxies in the act of merging together to form a single new galaxy. Each galaxy has lost almost all traces of its original appearance, as stars and gas have been thrown by gravity in an elaborate cosmic whirl," a NASA blog post explained.The violence of the merging process makes it difficult to determine how many galaxies are a part of the event -- or their individual characteristics. NASA said the yellow and red stars seen on the outskirts of the galaxy are older, while the bright blue stars in the center are likely the result of the galactic merger.Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Italian President Sergio Mattarella Begins Week-Long Visit to US


Michele Tantussi/Getty Images(ROME) — Italian President Sergio Mattarella will meet President Obama at the White House Monday as part of his first seven-day official visit to the United States during which he will visit Washington, New York and Houston.Mattarella will be accompanied to his meetings Monday by Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni and both will hold further talks with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Vice President Joe Biden throughout the day.Italian presidential meetings with U.S. presidents are always treated with great pride and given much attention in the Italian media. Mattarella's visit has been one of the lead stories on the Italian news broadcasts since his Saturday departure for the United States.Italy has always been treated as a valued NATO ally and a close partner on a wide range of global issues. U.S. presidents and secretaries of state have repeatedly and publicly said how much the United States appreciates what Italy does in difficult conditions in Iraq and Afghanistan, and in other hot-spot peace-keeping missions around the world.The two men are expected to speak about a number of issues, focusing in particular on the crisis in the Mediterranean, the shared efforts to counter ISIS -- especially in Libya and Syria -- and the migrant situation in Europe. Italian leading dailies Monday report that Obama will probably ask Italy to do more in Libya to counter ISIS while Italy’s president is expected to insist that all must be done to bolster the political situation in Libya before any sort of joint military action can be taken.Economic matters affecting Europe may also be a topic of discussion at Monday’s meetings between the leaders, along with a more detailed exchange of views on the yet-to-be-finalized Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership.U.S. administrative officials have taken note that Italy’s young Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has seemed to abandon Italy’s accommodating stance toward the European Union in recent months and has taken a more aggressive position on hot-topic issues, even challenging Merkel's Germany with his proposals.The Italian daily Corriere della Sera reports Monday that President Mattarella and his delegation are also expected to use this trip to continue Italy’s campaign to win a seat among the 10 members of the U.N. security council. The vote to choose member states is expected later this year and the General Assembly will have to approve all candidate states. The Italian presidential delegation will hold meetings at the U.N. Wednesday.Mattarella served as minister of education and defense during his parliamentary career and then was elected judge on the constitutional court in 2011 prior to being elected president of the republic in 2015.The rather shy 74-year old Sicilian was not a well-known public figure when he was elected but Italians seem to have warmed to his quiet manner. His brother, also a politician, was killed by the Sicilian mafia in 1980.Mattarella paid homage to the late President John Kennedy Sunday, placing a wreath on his tombstone at the military cemetery in Arlington and visited Washington’s National Gallery, which he told reporters was “splendid.”Mattarella is also expected to visit Columbia University, Ellis Island, Ground Zero and the Johnson Space Center during his visit.Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Russians Arrest Seven in Alleged ISIS-Related Terror Plot


iStock/Thinkstock(MOSCOW) — Russian security services have arrested seven people accused of plotting terror attacks on behalf of the Islamic State in major Russian cities, the country’s FSB intelligence agency said Monday.The arrests were made in the city of Ekaterinburg, located in the Urals region on the edge of Siberia, the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation said in a written statement.The agency said the group was planning to carry out "high-profile attacks" using improvised explosives on Moscow, St. Petersburg and in the area around Ekaterinburg. During searches of the group’s houses, agents found a bomb-making laboratory, including explosives and detonators, as well as guns and grenades, according to the statement. Officers also allegedly found banned extremist writings.Those arrested have been charged with plotting a terrorist act, as well ammunition trafficking and illegally storing explosives.The members of the group were Russian citizens, as well as from Central Asian states, the FSB said, although the agency did not specify which countries. The group was being led by an alleged Islamic State militant recently arrived from Turkey, implying he may have returned from Syria.Russian security services have been on high alert for attacks from Russian fighters returning from Syria, particularly since Moscow launched its air campaign there in support of Syrian president Bashar Al-Assad’s government in September.In the past two years, hundreds of Russian citizens have traveled to join the Islamic State -- also known as ISIS, or ISIL -- in Syria, mostly coming from the North Caucasus region where Russia has been waging a grinding counter-insurgency campaign against local jihadists for years.The Islamic State has pledged to carry out terror attacks in Russia in revenge for Moscow’s military intervention in Syria. So far, the terror group has not succeeded in hitting the Russian homeland, although ISIS bomb brought down a Russian passenger airliner over Egypt in late-October, killing 224 people.In the past few months, Russian security services have said they have interrupted a number of terror plots in Russia, and have arrested and killed militants they accuse of belonging to ISIS.Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Two Rescued From Collapsed Apartment After Taiwan Earthquake


ANTHONY WALLACE/AFP/Getty Images(TAINAN CITY, Taiwan) -- A woman and a man have been rescued from a collapsed apartment building days after a powerful earthquake hit Taiwan.According to BBC, the woman was found underneath her husband's body and near the body of her two-year-old son.The man was pulled alive from the rubble not long after, local media said.At least 35 people died in the magnitude 6.4 earthquake that hit Tainan City on Friday, BBC reported, and more than 100 are believed to still be trapped inside the collapsed 17-story Weiguan Jinlong building.Officials said most who died from the earthquake were in the apartment building, BBC reported.The rescue effort is ongoing with at least 310 rescued from the apartment, according to BBC. About 100 of those rescued from the building had to be hospitalized.Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Astronaut Scott Kelly Sees Super Bowl 50 From Space


Bill Ingalls/NASA via Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Astronaut Scott Kelly may be spending a year in space, but he still made it to the Super Bowl.At 17,500 mph, though, "it didn't last long," the astronaut tweeted Sunday night.Here was his view:Got to see the #SuperBowl in person after all! But at 17,500MPH, it didn't last long. #YearInSpace pic.twitter.com/O0DygOdX8i— Scott Kelly (@StationCDRKelly) February 8, 2016Kelly's year in space will end in March.Kelly is participating in a study along with his twin, former astronaut Mark Kelly, about the long-term effects on humans in space. The implications of the study are expected to help NASA better prepare for one day sending humans to Mars.Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Woman Rescued From Collapsed Apartment After Taiwan Earthquake


ANTHONY WALLACE/AFP/Getty Images(TAINAN CITY, Taiwan) -- One woman has been rescued from a collapsed apartment building days after a powerful earthquake hit Taiwan.According to BBC, she was found underneath her husband's body and near the body of her two-year-old son.At least 35 people died in the magnitude 6.4 earthquake that hit Tainan City on Friday, BBC reported, and more than 100 are believed to still be trapped inside the collapsed 17-story Weiguan Jinlong building.Officials said most who died from the earthquake were in the apartment building, BBC reported.The rescue effort is ongoing with at least 310 rescued from the apartment, according to BBC. About 100 of those rescued from the building had to be hospitalized.Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Bus Explosion Sparks Panic Among Those Unaware It Was for a Movie


iStock/Thinkstock(LONDON) -- A double-decker bus was blown up on bridge in front of Parliament in London on Sunday morning, sparking panic from those nearby who were unaware it was done on a movie set.The loud, fiery explosion was part of a stunt for The Foreigner, an upcoming action film starring Jackie Chan and Pierce Brosnan, according to city officials. Though the film's producers had warned neighboring residents about the blasts, some passer-bys and Twitter users said the city should have better notified the general public about the stunt.Some said children in a nearby playground were frightened and "freaked" by the blast.Anyone worried about the exploding bus on Lambeth Bridge just now? It was just for a movie. pic.twitter.com/1ypWZZ6jPp— Nigel Huddleston MP (@HuddlestonNigel) February 7, 2016Hey film types next time you blow up a bus on Lambeth Bridge maybe tell us first so children in park aren't freaked? pic.twitter.com/8Ui6YoE9N0— Sophie Kinsella (@KinsellaSophie) February 7, 2016Others were worried the explosion was a real attack.Noticed this on Lambeth bridge as we passed. Got v worried until we realised they were filming! #theforeigner pic.twitter.com/cq8rpGoszD— NPAS Redhill (@NPAS_Redhill) February 7, 2016One Twitter user said the explosion brought back harrowing memories of the 2005 attack on London's transport system, in which 52 people were killed. A bus was also blown up in central London during that attack.If you're filming a London bus blowing up and tweeting it out, SAY IT'S FAKE. Some of us lived through 7/7 waiting to see who'd died.— failnaut (@failnaut) February 7, 2016The Port of London Authority said Lambeth Bridge was closed to the public prior to the stunt, and members of the London Fire Brigade were on standby in case anything went wrong.Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Six People Arrested in Spain With Alleged Ties to Terror Organizations


Ingram Publishing/Thinkstock(MADRID) -- Spain's Interior Ministry announced Sunday the arrests of six individuals for alleged links to terror organizations, ISIS and Jabhat al-Nusra.The arrests include four Spanish citizens of Syrian, Jordanian and Moroccan origin as well as two Spanish residents of Syrian and Moroccan citizenship.In a rough English translation, Spain's Ministry of Interior said the investigation began in 2014 and "has now allowed the dismantling of a cell whose members are integrated into the exterior structure of terrorist organizations of jihadist character located on the Syrian-Iraqi zone Jabhat Nusra (JAN), and Daesh [ISIS], by providing essential to support their terrorist activities logistical material."The arrests were made in the Spanish cities of Valencia, Alicante, and Ceuta.Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

North Korea Missile Launch 'Strongly Condemned' by United Nations Security Counc


iStock Editorial/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) --   North Korea's long-range missile launch has been "strongly" and unanimously condemned by members of the United Nations Security Council Sunday.During an emergency meeting over the launch Sunday, council members "restated their intent to develop significant" new sanctions against North Korea for violating UN resolutions, the UNSC said today in a statement. The missile was launched from western North Korea on Saturday at 7:29 p.m. ET, or Sunday at 9:29 a.m. local time, in a trajectory that took it over the Yellow Sea, according to a U.S. official."U.S. Strategic Command systems detected and tracked what we assess was a North Korean missile launch into space," U.S. Strategic Command said in a statement. The missile did not pose a threat to the U.S. or its allies, officials said.The missile passed over Japan and landed near the Philippines, according to Japan's U.N. ambassador, Mothide Yoshikawa, who said the launch was "a clear threat to the lives of many people" before heading into today's closed council meeting.China and the U.S. have been working on a new sanctions resolution since North Korea conducted a nuclear test on Jan. 6. Though North Korea claimed the nuclear test was a hydrogen bomb, U.S. officials said an analysis showed that was not the case.Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Deadly Earthquake Strikes Taiwan


STR/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- At least 11 people in Tainan, Taiwan died after an earthquake hit the area Friday, according to BBC News.The 6.4 magnitude quake was 10 kilometers deep and centered on the southern end of the island.More than 200 people have been rescued so far after a residential building collapsed and dozens other injured in the quake, says BBC News. At least 70 were hospitalized.The United States Geological Survey assessment said the quake was shallow but that there was 'severe' shaking.Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Feds Eye Laptop Bomb in Somalia Mid-Air Explosion, Sources Say


iStock Editorial/Thinkstock(MOGADISHU, Somalia) -- Investigators believe that an explosion aboard a plane in Somalia was likely caused by a small bomb that was placed inside of a laptop, sources familiar with the probe said.A small team of FBI agents has arrived in Somalia to help authorities in the East African nation investigate the cause of the explosion this week at 11,000 feet.The A-321 jetliner made an emergency landing and returned to the airport, but two passengers were hurt. It’s believed one person may have been sucked out of the plane through a relatively small hole left by the explosion -- possibly the bomber.It is still unclear exactly who is responsible for planning the explosion, but authorities are looking into whether the al Qaeda-linked terrorist group al-Shabab, based in Somalia, may be behind it, and they're not ready to rule out ISIS, sources said.Many of the passengers on the flight were originally scheduled to be on a Turkish Airlines flight but the flight was canceled "due to operational reasons" and bad weather, according to Turkish Airlines spokesman Yahya Ustun.An FBI spokesman declined to comment for this article, referring questions to Somali authorities.Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Pentagon Releases Photos of Alleged Detainee Abuse by US in Iraq, Afghanistan


John Moore/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The Pentagon released 198 photos Friday that were taken as part of an investigation into allegations of abuse or mistreatment of detainees held by the U.S. military in Iraq and Afghanistan from 2001 to 2009.The pictures were released in compliance with a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed by the ACLU in 2004 seeking the release of 2,000 pictures the organization said documented what it called abuse or torture of detainees by the U.S. military.The photos released Friday were taken by independent criminal investigators looking into 56 allegations of mistreatment and abuse in Iraq and Afghanistan from 2001 to 2009, according to the Department of Defense.Of those 56 allegations, 14 were substantiated and 42 were not, a Pentagon spokesman said, noting that 65 service members received some form of disciplinary action ranging from non-judicial letters of reprimand to life imprisonment. Of the 65 service members who were disciplined, 26 were convicted in courts-martial, the spokesman said.Some of the photos are close-ups of parts of bodies that appear to show injuries such as bruising, while others show full-body images of detainees in various forms of detention by the U.S. military.The ACLU filed its original FOIA request in October 2003, noting that "Recent news reports indicate that individuals apprehended after September 11, 2001, and held by the United States at military bases or detention facilities outside the United States ("Detainees") have in some cases been tortured or subjected to interrogation techniques that are prohibited by international and United States law."In 2004, the ACLU filed a lawsuit to enforce the FOIA after photographs were published by media organizations showing prisoner abuse at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison.The 198 images were released by the Pentagon after they had gone through a review process required by the Protected National Security Documents Act of 2009 (PNSDA).That 2015 review of some 2,000 photos taken by the investigators looked to see whether the photos should remain "protected" based on whether making the photos public "would endanger citizens of the United States, members of the U.S. Armed Forces, or employees of the U.S. Government deployed outside the United States," the Pentagon spokesman said.The photos released were deemed to no longer meet those criteria and have been made public by the Pentagon. The ACLU is continuing a legal fight seeking the release of the additional 1,800 or so photos currently in "protected" status."The disclosure of these photos is long overdue, but more important than the disclosure is the fact that hundreds of photographs are still being withheld," ACLU Deputy Legal Director Jameel Jaffer said Friday in a statement. "The still-secret pictures are the best evidence of the serious abuses that took place in military detention centers. The government's selective disclosure risks misleading the public about the true extent of the abuse."ACLU staff attorney Alex Abdo noted that the Defense Department is pointing to the "punishment of a handful of low-level soldiers.""[B]ut the scandal is that no senior official has been held accountable or even investigated for the systemic abuse of detainees,” Abdo said in a statement. "What the photos that the government has suppressed would show is that abuse was so widespread that it could only have resulted from policy or a climate calculated to foster abuse. That is why the government must release all of the photos and why today's selective disclosure is so troubling."As a precautionary move, U.S. embassies have provided local warnings to U.S. citizens about the pending release of the photos in case they spark outrage overseas, U.S. officials said Friday.Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Twitter Reports Progress in Shutting Down ISIS Accounts


iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Twitter's pledge to eradicate terrorist-related accounts on its site has made great strides since the social media company devoted more resources to reviewing flagged reports and following through with suspending accounts, the company said Friday.Since the middle of 2015, Twitter said it has suspended more than 125,000 accounts, many of which were supporting ISIS, according to a blog post Friday from Twitter. The social networking site has been leveraged by ISIS to recruit members and spread propaganda."Like most people around the world, we are horrified by the atrocities perpetrated by extremist groups. We condemn the use of Twitter to promote terrorism and the Twitter Rules make it clear that this type of behavior, or any violent threat, is not permitted on our service," the blog post said.Twitter increased the size of its teams tasked with reviewing reports of potentially terror-related threats. The company said it has also taken a proactive approach by using its "proprietary spam-fighting tools" that are capable of surfacing accounts that could potentially be in violation.The results have paid off with Twitter reporting "an increase in account suspensions and this type of activity shifting off Twitter."“As many experts and other companies have noted, there is no ‘magic algorithm’ for identifying terrorist content on the internet, so global online platforms are forced to make challenging judgment calls based on very limited information and guidance,” Twitter said in a statement. “In spite of these challenges, we will continue to aggressively enforce our Rules in this area, and engage with authorities and other relevant organizations to find solutions to this critical issue and promote powerful counter-speech narratives.”Twitter said it cooperates with law enforcement entities “when appropriate” and tries to strike a balance between legitimate security concerns and freedom of speech.Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

After Hiding in US, Salvadoran Officer to Be Extradited for Alleged Massacre


iStock/Thinkstock(SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador) -- A former military official from El Salvador accused of involvement in the “terrorist murders” of six Jesuit priests and two others will be sent from the United States to Spain to stand trial for his alleged war crimes, after a historic ruling Friday by a federal judge in North Carolina.As the former El Salvadoran Vice Minister of Public Security, in 1989 Col. Orlando Montano Morales allegedly plotted along with 19 other military officials the massacre of the priests at a Jesuit university in El Salvador, as well as a housekeeper and her teenage daughter who happened to be there. Spanish officials, along with the U.S.-based nonprofit Center for Justice and Accountability, want to hold Montano held accountable because five of the six Jesuit priests were Spanish.For more than a decade and a half, Montano evaded justice by hiding in plain sight in the Boston area and working at a local candy factory. Officials said Montano was eventually arrested by Homeland Security Investigations agents in 2012 and served 21 months for lying to immigration officials in order to obtain protected status in the U.S. -- he had originally claimed he never served in the El Salvadoran military. A U.S. official said that Montano was nabbed as he was trying to return to El Salvador where amnesty laws could have protected him from Spanish courts.He was scheduled to be released last April, but was held in North Carolina until a ruling on his extradition could be made.The former Colonel would be the first military official extradited to Spain to face the charges related to the massacre. Local amnesty laws have shielded the 19 other defendants accused alongside him, a U.S. official said.According to court records, the Jesuits were targeted because of their support of leftist guerilla group FMLN during a bloody internecine war. In 1989 peace negotiations between El Salvador and the rebels had begun with a Jesuit priest named Father Ignacio Ellacuria acting as an intermediary.Ellacuria then became a target for the Salvadoran government in a crime that Spanish officials said Montano helped orchestrate.“The day before the murders, Montano Morales also allegedly participated in a series of meetings during which one of his fellow officers gave the order to kill the leader of the Jesuits and leave no witnesses,” as the Department of Justice described the conspiracy in 2015. The other seven people killed that morning, it appears, were collateral damage for the purported assassination.Montano is also accused of allegedly threatening the wife of a witness to the slaughter, “Do not repeat that again. Remember that this is a time of war and in such time anything can happen to anyone, including you,” according to court records.It's unclear when he will be removed from the United States.Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Dramatic Drone Photography Shows Winter From Above


Karolis Janulis(VILNIUS, Lithuania) -- Drone photographer Karolis Janulis, 35, has captured rare aerial views of his native Lithuania under the snow.“I’ve always been in love with the perspectives from above,” Jankulis told ABC News. “Before acquiring my own drone in the beginning of 2015, I was flying in air balloons, motor gliders just to capture aerial shots.”Using a drone to take pictures is not easy, Jankulis said, and it takes a lot of time.“You need to carry a large backpack with the drone, its batteries and accessories,” Jankulis said. “You are also dependent on weather conditions, flight restrictions, electricity source, gear price and other factors.”Karolis believes his pictures can help foster people’s imagination while giving a new perspective to familiar objects and places.Karolis JanulisKarolis JanulisKarolis JanulisCopyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

WATCH: Volcano Erupts in Japan, Triggering Dramatic Lightning Strikes


iStock/Thinkstock(KAGOSHIMA, Japan) -- It was a calm evening in Japan Friday, when suddenly an orange burst erupted from Sakurajima volcano covering the clear, starry sky with black clouds. The volcano erupted around 7 p.m. local time in Japan, according to Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA). About 15 minutes after the eruption, the agency issued a level-three near-crater warning, which bans people from approaching the mountain, according to the public broadcaster NHK. The volcano sits in between two cities: Kagoshima on its west and Tarumizu on its east. Videos and images show lightning sporadically bursting through the lava and dark clouds of smoke, creating the illusion of a storm in the sky. "Lightning is sometimes observed in the plume associated with eruption of this type," Manabu Hashimoto, a professor at the Disaster Prevention Research Institute at Kyoto University, told ABC News in an email Friday. Sakurajima has been on the watch since Aug. 15, 2015, when volcanic earthquakes caused JMA to issue a level-four volcanic warning to prepare to evacuate. There were very small eruptions recorded since Aug. 19, but by Sept. 1 the agency was able to lower the warning back down to a level three. "Sakurajima volcano has been very active," Hashimoto said. "I think most researchers consider that Sakurajima will erupt again." There were no immediate injuries reported, and the cause of the eruption is still uncertain. Hashimoto explained that scientists will probably collect data "to understand what went on." Japan has 110 active volcanoes, according to JMA, which is no surprise as it sits on the Ring of Fire circling the Pacific rim, being one of the most active seismic and volcanic zones in the world. There are approximately 15 volcanic events, including eruptions, which occur every year. Representatives at Japan Meteorological Agency could not be immediately reached for comment by ABC News.The video below shows the dramatic eruption:Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Pluto's Mysterious Floating Hills Mesmerize Scientists


NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI(NEW YORK) — The New Horizons probe has yielded a trove of new information about Pluto, including the existence of miniature hills that appear to be floating across the surface of the dwarf planet.The hills, which are made of water ice, measure anywhere from one to several miles across and are located in Pluto's heart-shaped feature, according to photos and data analyzed by NASA."Because water ice is less dense than nitrogen-dominated ice, scientists believe these water ice hills are floating in a sea of frozen nitrogen and move over time like icebergs in Earth’s Arctic Ocean," a NASA blog post explained.It's believed the hills are fragments of Pluto's uplands that have been carried by nitrogen-rich glaciers into Pluto's flat Sputnik Planum region. NASA also observed chains of the floating hills along the flow paths of the glaciers.The photo is the latest to be released as New Horizons continues to send a trove of data and photos from its July 14 flyby of Pluto back to Earth. With data downlinking at a rate of about 1 to 4 kilobits per second, it's expected the entire trove of science will take one year to be transmitted back to Earth.Launched in January 2006 on a 3-billion-mile journey to Pluto, New Horizons "phoned home" after its Pluto flyby, indicating that it had successfully navigated just 7,700 miles from the dwarf planet. It later sent back the first high-resolution images of Pluto's surface.New Horizons conserved energy by taking "naps" during the monumental trip. The spacecraft, equipped with a battery that converts radiation from decaying plutonium into electricity, may have enough power for two more decades of exploration, according to NASA.The piano-sized probe is speeding through the Kuiper Belt, an area at the edge of the solar system encompassing Pluto and a vast area of tiny, icy worlds.Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.