World News

Marines Investigate Possible Misidentification in Iconic Iwo Jima Photo


KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The Marine Corps is reviewing whether one of the six men photographed raising the flag on Iwo Jima in one of the most iconic photos of World War II was misidentified in 1945. The review was prompted by the work of two amateur historians who have reviewed other photographs taken the day of the flag raising that suggest Navy Corpsman John Bradley was not one of the six men photographed raising the flag on Mount Suribachi."The Marine Corps is examining information provided by a private organization related Joe Rosenthal's Associated Press photograph of the second flag raising on Iwo Jima," the Marine Corps said in a statement."Rosenthal's photo captured a single moment in the 36-day battle during which more than 6,500 US servicemen made the ultimate sacrifice for our Nation and it is representative of the more than 70,000 US Marines, Sailors, Soldiers and Coast Guardsmen that took part in the battle," said the statement. "We are humbled by the service and sacrifice of all who fought on Iwo Jima."The Omaha World-Herald was first to report that the Marines had launched a review of the evidence collected by Eric Krelle of Omaha, Nebraska, and Stephen Foley, of Wexford, Ireland. Their work was profiled by the newspaper in 2014.The famous photo taken on Feb. 23, 1945, captured the second raising of a flag on Mount Suribachi, supposedly to replace a smaller flag raised earlier that day with a larger one.Associated Press photographer Joe Rosenthal's photograph quickly became popular and has since become a symbol of the Marine Corps, a large sculpture of the flag raising near Arlington Cemetery in Arlington overlooks the nation's capital and is a popular tourist destination.After taking the photo, Rosenthal did not track down the names of the six men who raised the flag. That was left to the Marine Corps, who were pressed to identify them after the photo gained in popularity and was used as part of a major war bond drive.The Marines identified the six men as Marine Privates Harlon Block, Rene Gagnon, Ira Hayes, Franklin Sousley, Michael Strank and Navy Corpsman John Bradley. Block, Sousley and Strank were killed in the fighting that carried on for another month on Iwo Jima after the photo was taken.In its 2014 story, the Omaha World-Herald said that during an extended recovery from hernia surgery, Stephen Foley began reading books about the Battle of Iwo Jima. His attention soon focused on the photo of the flag raising that was on the cover of one of the books. He noted discrepancies in the clothing associated with the figure identified as Bradley when he began seeing other photos of Bradley that day that had been posted on the internet.Among other things, he noted that the man identified as Bradley, the second man from the left seen erecting the flagpole, was wearing uncuffed pants that hung down over his boots and wore what appeared to be a soft utility cap under his helmet.Other photos taken the same day as the flag raising show Bradley's pants were cuffed above his shoes and does not show a soft cap under his helmet.Foley later sought the help of Krelle, who runs a website about the history of the 5th Marine Division, which fought at Iwo Jima.Based on a review of other photos taken at Mount Suribachi, the two men said they are confident that the man identified as Bradley was another Marine private, Harold Henry Schultz, who died in 1995.The lives of the six men identified as the flag raisers was the focus of the best-selling book "Flags Of Our Fathers" written by Bradley's son, James Bradley, in 2000. The book was later adapted into a movie directed by Clint Eastwood.Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Prince Harry, Justin Trudeau Launch 2017 Invictus Games in Toronto


Chris Jackson/Getty Images(TORONTO) -- Prince Harry met Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Toronto on Monday to launch the 2017 Invictus Games.Harry was there for the countdown to the third Invictus Games, a sports event similar to the Olympics with wounded veterans, which will be held in the provincial capital of Ontario in September 2017.More than 600 competitors from 16 nations will participate in the 2017 games.The fifth in line for the British throne told wounded veterans at the Royal York Hotel that he was first inspired to back the Invictus Games when he was riding home on a military flight with three badly wounded soldiers in 2008, according to CBC.He then said he realized the healing power of competition when he saw a wounded athlete competition in Colorado."Seeing so many men and women competing against each other with huge beaming smiles made me realize how powerful this concept was," he said according to CBC. "Sport is what made the difference. Sport could help these guys fix their lives and those around them."Prince Harry and Trudeau also attended a sledge hockey game at Ryerson University's Mattamy Athletic Centre alongside Toronto Mayor John Tory, as sledge hockey will be included in the Invictus Games for the first time next year."It was a very easy decision once we handed the Games over to Canada," the prince said according to CBC.Harry will next head to Orlando ahead of this year's games that start on Sunday.Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

British Father's T-Shirt Sparks Conversation About Parental Equality


Courtesy of Al Ferguson(CANTERBURY, England) -- A British father's T-shirt with the words "Dads don't babysit. (It's called 'parenting')" emblazoned across it has sparked an online conversation about the perception of fathers.Al Ferguson, of Kent, United Kingdom, told ABC News he's posted a photo of himself wearing the shirt several times on Facebook. But when he uploaded the same shot last week, it took off for some reason, earning thousands of likes and hundreds of comments.The father of three is thrilled by the attention, since it's his personal mission to push back against negative stereotypes about dads on his website, The Dad Network."It's all about parental equality really," he explained. "I'm a really big advocate for moms and they're wonderful but I think dads get a raw deal. I just want us all to be perceived the same."Ferguson, 28, said he's been victim to some parenting stereotypes. He recalled a time when he was with his children and someone assumed he was taking the day off from work."And I'm thinking, 'Well no, I'm a stay-at-home dad and I look after my family.' And it's the assumption that I'm looking to stop," he added.Ferguson said he hopes the T-shirt, which was designed by the National At-Home Dad Network, is a fun and lighthearted way to change perceptions, especially since he considers being a father "an honor.""The best thing is watching them grow and develop and change and become little people," he said, "and the best part is that you have influence over that."Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Kerry Discusses 'Out of Control' Syrian Conflict, Plan for Nationwide Ceasefire


John Moore/Getty Images(GENEVA) -- Secretary of State John Kerry said the Syrian conflict is "in many ways out of control" as he looks to Russia for help in brokering a nationwide cessation of hostilities, according to BBC.Kerry, who is in Geneva for talks on how to salvage the crumbling Syrian ceasefire, said progress was being made on a plan to stop violence in Aleppo, where more than a week of fighting has killed over 250 civilians. He said fighting needed to stop in order to start negotiating an end to the country's five-year civil war."The United Nations Security Council resolution calls for a full country, country-wide cessation, and that all of the country be accessible for humanitarian assistance," he said Monday.For Aleppo, the U.S. is considering drawing up with the Russians a detailed map that would lay out "safe zones." Civilians and members of moderate opposition groups covered by the truce could find shelter from persistent attacks by Assad's military, which claims to be targeting terrorists. It is so far unclear if the Russians will accept such a plan."We are talking directly to the Russians, even now," Kerry said. "The hope is that we will make some progress."Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

SpaceX Updates Falcon 9 Rocket Capabilities


SpaceX(NEW YORK) -- SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket can carry nearly twice as much into orbit than was previously listed, according to an update on the company's website over the weekend.The rocket, which has been used to send the Dragon spacecraft on cargo runs to the International Space Station and launch satellites into orbit, can now launch up to 50,265-pounds into low earth orbit, according to a tweet from CEO Elon Musk. The realization was determined after additional testing.The new metrics are only for expendable missions, according to Musk, meaning rockets the company tries to land back on Earth will have to carry 30 to 40 percent less payload. SpaceX also says the Falcon 9 can carry up to 8,860-pounds of cargo to Mars.The company gave an update on its Falcon Heavy rocket, which has yet to fly. The $90 million rocket, which has 27 Merlin engines, can launch up to 29,980-pounds on a journey to Mars. SpaceX announced last week the company is targeting its first Mars mission for 2018.Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

US Cruise Ship Docks in Cuba


iStock/Thinkstock(HAVANA) -- A U.S. cruise ship docked in Havana Monday morning, marking the first time a ship has arrived in Cuba from a U.S. seaport in decades.The Adonia ship, run by Carnival, left from Miami Sunday. The historic trip represents a new step in normalizing U.S.-Cuban relations.Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Solar Impulse Plane Begins First Leg of US Flight Path


KGO-TV(SAN FRANCISCO) -- The Solar Impulse plane took off in darkness from San Francisco Monday morning for the first leg of its journey across the United States.The solar-powered plane is expected to finish the 720-mile journey Monday night when it lands at Phoenix Goodyear Airport. While the early-morning darkness may seem less than ideal for a plane that is powered by the sun, Solar Impulse is equipped to fly day and night because of solar-energy stored in batteries on the aircraft.The plane weighs over 5,000 pounds; about the same size of a truck. Solar Impulse arrived in San Francisco last week, marking the completion of its Pacific Ocean crossing.The trip began in March 2015 from Abu Dhabi, with stops in Oman, Myanmar, China and Japan, before flying over the Pacific Ocean and reaching Hawaii in July 2015.Solar Impulse was grounded in Hawaii after the plane's battery system sustained damage during the Japan-to-Hawaii leg of the trip. After at least two planned stops in the United States, Solar Impulse will fly from New York to Europe, according to the project's website. The final leg, which will be from either Europe or Northern Africa to Abu Dhabi, is expected to take 120 hours and be completed this summer.Pilots Andre Borschberg and Bertrand Piccard began the pioneering project with the goal of highlighting clean energy.Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Happy Birthday, Princess Charlotte! Inside Her Adorable 1st Year


Chris Jackson - WPA Pool/Getty Images(LONDON) — Her Royal Highness Princess Charlotte of Cambridge turns 1 Monday.Kensington Palace released four new photos of Princess Charlotte at Prince William and Kate's home Amner Hall in Norfolk to mark the toddler's first birthday. The photographs were taken by HRH The Duchess of Cambridge in April."The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are delighted to be able to share four new photographs of Princess Charlotte," a Kensington Palace spokesman said in a statement. "The Duke and Duchess are very happy to be able to share these important family moments and hope that everyone enjoys these lovely photos as much as they do."The fourth in line to the British throne is shown walking, or nearly walking, in a couple of the photos. The Duke and Duchess released a similar photograph of their son Prince George when he was walking at the same age.The first daughter, and second child, of Prince William, 33, and Kate, 34, was welcomed into the world last year as a cherubic 8-pound, 3-ounces newborn. Princess Charlotte, as she is known, has grown into an adorably happy baby who was recently seen smiling on the lap of her great-grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II.The world has seen glimpses of Charlotte in official photographs released by the royal family. Her parents, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, have given us glimpses of Charlotte's life through their own words.Take a look back at a doting Prince William and Kate's excitement throughout Charlotte's first year.'I Feel Very, Very Lucky'Kate gave her first solo interview in March to pay tribute to Queen Elizabeth II on her 90th birthday and revealed she was thrilled that her fifth great-grandchild was a little girl."The Queen was really thrilled that it was a little girl, and I think as soon as we came back here to Kensington she was one of our first visitors here,” Duchess Kate said. "It's very special having a new little girl."The duchess added, "I feel very, very lucky that George has got a little sister."Duchess Kate herself took the first official photos of Princess Charlotte. The series of four photos, released last June, showed Prince George holding his baby sister at the family's Norfolk country home, Anmer Hall. 'A Little Joy of Heaven'Prince William spoke movingly in July about the first two months with Charlotte.“It has been fantastic and she has been a little joy of heaven. But at the same time it is more responsibility, looking after two little ones, especially when George is around. He’s a little monkey," William told the U.K.'s The Telegraph.William reflected on juggling his children, work, and royal responsibilities."Obviously, at some point there is going to be a lot more pressure and responsibility from the other side of my life, but at the moment I'm juggling the two of them and a young family and I'm enjoying the challenge," he said.'Concentrating Very Much on My Role as a Father'In a very personal interview with the BBC’s Royal Correspondent Nick Witchell in April, Prince William spoke movingly about fatherhood and the importance of his family at this point in his life.“I’m concentrating very much on my role as a father," William said. "I’m a new father and I take my duties and my responsibilities to my family very seriously and I want to bring my children up as good people with the idea of service and duty to others as very important."'Ladylike' and 'Delightful'Prince William described Princess Charlotte as being very "ladylike" at six months while Prince George very "lively." He called both of his children "delightful."'Getting Bigger'"Charlotte is getting bigger and getting on well with her noisy big brother," Duchess Kate told well-wishers in Wales of 6-month-old Charlotte.'Very Easy, Very Sweet'Speaking at a charity event in February, Prince William joked about a rambunctious Princess Charlotte and Prince George."No broken bones yet but they're trying. Running around, pushing things, jumping," he said. "Please tell me it gets easier.""Charlotte is very easy, very sweet but all the fathers say, 'Just you wait. When they get to 9, 10, 11, they go crazy,'" William added. "I'm looking forward to it. There will be some drama."'The Villa Fan'Just weeks after Charlotte's birth, Prince William spoke to BBC Sport about his love for soccer and joked about having a hard time letting his children pick their own favorite teams instead of his favorite, Aston Villa.“The responsible thing would be to say, to let [George] make his own mind up, but I think I might be quite biased," William told BBC Sport.“It'll probably end up being that Charlotte is the Villa fan and George will go and support someone else!” William said, referring to his newborn daughter.A group of female soccer players -- who presented William with a soccer jersey for Charlotte -- said the new dad reported being up at night with Charlotte."He was saying he's obviously really enjoying being a father and Princess Charlotte is actually keeping him up and probably why his eyes are looking a little bit tired,” England's women's team captain Steph Houghton told the U.K.’s The Telegraph.'Strong Family Values'Famed photographer Mario Testino called the opportunity to photograph Princess Charlotte's christening at St. Mary Magdalene Church on the queen's Sandringham estate an "amazing experience.""What impressed me the most was the energy of the family, and of that between the Duke and Duchess. One sees how solid they are together and one gets a sense of their strong family values," he said in a statement. "It was incredible to be able to document four generations of the British Royal Family together -- the monarch and three heirs to the throne -- and very heartwarming to see the close relationship between them all."Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Iraqi Protesters Begin to Leave Green Zone After Storming Parliament Saturday


Haydar Hadi/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images(BAGHDAD) -- On Sunday, Iraqi activists called for an end to the sit-in of Baghdad's highly-fortified Green Zone over a loudspeaker, according to BBC.Tensions were high in Iraq the day before after anti-government protesters, chanting anti-government slogans and carrying Iraqi flags, climbed over blast walls surrounding the Green Zone for the first time ever.A state of emergency was declared Saturday when the supporters of influential Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr broke through the area, home to most ministries and foreign embassies including the U.S. embassy.In a television appearance, al-Sadr accused Iraqi politicians of blocking efforts for reform, many of which have been proposed by Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi who took office in 2014.The protesters stormed Iraq's parliament after a parliament session was postponed because it failed to reach a quorum on Saturday. Al-Abadi was expected to introduce several new ministers who were non-partisan technocrats to help tackle corruption.Iraqi President Fuad Masum called on protesters to evacuate the building and said politicians needed to implement the new cabinet and fight corruption.As dusk fell Saturday, protesters set up camp outside parliament.Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Mother, Daughter Lost in New Zealand Wilderness Were 'Scared to Death'


iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) --  When Carolyn Lloyd and her daughter from North Carolina disappeared while hiking in New Zealand, Lloyd had to summon her survival instincts when her daughter started to "suffer and die slowly" during their days in the wilderness."She was fading on me," said Lloyd, 45. "As a mother, it's terrifying.""I took a tumble on the water and hit my head on the rock pretty bad," said her daughter, 22-year-old Rachel Lloyd.Rachel, who graduated from North Carolina State University in December, is in New Zealand studying at Massey University. Her mother was visiting. The duo intended to embark on a one-day hike on Tuesday but they got lost and stranded in a rugged area of Tararua Forest Park.The pair huddled together for warmth and rationed their supplies as they spent four nights in near freezing temperatures."I was speaking with my mom -- I was actually [sic] had to go through kind of my dying wishes which was the hardest thing -- watching my mom watch me suffer and die slowly," Rachel said. "My mom was incredible. She carried me on her back for a little while when she could.""I was scared to death," Carolyn said. "I thought they wouldn't find us."But they made two "help" signs and arrows pointing to their location, Jason Diedrichs, director and chief pilot with Amalgamated Helicopters, told ABC News. This photo of one of their "help" signs was first obtained by The New Zealand Herald.  The two were found Saturday and airlifted to a hospital, the New Zealand Herald reported.Diedrichs said Rachel was very weak and dehydrated as they had very little food over the course of the four days. But the mother and daughter are in good health, The New Zealand Herald reported.Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Duchess of Cambridge Featured on Cover of British Vogue


Samir Hussein/WireImage via Getty Images(LONDON) --  The Duchess of Cambridge appears on the cover of British Vogue to celebrate the magazine's 100th anniversary, in a collaboration with the National Portrait Gallery of which Kate is the Charitable Patron.For the article, which appears in the issue that will hit the news stands June 5, the duchess was photographed by Josh Olins in casual attire to reflect her love of the countryside. She and Prince William have a country home Anmer Hall on the Sandringham estate in Norfolk where they split their time with Kensington Palace raising their children.The @NPGLondon has collaborated with @BritishVogue on a series of photographic portraits of The Duchess #Vogue100 pic.twitter.com/NCx9eKhyv9— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) April 30, 2016"Since 1916, Vogue has been a leading champion of British portraiture," a spokesperson for The Duchess of Cambridge said. "The Duchess was delighted to play a part in celebrating the centenary of an institution that has given a platform to some of the most renowned photographers in this country's history.""She is incredibly grateful to the team at Vogue and at the National Portrait Gallery for asking her to take part," Kensington Palace said in a statement. "She would like to thank Josh Olins for being such a pleasure to work with. The Duchess had never taken part in a photography shoot like this before. She hopes that people appreciate the portraits with the sense of relaxed fun with which they were taken."HRH was delighted to celebrate 100 years of @BritishVogue - a leading champion of British portraiture since 1916 pic.twitter.com/sJjCaghs2h— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) April 30, 2016On the British Vogue cover the coat and shirt are Burberry and the vintage hat is from Beyond Retro. The black and white head shot features coat and shirt by Burberry. In the color shot by the gate, the top is Petit Bateau and trousers are Burberry.Two of the photographs will be displayed in the "Vogue 100 A Century of Style" exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery and available to view Sunday May 1."To be able to publish a photographic shoot with HRH The Duchess of Cambridge has been one of my greatest ambitions for the magazine," British Vogue Editor-in-Chief Alexandra Shulman said.The images of The Duchess were shot by British photographer Josh Olins in the Norfolk countryside #Vogue100 pic.twitter.com/iz1rNSf1TH— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) April 30, 2016British Vogue scored a coup nearly every magazine editor had hoped for."I'm delighted the Duchess agreed to work with us and the National Portrait Gallery, and as a result of this unique collaboration we have a true celebration of our centenary as well as a fitting tribute to a young woman whose interest in both photography and the countryside is well known," she said.Kate has been the Patron of the National Portrait gallery since 2012 shortly after she married Prince William. The Duchess of Cambridge will view the photographs on Wednesday at the National Portrait Gallery."Josh has captured The Duchess exactly as she is -– full of life, with a great sense of humor, thoughtful and intelligent, and in fact, very beautiful," said Nicholas Cullinan, the director of the National Portrait Gallery."Not only do they reflect her love of the countryside, interest in photography and championing of the National Portrait Gallery as our very committed Patron, but they also encapsulate what Vogue has always done so brilliantly -– to pair the best photographers with the great personalities of the day, in order to reflect broader shifts in culture and society," Cullinan said. "We had fun in making and choosing these images, and I hope that comes across.”Catherine is a keen photographer herself and graduated with a degree in History of Art from St Andrews University, where she met and fell in love with William.She has taken several photographs of her children that have become iconic images of their life.Kate follows her late mother-in-law, Princess Diana, who appeared in the cover of Vogue four times during her life. Princess Diana was photographed twice by Patrick DeMarchelier and once by Lord Snowden. She was also honored posthumously after her death."It's a privilege to have been chosen to photograph HRH The Duchess of Cambridge for the Centenary issue of British Vogue and an honor that two of those portraits will hang in the National Portrait Gallery in London," Olins said."This was the Duchess's first sitting for a magazine and she was a joy to work with, a natural," he said. "I am incredibly grateful to Alexandra Shulman for placing her faith in me for such an important and historic assignment."Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved. 

Rescuers Pull 72-Year-Old Man From Rubble 13 Days After Ecuador Earthquake


Embassy of Venezuela in Ecuador(NEW YORK) -- Nearly two weeks after a 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck Ecuador, killing at least 654 people, a Venezuelan rescue crew pulled a 72-year-old man from the rubble of a building.Manuel Vasquez was discovered by Venezuelan rescuers in the fishing town of Jaramijo on Friday while doing building inspections after they heard him making noises from underneath the the rubble of a partially collapsed building, according to a statement released Saturday by the Venezuelan embassy in Quito.Vasquez, who had been trapped in the building since the April 16 earthquake, was dehydrated and disoriented, and was suffering from kidney failure and a urinary tract infection. The embassy said he also lost several toes.He remains hospitalized.Ecuadorian Vice President Jorge Glas called the seismic event "the strongest quake we have faced in decades," adding it was the strongest quake registered in the country since 1979.The nation's armed forces and police were mobilized to keep public order, and Red Cross Ecuador had said more than 1,200 volunteers had taken part in rescue efforts, evacuation and first aid operations. Ecuador's Risk Management agency said 10,000 armed forces personnel were deployed to help people in the coastal areas.Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Kensington Palace Releases New Photos of Princess Charlotte in Honor of Her Firs


HRH The Duchess of Cambridge(LONDON) --  A series of photos of adorable Princess Charlotte, the second child of Prince William and Kate, were released by Kensington Palace Sunday, a day ahead of her first birthday.The four new photos were taken by HRH The Duchess of Cambridge in April at their home in Norfolk. The Duchess took these pictures of her daughter in April at their home in Norfolk. pic.twitter.com/dzPlj1snhN— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) May 1, 2016"The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are delighted to be able to share four new photographs of Princess Charlotte," a Kensington Palace spokesman said in a statement. "The Duke and Duchess are very happy to be able to share these important family moments and hope that everyone enjoys these lovely photos as much as they do."Princess Charlotte is shown walking, or nearly walking, in a couple of the photos. The Duke and Duchess are happy to be able to share these family moments, ahead of their daughter's first birthday. pic.twitter.com/JziskTyCq4— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) May 1, 2016The Duke and Duchess released a similar photograph of their son Prince George when he was walking at the same age.Princess Kate reflected on her daughter just before the Queens 90th birthday in a documentary by ITN: "The Queen was really thrilled that it was a little girl, and I think as soon as we came back here to Kensington she was one of our first visitors here,” Duchess Kate said. "It's very special having a new little girl." The Duke and Duchess are delighted to share new photographs of Princess Charlotte. pic.twitter.com/Hvnk7FYEFC— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) May 1, 2016She added, "I feel very, very lucky that George has got a little sister."Prince William expressed his sentiments about his growing family shortly after Princess Charlotte's birth. “It has been fantastic and she has been a little joy of heaven," he said. "But at the same time, it is more responsibility, looking after two little ones, especially when George is around. He’s a little monkey." We hope that everyone enjoys these lovely photos as much as we do. pic.twitter.com/PqZnnQyX9h— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) May 1, 2016Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Hospital Bombing in Afghanistan Not a War Crime, Pentagon Says


MSF/Pool/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The Pentagon released a 3,000-page report on Friday on the investigation into a deadly U.S. airstrike last October that obliterated a Doctors Without Borders hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan, killing 42 people and wounding dozens more. As a result of the investigation, 16 military service members received administrative punishments that could affect their future status in uniform.Military investigators concluded the ground operators and crew aboard an AC-130U gunship were unaware they were firing on a medical facility.Gen. Jospeh Votel, head of U.S. Central Command, said at a Pentagon briefing Friday that the incident resulted from "a combination of human errors compounded by process and equipment failures."The Oct. 3 attack drew outrage from Doctors Without Borders, which called the strike a war crime. Both President Obama and Afghanistan officials publicly apologized for the attack.The investigation determined that because there was no "intent" to hit a medical facility, the mistakes committed did not amount to a war crime."The fact that this was an unintentional action takes it out of the realm of actually being a deliberate war crime against persons or protected locations," Votel said.A two-star general officer was among the 16 military personnel punished for the attack. Seven received letters of reprimand while others received counseling and retraining. Although no criminal charges will be filed, the punishments could effectively end the military careers for most of the service members involved.According to U.S. officials, the majority of military personnel involved were U.S. special operations forces. Gen. John Campbell, the commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan at the time, decided on administrative actions against 12 of the 16 service members, including the general. Campbell referred the cases of five service members to U.S. Special Operations Command, then headed by Votel, who decided on the punishments for the three officers aboard the plane and the ground force commander who called in an airstrike. The case of the remaining enlisted service member was forwarded to U.S. Army Special Operations Command that issued a letter of reprimand and directed retraining.The attack on the Doctors Without Borders hospital, also known as Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF), took place on Oct. 3 during a campaign to retake the city of Kunduz from Taliban forces.Votel said the special operations team that called the airstrike was engaged in "an extraordinarily intense combat situation" while supporting Afghan security forces fighting Taliban fighters. The team called in an airstrike on Taliban fighters.The building in question turned out to be the MSF trauma center whose coordinates were included on the U.S.'s no-strike list. Because of the combat situation in Kunduz, the AC-130 was rushed into service and the flight crew was not given the latest no-strike information.Votel said the crew of the gunship and the ground force commander believed they were striking a building several hundred meters away that housed insurgents.MSF immediately reported to the military that it was attacking a protected hospital. Votel said Friday that the first call was received 10 minutes into the half-hour long attack, but that the information "did not immediately register" with the person taking the call.After receiving the report, MSF released a statement calling again for an independent investigation from the International Humanitarian Fact Finding Commission.“Today’s briefing amounts to an admission of an uncontrolled military operation in a densely populated urban area, during which U.S. forces failed to follow the basic laws of war,” said Meinie Nicolai, MSF president, on Friday. “It is incomprehensible that, under the circumstances described by the U.S., the attack was not called off.”"The threshold that must be crossed for this deadly incident to amount to a grave breach of international humanitarian law is not whether it was intentional or not,” Nicolai continued. “With multinational coalitions fighting with different rules of engagement across a wide spectrum of wars today, whether in Afghanistan, Syria, or Yemen, armed groups cannot escape their responsibilities on the battlefield simply by ruling out the intent to attack a protected structure such as a hospital.”As a result of the incident, changes were instituted by senior commanders in Afghanistan ensuring that all aircraft take flight with the latest no-strike list. Defense Secretary Ash Carter has also issued a directive that all commands and services review their rules of engagement for similar situations in the future.The Department of Defense has made condolence payments to more than 170 individuals affected by the attack. Those injured in the attack and families of the deceased received payments of $3,000 and families of those killed received $6,000. The Defense Department will allocate $5.7 million to build a new hospital in the same area.Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Russian Fighter Flew a Barrel Roll Within 25 Feet of US Reconnaissance Plane Ove


United States European Command (MOSCOW) -- In another close encounter with Russian military aircraft over the Baltic Sea, the Pentagon said a Russian Su-27 fighter jet Friday conducted a barrel roll within 25 feet of a U.S. Air Force RC-135 reconnaissance plane flying in international airspace.It is the third time in as many weeks the United States has accused the Russian military of engaging in "an unsafe and unprofessional" manner in the waters and airspace of the Baltic Sea. The previous incidents were the repeated buzzing at close range of the U.S. Navy destroyer USS Donald Cook and another barrel roll of a U.S. reconnaissance planeA barrel roll is when an aircraft pulls parallel to another aircraft and then rises up and does a complete 360-degree turn over the other aircraft."On April 29, 2016, a U.S. Air Force RC-135 aircraft flying a routine route in international airspace over the Baltic Sea was intercepted by a Russian Su-27 in an unsafe and unprofessional manner," Pentagon spokeswoman Lt. Col. Michelle Baldanza said."The Su-27 performed erratic and aggressive maneuvers," she said. "The Su-27 intercepted the U.S. aircraft flying a routine route at high rate of speed from the side then proceeded to perform an aggressive maneuver that posed a threat to the safety of the U.S. aircrew in the RC-135. More specifically, the Su-27 closed within 25 feet of the fuselage of the RC-135 and conducted a barrel roll over the aircraft."There have been repeated incidents over the last year where Russian military aircraft have come close enough to other air and sea traffic to raise serious safety concerns, and we are very concerned with any such behavior," Baldanza added. "This unsafe and unprofessional air intercept has the potential to cause serious harm and injury to all aircrews involved."The U.S. reconnaissance aircraft was flying in international airspace at the time of Friday’s intercept and had not crossed into Russian territory."The unsafe and unprofessional actions of a single pilot have the potential to unnecessarily escalate tensions between countries,” Baldanza said.On April 11 and 12, the USS Donald Cook was overflown more than 30 times by a pair of Su-27 fighters that on one occasion flew as close as 30 feet from the ship. The Pentagon later released video and still images to demonstrate how risky the Russian aircraft maneuvers had been.On April 14, another Air Force RC-135 reconnaissance aircraft was intercepted by a Russian Su-27 fighter that proceeded to conduct a barrel roll within feet of the U.S. plane.On both occasions, Russian officials discounted the U.S. characterization that the actions by the Russian military aircraft were unsafe and unprofessional.Defense Secretary Ash Carter told a congressional panel Wednesday that the previous encounters carry "an inherent danger" of unintended escalation between the U.S. and Russian militaries.He commended the crew of the USS Donald Cook for their professionalism because "there's a real risk there because that ship captain has a responsibility to defend his job and an inherent right of self-defense.""But our own people comported themselves as they always do in the way you'd expect, very professional," Carter said.The Russian’s motivation is unknown but Carter said it’s “unprofessional behavior, and whether it is encouraged from the top, whether it was encouraged from higher up or not I can't say. But we do expect it to be discouraged from higher up from now on. That's the reason why the chairman had the conversations he did, and these pilots need to get the word, hey, knock it off. This is unprofessional. This is dangerous. This could lead somewhere.”At the same hearing, Gen. Joseph Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, characterized the risk of miscalculation between the two militaries "arguably, is greater than it was in the Cold War because the spectrum of challenges is wider today than it was traditionally narrow through just the nuclear enterprise."Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Pentagon Extends Carrier's Deployment by 30 Days to Keep Fighting ISIS


Department of Defense(WASHINGTON) -- The Pentagon has extended the seven-month deployment of the aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman and its strike group by 30 days to keep it in the fight against ISIS and for counter-terrorism missions. Since December, the aircraft carrier has been operating in the Persian Gulf, where its fighter aircraft have targeted ISIS in both Iraq and Syria.Defense Secretary Ash Carter approved a request by U.S. Central command to extend the carrier strike group's ongoing deployment. The extension will also affect the cruiser USS Anzio(CG 68) and the destroyers USS Bulkeley (DDG 84), USS Gonzalez (DDG 66) and USS Gravely (DDG 107)."This decision is central to our ongoing effort to dismantle and roll back terrorist networks in Syria, Iraq and elsewhere," Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson said Friday. "Accelerating the fight against ISIL is the president's number one priority and the Truman strike group plays an important role as we work to destroy ISIL and continue to go after the remnants of al Qaeda." ISIL is the term the Pentagon uses to describe ISIS.The extension is seen as another of the "accelerants" recommended by Carter and Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, to intensify the U.S. military's capabilities to target ISIS. The announced deployments last week of 217 more American troops to Iraq and 250 more Special Operations forces to Syria fall under the same category."Terrorist organizations remain a significant threat to U.S. interests. The superb efforts of the men and women of the Truman strike group have and will continue to be instrumental in winning this fight," Richardson said."The contributions we're making in the maritime environment are key to ensuring regional stability," said Rear Adm. Bret Batchelder, commander of the Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 8. "Our sailors' commitment and professionalism has been significant, and as a strike group, we're at peak operational effectiveness; so we're going to stay in the fight a while longer. I want the sailors and their families to know how proud I am of their continued efforts and dedication to this fight."When the Truman strike group left its home port of Norfolk, Virginia, last fall, it was slated to complete the first seven-month deployment in years. The shorter deployment has been a Navy goal following years of longer deployments to meet a need for a constant U.S. aircraft carrier presence in the region at a time that the size of the carrier fleet was temporarily reduced from 11 to 10.Last year, a shortfall in available carriers due to scheduled long-term maintenance resulted in "a carrier gap" in the Persian Gulf, where there was not a direct hand-off in carrier responsibilities. That carrier gap last November lasted several weeks until the Truman arrived in the Gulf, another gap was scheduled when its deployment came to an end.The 30-day extension will delay a presence gap in CENTCOM this spring, but also represents a setback for the Navy's overstretched flattop force. The Middle East was without a carrier for several weeks in 2015 in the middle of the ISIS fight because the carrier Theodore Roosevelt departed without a relief. Truman filled the gap in December when it arrived in the Middle East."Before deviating from our seven-month deployments, we consider each Combatant Commander's request to ensure the readiness of our naval forces," Richardson said. "We will do everything we can to mitigate the impact on our families and execute planned seven-month deployment lengths going forward."Two weeks ago, the F/A-18 aircraft aboard the carrier set a new record for carrier-based ordnance used during Operation Inherent Resolve, the mission against ISIS in Iraq and Syria.Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 7 has completed 1,407 combat sorties, delivering 1,118 precision-guided munitions equally over 580 tons of ordnance, military officials said.Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Partial Ceasefire Set for Midnight in Syria


iStock/Thinkstock(ALEPPO, Syria) -- The U.S. and Russia have agreed to reaffirm the Syrian ceasefire agreement, but this time in only parts of the country.White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Friday the parties involved were “refreshing” the broken cessation of hostilities, which were officially destroyed this week as Syrian forces bombed a civilian hospital, killing 50 -- including children -- and the last known pediatrician in the city of Aleppo. That city has seen the most intense fighting as the ceasefire has broken down, with an estimated 200 killed in recent days.Statement by SE for #Syria Michael Ratney on Re-Committing to the Cessation of Hostilities in Latakia& EasternGhouta pic.twitter.com/MwWQvG7F64— U.S. Embassy Syria (@USEmbassySyria) April 29, 2016The agreement calls for a renewed ceasefire beginning tonight at midnight, local time, initially in the areas of Latakia, Damascus and Eastern Ghouta. Senior State Department officials insisted that although this doesn’t include Aleppo, the opposition-held city is not being ignored.“So, we are talking about a couple of discrete areas in the immediate sets of this, but we are actually working on all of the areas, a senior State Department official told reporters Friday. “So, it’s not just about Latakia and Damascus, Eastern Ghouta east of Damascus, but also about Aleppo and other areas where we see problems or potential problems that we’re trying to get back -- get and then get this cessation of hostilities back on track.”Despite the horrific hospital bombing this week, Syrian and Russian forces insist they are targeting terrorist in Aleppo.Officials at the State Department insist that a total ceasefire is not an official precondition for the political negotiations between the warring parties, but the talks are unlikely progress without one.Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Squash Pro Disguised Herself as a Boy to Play in Taliban Region


ABC News(ISLAMABAD) -- Maria Toorpakai was just 4 years old and living in the Taliban-controlled tribal regions of Waziristan, Pakistan, when she set her girl clothes ablaze in defiance of the world she'd been born into."In that age, I just felt that 'I just want to go out. I just don't want to stay home or among those girls.' ... That's why I burned all my dresses," the professional squash player told ABC News anchor David Muir. "I saw a huge [difference] between the life of a girl and a boy. ... I'm not a very typical girl who's just going to stay among those and just help learn how to [do] home chores and learn to sew."Toorpakai, currently ranked as Pakistan's top female squash player, is No. 48 in the world.In 2007, she went professional in the squash world. For years, however, she disguised herself as a boy in order to play and compete in squash so the Taliban would not learn of her.Toorpakai, who spoke with ABC News at the New York Health and Racquet Club recently, shared her story in a book due out Tuesday titled "A Different Kind of Daughter: The Girl Who Hid From the Taliban in Plain Sight."She said through it all, she had the support of her father, who'd also educated her mother and sister."At home my father treated us really well, like equally to my brothers," she said. "We have very just environment at home. But when I go outside, I did not find justice in there."When she destroyed most of her clothing at 4, Toorpakai said that instead of scolding her, her father supported her, letting her wear her brother's clothing and giving her a new name: Genghis Khan for the greatest warrior.In Waziristan, where women are kept home and not allowed to attend school or play outside, Toorpakai said it was very dangerous for her progressive parents. Only her family knew her secret.Her father, who was pro-women's rights, was threatened and attacked. Their house was stoned. Her father was forced to leave and was jailed but he escaped. The family moved from one area to another because of the danger they faced. When Maria was 12, the family settled in Peshawar."At home, I was Maria. ... At home, I did everything a daughter does. Outside, I did everything like son does so I help my family bring groceries, always escorting my mom, you know, everywhere and my sister," she said. "At home, I'm cleaning the house. ... Making bread. ... Everything. Things like that."When Toorpakai started getting into fights with the local boys, her father pushed her to get into sports. She started weightlifting and competing throughout Pakistan. Then she discovered squash. In order to enroll in a squash academy, she had to present her birth certificate. Only the academy director knew the truth but the students eventually learned that she was a girl."Lots of kids come from the same area where we were living at that time," she said. "They came to know about me, that I'm a girl. ... I was treated differently. ... They were teasing me. ... Extreme bullying started. ... I just didn't know what has changed. I'm the same person. Just only thing is that I'm a girl."She said she grew depressed and suffered anxiety. Her father noticed how despondent she was and tried sending her to school with her sister. She found, however, that school was not a good fit. Eventually she returned to playing squash and ultimately decided she would not let anyone deter her from being a success."I saw a lot of resistance from the community, from the society. I heard people telling my father that, you know, this is not right thing to do. ... But my father is amazing. ... Even in Peshawar market, he would not care about people. ... He said, 'Don't look at people. Just walk and stay focused. And these are just people. They will just walk by your life. ... You would reach your destiny,'" she said.Toorpakai kept playing squash and training and practicing. In 2007, she earned an award from Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf. In 2009, she was nominated for the Best Player of the Year Award by the World Squash Federation. With the accolades, however, came the death threats to her and her family by the Taliban."They were saying to my dad that, 'You are, you know, come from blood. You come from the same region. And your daughter plays sport and, you know, in skirts and shorts. And it's unbearable thing you're doing," she said. "Looking at my father, he was, you know, nervous. My mom was very nervous and depressed."Toorpakai said for several years she stopped playing squash in public, retreating to her home and opting to play inside and when the sun had gone down. She started sending emails around the world, looking desperately for a place to play. In three and a half years, she received only one reply. It came from Jonathan Power, a world squash champion living in Canada.In 2014, with Power's help, she moved to Toronto, Canada, where she currently lives and continues to play.She said she had a message to not only young girls in Pakistan but also the men in their lives."The most beautiful scarves, burqa or veil that you can give to your daughter is the love, is the trust that you build with time. ... Give them freedom and they will always come back. ... And to the young girls, never, ever think you are less than any boy or man. We come from the same mother. ... You cannot be less than your brother."Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

New Zealand Woman Returns Overdue Library Book 67 Years Later


iStock/Thinkstock(EPSOM, New Zealand) -- A grandmother in her 70s recently returned an overdue library book 67 years after it was borrowed, according to Auckland Libraries, the public library system for the Auckland region of New Zealand.The elderly woman visited Auckland's Epsom Library "with a confession" on Wednesday. She explained that she had borrowed the book as a child in December of 1948 and accidentally took it with her when she moved out of the city, according to a Facebook post from Epsom Library.The book, a "gorgeous" first edition of "Myths and Legends of Maoriland" by A.W. Red, was given back in "excellent, well-read condition," the library wrote.Based on Auckland Libraries' current late fee policy, the overdue fine for the late return would have amounted to nearly $17,000 U.S. dollars.But luckily, the woman did not have to pay a single penny.She "took such good care of the book that we couldn't possibly charge her!" the library said.Our library book returned 68 years late is going around the world! Here it is in @guardian! https://t.co/uL2Gzv8JFo pic.twitter.com/BddRN9kffN— Auckland Libraries (@Auckland_Libs) April 29, 2016Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

33 Rescued Circus Lions Airlifted to South African Sanctuary


iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Thirty-three lions rescued from "deplorable conditions" in circuses in Peru and Colombia are being flown over 7,000 miles Friday back to their homeland in South African bush, according to Animal Defenders International, the group spearheading the operation.The lions' journey marks the conclusion of Operation Spirit of Freedom, a mission started by ADI in partnership with the Peruvian and Colombian governments to enforce the ban on wild animals in circuses and crack down on illegal wildlife trafficking, ADI said in a news release earlier this week.The operation has rescued over 100 animals, including the 33 lions were who were found "living in deplorable conditions in cages on the backs of trucks," ADI said.Unfortunately, almost all the lions "have been mutilated to remove their claws, one has lost an eye, another is almost blind, and many have smashed and broken teeth," the group said."These lions have endured hell on earth and now they are heading home to paradise," ADI President Jan Creamer said in ADI's news release.But Friday, the lions will begin a new chapter of their lives at Emoya Big Cat Sanctuary, ADI said.There, the lions will enjoy large natural enclosures situated in pristine African bush complete with drinking pools, platforms and toys, according to Savannah Heuser, the sanctuary's founder."This is their birth right," Heuser said in ADI's news release. "African sun, African night skies, African bush and sounds, clouds, summer thunderstorms, large enclosures in a natural setting where they can remember who they are.”Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

What Puerto Rico Needs From Congress Ahead of May 1 Debt Deadline


iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Puerto Rico is facing its biggest debt deadline yet on May 1, but Congress, which experts say is the territory's only hope, likely won't be doing anything about it.“Congress holds keys to solving the situation," economist Aleksandar Tomic told ABC News about the territory's $73 billion debt crisis.On May 1, a $422 million payment is due to Puerto Rico's Government Development Bank, its biggest yet. Its upcoming deadline of $2 billion looms even more ominously. There is one immediate way that Congress could help, Tomic said, which is re-instating Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection afforded to mainland municipalities. That provision was stripped of Puerto Rico by Congress in 1984 and there is no real reason Congress could not re-instate it, according to Tomic."This would allow Puerto Rico to try and engage debt holders in restructuring efforts that might help avoid the dire economic consequences of full bankruptcy," said Tomic, Boston College's Woods College of Advancing Studies program director of Master of Science in Applied Economics.In June, the territory's governor declared that it could not pay its debts. Since then, there's been little done to help the territory's debt crisis, thought 3.5 million American citizens reside there. The unemployment rate in Puerto Rico is 11.8 percent, while its population has shrunk by more than 5 percent in the last decade. Meanwhile, the cost of living has skyrocketed as per capita income is as low $19,000 per year.The Puerto Rican debt is small enough that any default will not, in and of itself, create a significant economic event on the mainland, nor in the world financial system, Tomic said."However, it will be catastrophic for Puerto Rico, as island government might not be able to provide even the basic services," Tomic said. "The exodus of businesses and populations will continue, and the territory will fall deeper into a downward spiral of missing debt payments, shrinking economy, and exodus of an able-bodied and employable population."On Tuesday, Republican House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said Congress won't be acting to push legislation to help Puerto Rico in time for the May 1 deadline.“Congress can, of course, bail out Puerto Rico, and for all the political grandstanding currently taking place, this option might become viable if the plight of Puerto Rico's population gains enough media attention," Tomic said.Beside Congress' inaction, Puerto Rico also faces legal battles between the bondholders and the territory's government, "but these are par for the course in any bankruptcy situation," Tomic said.McCarthy has said he isn't in favor of a bailout.A draft bill has been stuck with the House Natural Resources Committee, which would have put into place a restructuring of Puerto Rico's $70 billion debt had the scheduled committee action taken place on April 14.Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.