World News

Oscar Pistorius Gets Five Years in Prison for Girlfriend's Shooting Death


Herman Verwey/Foto24/Gallo Images/Getty Images(PRETORIA, South Africa) -- Oscar Pistorius was sentenced to five years in prison for the 2013 shooting death of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, Judge Thokozile Masipa announced Tuesday.Before announcing her decision, Masipa acknowledged that sentencing is "not a perfect exercise.""A non-custodial sentence would send the wrong message to the community. But a long sentence would also not be appropriate, because it would lack mercy," she said.Pistorius was convicted last month of culpable homicide -- comparable to manslaughter -- in Steenkamp’s death. The conviction carries a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison with no minimum prescribed sentence.He was found not guilty of a more serious premeditated murder charge.Prosecutors had requested 10 years in prison for Pistorius, 27, who’s known as Blade Runner for his prosthetic legs. The South African athlete’s defense team suggested a sentence of house arrest.The trial began in March and was marked by the athlete’s emotional outbursts -- often sobbing and wailing in court as details of the shooting were discussed.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

US Forces Launch 12 More Airstrikes in Iraq, Syria


Michael Fitzsimmons/iStockphoto/Thinkstock(BAGHDAD) -- U.S. military forces conducted at least six more airstrikes near Kobani, Syria on Sunday night and Monday, and six more in Iraq.According to U.S. Central Command, one of the strikes in Syria was aimed at a stray resupply bundle from Sunday's U.S. airdrops of Kurdish arms and ammunition. In order to prevent those supplies from falling into the hands of members of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, the bundle was struck by U.S. forces.Five other airstrikes in Syria hit ISIS fighting and mortar positions and an ISIS vehicle.The strikes in Iraq took place near Fallujah and Bayji. Those sorties destroyed ISIS vehicles and buildings. France and the United Kingdom also participated in the most recent strikes.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs"); Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Pentagon Calls Possible Turkish Aid in Kobani 'Welcome News'


Digital Vision/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- After the Turkish foreign minister said on Monday that his country would aid Iraqi Kurdish fighters in crossing into Syria to support Kurdish fighters in the town of Kobani, Pentagon spokesman Col. Steve Warren called the statement "welcome news.""The more fighters that are available to combat [ISIS] fighters, the better," Warren said. Turkey had kept Kurdish fighters out previously due to a 30-year Kurdish insurgency in Turkey. State Department spokesperson Marie Harf said Monday that President Obama spoke with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan over the weekend to discuss the situation in Kobani, a town that has been threatened by ISIS advances for weeks. Turkey has also taken in over one million refugees, including about 180,000 from Kobani.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs"); Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

NOAA: Global Temperature in September Hottest on Record


Creatas/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released data on Monday that shows the average global temperature in September reached a new high, and marked the 38th consecutive September where the global average temperature finished above the 20th century average.September's temperature, the highest ever for the month since record keeping began in 1880, marked the fourth time this year the world temperature has set a new all-time high in a given month. May, June, and August also saw record high temperatures.The NOAA notes that, "with the exception of February, every month to date in 2014 has been among its four warmest on record."The global average temperature over land and ocean combined was 60.3 degrees Fahrenheit, the NOAA found, 1.3 degrees higher than the 20th century average. The period between January and September also tied with the same timeframe in 1998 for the warmest January-to-September period on record, with an average temperature of 57.5 degrees Fahrenheit globally.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs"); Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Cuba Willing to Work with US to Stop Ebola Outbreak in West Africa


Daniel Loncarevic//iStockphoto/Thinkstock(HAVANA) -- Cuban President Raul Castro says that Cuba and the United States can work "side-by-side" in the effort to stop the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.At the ALBA-TCP Summit on Ebola, Castro called the situation "a dreadful epidemic," and noted that the outbreak, "poses a huge challenge to humanity, one that should be met with utmost urgency.""At the moment," Castro highlighted, "more than 4,000 Cuban healthcare collaborators are working in 32 African countries and...they are all joining in the preventive effort against Ebola."Over the weekend, Fidel Castro wrote in the state-run newspaper Granma, that ,"the hour of duty has arrived," for Cuba, and that Cuba, "did not hesitate one minute in responding to the request made by international bodies for support to the struggle against the brutal epidemic which has erupted in West Africa.""We will happily cooperate with U.S. personnel in this task," the former Cuban president wrote, "not in search of peace between these two states which have been adversaries for so many years, but rather, in any event, for World Peace, and objective which can and should be attempted."Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs"); Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Valuable Ebola Lessons the US Can Learn From Nigeria


iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The Ebola virus continues to rage through West Africa, but a few countries in the region have managed to contain the outbreak. Case in point: After six weeks with no new cases, the World Health Organization declared Nigeria Ebola-free on Monday.Ebola entered Nigeria, a country of 178 million people, in July when a sick passenger flew from Liberia into Lagos, Nigeria’s largest and busiest city. Once Nigerian health officials confirmed the traveler -- Liberian-American financial consultant Patrick Sawyer -- had Ebola, they acted quickly to contain it, said Erin Hohlfelder, the global health policy director for U2 frontman Bono’s ONE Campaign."From the minute they were aware of the first case, they established an emergency operations center with a coordinated effort by a central body with clear lines of accountability rather than a dispersed response," Hohlfelder said.John Vertefeuille, head of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Ebola response team in Nigeria, said contact tracing also played a key role in stopping the spread of the virus."Tracing was central to the success of the response," he said.Health officials set up a case management system to track and monitor patient contacts, Vertefeuille said. They followed nearly 900 people who were potentially exposed to Ebola, making 18,500 visits to check for symptoms, he pointed out.And unlike many other West African countries where the virus has spread rapidly, Nigeria has a robust health care system in place, Vertefeuille said."Lagos has a lot of health assets including a large hospital system and a fleet of ambulances. It has a large health care workforce," he said.To strengthen its response even further, the government enlisted the help of international nonprofits such as ONE, Save the Children and Doctors Without Borders, groups that already had a presence in Nigeria with a staff experienced in responding to disease outbreaks. It also relied on the expertise of groups such as the CDC and WHO.However, there were some missteps. One person infected with Ebola was too scared to come forward, evading a manhunt for several days before public health authorities were able to track him down. He eventually recovered from the virus but not before being treated by a doctor who later died.Another setback: an elaborate social media prank urging Nigerians to drink excessive amounts of salt water to avoid catching the Ebola virus. The hoax spread like wildfire for several days in August. Two people died and at least 20 people were hospitalized as a result, according to the Nigerian newspaper Vanguard News.To clamp down on the hysteria, the government asked politicians, teachers, religious leaders and celebrities to help communicate accurate information, said Edwin Ikhuoria, the Nigerian representative for the ONE campaign."Information on the dangers and method of spread of the virus was on radio, TV, billboards and SMS [text messaging] platforms," he said, adding that the government also began promoting a message of anti-stigma to prevent any potentially infected people from going underground, which would have allowed the disease to spread off the public health radar.In total, Nigeria had 20 confirmed cases before the outbreak was contained. Eight died of Ebola.Vertefeuille said if there are lessons for the United States and the rest of the world for how they deal with Ebola, it’s that it can be controlled with standard public health efforts."What we saw was two outbreaks in Nigeria –- we saw an Ebola outbreak and an outbreak of fear," he said. "Countries can communicate the basics before there is an outbreak so that the public and health care workers know how to respond ahead of time."Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

UK Trash 'Skipping' Turns Food Waste into Meals


ABC News(LONDON) -- It's no secret that millions of tons of food are wasted every day, but solutions to this issue are few.But one response can be found at a pop-up café that opened this month in Bristol, United Kingdom, exclusively serving intercepted waste food. Launched by a group of volunteers, the purpose of the café is to serve food to the needy and raise awareness about food waste.One-third of all food produced worldwide gets lost or wasted, according to a recent report by the United Nations Environment Program and the World Resources Institute. Consumers in industrialized countries waste almost as much food annually as the entire net food production of sub-Saharan Africa.The food served at the Skipchen varies, according to what the volunteers are able to rescue. In the evenings, teams go out and do "skipping," or finding edible food from the trash. Some of the food is also donated from restaurants and food banks or collected from farms.Volunteers wash and peel discarded foods, and don’t used anything that "doesn't look or smell right."Sam Joseph, one of the co-founders, took an official course on sanitary practices that allows him to handle and serve food. He makes sure his volunteers use appropriate tools and cutting boards and have "a high level of personal hygiene," washing their hands regularly, he told ABC News.He said they only use meat that comes under sealed packets and checks for any holes. Everything is refrigerated and cooked as soon as possible.Customers who came in the café were overwhelmingly people already sensitive to the issue of waste, sometimes doing "skipping" themselves.Customers are not charged a set price and asked to "pay-as-you-feel."Until December, Skipchen will be operating daily at The Crofter's Rights, a pub that is leasing its 20-seat space for free.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Sweden Expands Hunt for Suspected Russian Sub


iStock/Thinkstock(MOSCOW) -- Sweden is widening its search for what may be a distressed Russian submarine in the waters near Stockholm.On Monday authorities ordered all ships to leave the large cluster of some 30,000 islands where the vessel was possibly spotted. A no fly zone has also gone into effect over the area.The Swedish military has been searching for the mysterious vessel from the air and on the water since Friday."It's likely that foreign underwater activity is taking place in the Stockholm archipelago," Sweden's Rear Admiral Anders Grenstad said at a news conference on Sunday.Grenstad notably did not identify the origin of the suspected vessel, despite a Swedish newspaper report that says an emergency message in Russian was intercepted on a Russian emergency frequency.Swedish authorities maintain this is an intelligence operation. They said object may have been seen three times in recent days and released a grainy photo that may show it on the surface."We consider all those observations to be very credible," Rear Admiral Grendstad said.Russia has denied any involvement. Instead, the Russians suggested it was actually a Dutch submarine.The Dutch Defense Ministry spokeswoman, however, told the BBC that "it was definitely not a Dutch submarine."With renewed Russian military aggression in the region, the incident has sparked Cold War memories of when Sweden regularly combed its waters for Russian submarines.In 1981, a Soviet submarine ran aground in southern Sweden, sparking a diplomatic standoff that lasted ten days until Sweden towed it back out to sea and handed it over.If this incident does turn out to be a Russian submarine, the first question will be what it was doing there. But equally concerning may be how Russia decides to respond.In 2000, the Kursk, a large nuclear-powered Russian submarine, sank in Russian waters in the icy Berents Sea. The country's new president Vladimir Putin ignored international offers for rescue and all 118 men on board died.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

US Airdrops Arms, Ammunition to Kurds in Syrian Town of Kobani


Gokhan Sahin/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The United States has airdropped small arms, ammunition and medical supplies to Kurdish militia forces in the besieged city of Kobani who have been fighting back an ISIS assault for weeks. The airdrops will likely stir controversy with the Turkish government, which has opposed support for Kurdish military groups in Syria that it believes are affiliated with a Kurdish group that has conducted terrorist attacks inside Turkey for decades.Senior administration officials said that on Sunday night three American C-130 aircraft dropped 27 pallets of materials for the Kurdish fighters in the city, the first such support mission for the Kurdish fighters. The materials carried aboard the aircraft were provided by Kurdish authorities in Iraq. The mission is believed to have been successful and the American planes encountered no resistance from the ground.On a conference call with reporters Sunday night after the mission’s completion, the officials said it is possible that further support for the Kurdish fighters is likely, though it may occur in different forms. One official characterized the aid provided to the Kurdish fighters as “the type of material that would help them sustain this fight.”The airdrops will likely be controversial in Turkey, where for decades the Turkish military has been fighting the PKK militant Kurdish group -- which has conducted terrorist attacks inside Turkey in support of an independent Kurkish state. The United States also considers the PKK to be a terrorist group. The Kurdish forces fighting in Kobani belong to a larger Kurdish umbrella group known as the YPG, but which Turkey sees as an affiliate of the PKK.In an indication of how delicate the airdrops would be to Turkish-American relations, a senior administration official said President Obama spoke with Turkish President Recep Erdogan on Saturday to advise him of the intent to conduct the airdrops “and the importance that we put on it.” Secretary of State John Kerry also spoke with his Turkish counterpart on Friday about the decision to support the Syrian Kurdish fighters.The official would not characterize Turkey’s response to the notification but broadly acknowledged Turkish concerns with helping the Kurds, “Clearly we understand the longstanding Turkish concern with their range of groups, including Kurdish groups, that they’ve been engaged with in conflict at times.”A senior administration official said the airdrops had a humanitarian aspect, as the Kurdish militias could face a slaughter if they are defeated. “We’ve seen the slaughter of forces who have found themselves in ISIL’s way…and particularly when those forces have put up a tenacious battle the way these forces in Kobani have done,” said the official who used an alternate name to describe the Islamic extremist group.The officials said the airdrops had been discussed by U.S. officials “for a number of days” after it came to their attention that the Kurdish fighters were running low on supplies.American military officials have said that ISIS has decided to make seizing the border town of Kobani a focal point of their operations in Syria. They say the influx of ISIS fighters to take the city has led to an increase in the number of airstrikes in the city, presenting them with an opportunity to strike a major blow at ISIS.U.S. Central Command said in a statement Sunday that more than have 135 airstrikes have been conducted in Kobani, the vast majority of them in the past two weeks as ISIS pressed to capture the city.“Combined with continued resistance to ISIL on the ground, indications are that these strikes have slowed ISIL advances into the city, killed hundreds of their fighters and destroyed or damaged scores of pieces of ISIL combat equipment and fighting positions,” U.S. Central Command said in the statement.But one official reiterated that ISIS could still take over the city, describing the U.S. assessment of the situation on the ground there as “uncertain and tenuous.”The officials declined to directly address reports that the Kurdish fighters have been providing targeting information to U.S. and coalition aircraft. Instead they pointed to vague “decisions made” when the U.S. first got involved in the fight against ISIS, alluding to the Joint Operations Center in Erbil, iraq and American intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities in the region.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Catholic Bishops Reject More Acceptance of Homosexuals


Ingram Publishing/Thinkstock(VATICAN CITY) -- There will be no conciliatory language towards gays and lesbians from the Roman Catholic Church after bishops in Vatican City Saturday rejected a move toward greater acceptance of homosexuals.The decision by the synod is a blow to Pope Francis who had preached for more tolerance although the Vatican said that bishops' document was still a work in progress.Just recently, the Church was promoting the "gifts and qualities" of gay Catholics while also appearing to be more forgiving of divorced Catholics and couples who live together but aren't married.However, many conservative bishops were apparently taken aback by this more liberal attitude and when the language came up for a vote, it failed to get the necessary two-thirds approval.Yet, the pope got the last word in after the vote, scolding some bishops for their "hostile rigidity" against those who don't fall in line with Church doctrine.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Prince William and Wife Kate Expecting a Baby in April 2015


Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images(LONDON) — Prince William and his wife Kate, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, are expecting a baby in April 2015, Palace officials confirmed in a press release.Kate continues to be affected by acute morning sickness, but her condition is steadily improving, according to the release.Her pregnancy was announced in September after she was forced to skip a number of public events.The baby will be the second for the royal couple, joining 1-year-old George. The baby will be fourth in line to the British throne after grandfather Prince Charles, father Prince William and big brother George.It is playfully called "an heir and a spare," with George in direct line to the throne and the new baby his alternate. Second-born royal babies can end up as monarch. Britain’s last King, George VI, acceded to the throne in 1936 when his older brother Edward VII abdicated.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

North and South Korea Exchange Gunfire at Border


iStock/Thinkstock(SEOUL, South Korea) -- North and South Korea exchanged gunfire at the border Sunday.After about 10 North Korean soldiers approached the military demarcation line Sunday morning, South Korean soldiers gave a pre-warning broadcast and then fired warning shots.The shootout went on for about 10 minutes Sunday afternoon.This was the second shootout in less than 10 days.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Speculation Runs Wild Over Air Force's Mysterious X-37B Spacecraft


Dustin Franz/For The Washington Post via Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- After nearly two years in space, the small, mysterious spacecraft X-37B landed this week amid rampant speculation about just what it was doing in orbit.Run by the Air Force, the X-37B has fascinated space enthusiasts since it first launched in 2010. The ship looks like a miniature version of the recognizable NASA space shuttle. Only 29 feet long, it has a wingspan of just 15 feet, making it look practically miniscule next to the wingspan of a commercial jet.The military has kept the mission of the X-37B, leaving spacecraft fans to run wild with their guesses.Brian Weeden, a former Air Force officer who worked as an orbital analyst, said many space enthusiasts have been curious about the mission of the X-37B spacecraft and some have even attempted to track it in orbit.Weeden, now a technical advisor for the Secure World Foundation, said speculation seemed to run rampant specifically because so little has been disclosed."Because it is a secret military space plane, there is tons and tons of speculation about what it's doing in orbit," Weeden said.Popular online theories included that "it's testing the ability to drop bombs in orbit or covertly going up and disabling satellites," he said.Weeden said looking at past instances of American spacecraft, he believes the spacecraft is more likely involved in something less shocking."What I think is more practical is that it's setting up technology for surveillance," said Weeden, who pointed out the military has relied heavily on satellite surveillance for decades.Weeden also said the fact that the spacecraft can be reused and can return unmanned can allow faster turnaround on experiments.Weeden said the ship might provide a kind of fast-track space for the military to try out new equipment in orbit before it is sent via satellite. If new equipment breaks on a satellite in orbit, it can be difficult to fix. However, if it breaks in on a returnable spacecraft, engineers can make changes before it returns to orbit.The Air Force as an online page listing general areas of study for the spacecraft, including advanced guidance, navigation and control, thermal protection systems, and aircraft electronic systems, but has not released detailed information about these experiments.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Hurricane Gonzalo Knocks Out Power in Bermuda


iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Hurricane Gonzalo made a direct hit on Bermuda Friday night, unleashing pounding rains and dangerous winds.Though Gonzalo weakened to a Category 2 storm before landfall, the large system was still one of the largest to hit the island. Winds reached up to 105 miles per hour, taking out trees and power lines in its path.The storm left approximately 28,850 customers without power.On Saturday Bermuda Governor George Fergusson tweeted that there have been no deaths or serious injuries.This is the second storm in a row to hit Bermuda, following tropical storm Fay last weekend.More ABC news videos | ABC Health NewsFollow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Talks in Hong Kong Set for Tuesday After Night of Fighting and Arrests


Getty Images/Thomas Campean - Anadolu Agency(HONG KONG) -- After a night of fighting in Hong Kong, talks have been scheduled for Tuesday between the government and the students leading pro-democracy protests.Hong Kong Chief Secretary Carrie Lam said, "I'm pleased to say that good progress has been made in the preparations for the dialog between representatives of the Hong Kong Federation of Students and the Constitutional Development Task Force.""This dialog is now likely to take place next Tuesday afternoon," Lam said. "In fact this is the earliest of three days that we have given to the Federation of Students." "I am very much looking forward to having this dialog with the student representatives."The announcement came after fighting broke out between riot police and the protesters Friday night. Thirty-three people were arrested.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

US Forces Launch Seven More Airstrikes Near Kobani


Michael Fitzsimmons/iStockphoto/Thinkstock(KOBANI, Syria) -- U.S. military forces launched seven more airstrikes around Kobani on Friday, striking operations headed by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. Fighter aircraft struck six targets near Kobani where reports indicated they destroyed two ISIS fighting positions and two vehicles and struck three buildings. The strikes also suppressed three more ISIS fighting positions. A separate airsrike took place near Shadadi. That strike was the first to target an ISIS oil operation, which consisted of tanks of petroleum, oil and lubricants and a pump station -- "part of the terrorist group's oil producing, processing and transportation infrastructure." That operation aimed to "destroy a portion of [ISIS]'s ability to operate oil tanker trucks at oil collection points," said a release from U.S. Central Command.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs"); Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Hurricane Gonzalo Hits Bermuda


NASA Goddard MODIS Rapid Response Team(HAMILTON, Bermuda) -- Hurricane Gonzalo reached Bermuda Friday and pounded the island with winds over 100 mph.The Category 3 hurricane -- packing maximum sustained winds of 125 mph -- forced officials in Bermuda to issue a Hurricane Warning. On Friday afternoon, local officials said thousands of homes were without power.While the storm will continue to weaken, loss of life and property remains a genuine concern. Storm surge could top 10 feet at the shore, waves could climb above 20 feet and winds could surpass 100 mph.It's been a while since Bermuda has taken a hit as strong as this may be. Hurricane Fabian in 2003 brought winds to 120 mph and killed at least four people.Watch a live stream from Bermuda as Hurricane Gonzalo approaches, courtesy of PTZtv.com:Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Vent Grate Collapses at South Korea Concert, At Least 16 Dead


iStock/Thinkstock(SEOUL, South Korea) -- At least 16 people are dead and nearly a dozen injured after the ventilation grate they were standing on collapsed at an outdoor pop concert in South Korea Friday, officials said.The crowd had climbed up a 13 square feet steel grate to get a better view of the stage, and their weight caused the grate to collapse -- sending their bodies crashing 40 feet below, rescue authorities told ABC News.Hundreds of people were gathered at the show in Seongnam, just south of Seoul, to watch 4Minute, a popular girls' band, perform as part of a local festival.Many of the concert-goers were female students, witnesses said.Eleven people were injured.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Putin Keeps German Chancellor Waiting, Meets with Leaders at Asia-Europe Meeting


The Kremlin(MILAN, Italy) -- Russian President Vladimir Putin is in Milan to meet with a number of European leaders this week, sitting down with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko for "positive" talks on Friday, after arriving late for a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel the night before.Putin, who arrived in Milan from Serbia where a military parade was held in his honor, was scheduled to meet with Merkel before a dinner meeting consisting of European and Asian leaders. The Russian leader, however, arrived in the middle of the dinner in the middle of the host's toast.The meeting between Putin and Merkel, which took place after dinner -- four hours after it was scheduled -- lasted about two and a half hours.The Kremlin later posted a photo from the late meeting to its website.According to the Kremlin, Putin also met with leaders from Australia, France, Italy, Japan, and Romania during the Asia-Europe Meeting.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs"); Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Baghdad Car Bombs Kill 26, Injure Dozens More


File photo. iStock/Thinkstock(BAGHDAD) -- A trio of car bombs exploded in the Baghdad area on Friday, killing at least 26 people and injuring more than 80 others.Police told ABC News that one of the bombs went off in the area of Baladiyat, in eastern Baghdad. That explosion killed at least 14 and injured 50 more.The second explosion occurred in Sulaikh, in the northern part of the city. At least three people were killed and 19 injured in that attack.Police said a third attack in Karradah, in central Baghdad, killed nine and injured 27.In their most recent report, the United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraqi announced that 1,119 Iraqis were killed and 1,946 injured in terror attacks and acts of violence in September. The largest numbers of injuries and deaths were reported in Baghdad, where 352 were killed and 983 hurt.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs"); Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Comet to Skim Past Mars in 'Once in a Million Years' Encounter


NASA(HOUSTON) -- A once in a million years cosmic event will grace the heavens this weekend when a comet is expected to have a close encounter with Mars.Comet Siding Spring will pass within 87,000 miles of the Red Planet on Sunday, Oct. 19 -- that's about one-third the distance between the Earth and the moon, according to NASA scientists.The comet is expected to come closest to Mars at 2:27 p.m. ET that day, moving at about 34 miles per second.The best view of the rare show can be viewed via binoculars or telescope from the Southern Hemisphere, with South Africa and Australia having the best views as the comet grazes past Mars, scientists said.The rest of the world can look forward to incredible images captured by NASA's fleet of spacecraft, which have taken up prime positions to capture images, and information about the size, rotation and gas composition of Siding Spring, agency officials said.John Grunsfeld, astronaut and associate administrator for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, called the event a "cosmic science gift that could potentially keep on giving."The comet is comprised of icy debris that researchers believe are remnants from the formation of the solar system. Its dramatic brush past the Red Planet is expected to yield new insights into the materials that existed during the formation of the solar system 4.6 billion years ago.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Details Emerge in London Terror Arrests


iStock/Thinkstock(LONDON) -- The four men arrested in London on terrorism charges allegedly had a silenced weapon and had conducted "hostile reconnaissance" of a police station and an army barracks, police said Friday.A post on the London's Metropolitan Police website lays out a list of accusations against the four men, who were all arrested over the last two weeks, in connection to the charge that they, "with the intention of committing acts of terrorism, or assisting others to commit such acts...engaged in conduct in preparation for giving effect to that intention."Four men, including 21-year-old Tarik Hassane, nicknamed "The Surgeon," are accused of, among other things, taking an "oath of allegiance" to the brutal Iraqi terror group the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), acquiring a silenced handgun and ammunition, using code words when discussing money or firearms, looking at Instagram images of individual cops, and using Google Street View to conduct "hostile reconnaissance" of a police station and army barracks.The men had also allegedly downloaded "jihadi material" including issues of the Al Qaeda magazine Inspire.A fifth man faces weapons charges for allegedly providing the gun.In another post on the MET website Friday, National Policing Lead for Counter Terrorism Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley wrote that the MET has made over 200 arrests this year and is running "exceptionally high numbers of counter-terrorism investigations, the likes of which we have not seen for several years.""These plots are of varied sophistication, from individuals planning to carry out spontaneous yet deadly attacks to more complex conspiracies, almost all seemingly are either directed by or inspired by terrorism overseas," he said. "Public safety is our number one priority and we will always focus our disruption activity against those posing the greatest and most imminent threat. Sometimes this means intervening very early -- essential to prevent attacks, but presenting enormous challenges in securing sufficient evidence to charge."Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Prosecutor: Oscar Pistorius Tried to Affect Sentence with Money to Victim's Fami


Reeva Steenkamp's parents at the Pistorious trial. Pool/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images(PRETORIA, South Africa) -- Oscar Pistorius tried to influence his sentence by giving money to the parents of Reeva Steenkamp, the girlfriend he is convicted of shooting to death, the prosecutor in the trial of the Olympic athlete claimed Friday.Prosecutor Gerrie Nel addressed the $530 (R6,000) monthly payments that Pistorius has made to June and Barry Steenkamp since shortly after Reeva Steenkamp's death in February 2013. Pistorius also recently sold his car for $33,000 (R375,000) and offered the money to the Steenkamps.The payments were revealed this week when the Steenkamps said they would remain "neutral" during the penalty phase of the trial and not testify against the man who killed their daughter."The offer is nothing but an attempt to influence sentence," Nel said during closing arguments in sentencing proceedings Friday while referring to the lump sum payment.Nel said he was saddened when he heard that Steenkamp's parents were so financially strapped they had to take money from Pistorius. Barry Steenkamp's eyes moistened and he tugged on his white beard as he struggled to keep his composure.The prosecutor questioned why the offer was made between Pistorius' conviction and the sentencing proceedings."If I heard that after this case was finalized Mr. Pistorius donated money...it would be different. But no," Nel said.Nel said the parent's choice to remain neutral on sentencing was to avoid further trauma after months of grief following Steenkamp's death. He said the parents had Reeva Steenkamp's cousin, Kim Martin, speak on the family's behalf.The prosecutor pointed out that June Steenkamp had rejected Pistorius' lump sum offered as "blood money."The family said they would pay back the monthly payments, which totaled more than $9,000. Their lawyer claimed their financial situation has improved significantly since they were forced by their circumstances to accept the money from Pistorius.Pistorius' lawyer Barry Roux, referred the court to a statement issued by the Steenkamps about the issue earlier this week, in which they admitted receiving a monthly payment from Pistorius since shortly after their daughter's death. They also explained in the statement that they indicated their dire financial position to Pistorius' lawyers, after which he offered the money.Nel Friday asked the court to sentence Pistorius to at least 10 years in prison while Pistorius lawyer urged the court spare him prison, claiming Pistorius is devastated with grief and broke spiritually and financially. Culpable homicide carries a maximum sentence of 15 years, but the judge has the discretion to set a lower punishment, even no prison at all.Judge Thokozile Masipa said she will pronounce her sentence on Tuesday.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

US Tourist Tweets His Way Out of Locked London Bookstore


Zoonar/Thinkstock(LONDON) -- A Dallas man visiting London got more of a visit than he bargained for when he found himself locked inside a Trafalgar Square bookstore for over two hours.David Willis, 30, went into the Waterstones bookstore on Thursday to use their Wi-Fi but ran into trouble when he went to the store’s upstairs section to browse for books.When he came back down to leave, Willis discovered a startling surprise.“All the lights were turned out and the door was locked,” Willis told ABC News. “I thought to myself, it really looks like am locked in, but surely that didn’t happen.”Once it sunk in for Willis that he was, in fact, trapped inside the bookstore, he turned to a last resort: tweeting.This is me locked inside a waterstones bookstore in London. I was upstairs for 15 minutes and came… http://t.co/EefA1antuG— David Willis (@DWill_) October 16, 2014Hi @Waterstones I've been locked inside of your Trafalgar Square bookstore for 2 hours now. Please let me out.— David Willis (@DWill_) October 16, 2014Willis’s second tweet was retweeted thousands of times. Some Twitter users replied with offers of assistance, while others offered book recommendations, not that Willis was picking out any books during his time in Waterstones.“I was too scared to even touch anything,” Willis said. “I didn’t want them to think that I hid in the store.”Just over two hours after his first tweet, police and the store manager arrived to free Willis.We're pleased to announce that @DWill_ is a free man once more. Thanks for your concern and tweets!— Waterstones (@Waterstones) October 16, 2014I'm free— David Willis (@DWill_) October 16, 2014“I think it was just a simple mistake,” said Willis. “The manager asked me to come back but I'll just make sure that it's not close to closing time."Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Oscar Pistorius Should Get at Least 10 Years, Prosecutor Argues


Werner Beukes/SAPA/Gallo Images/Getty Images(PRETORIA, South Africa) -- Oscar Pistorius should be sent to prison for at least 10 years for shooting his girlfriend, a prosecutor said Friday while Pistorius' lawyer invoked the spirit of Ubuntu, an African term that includes compassion.Judge Thokozile Masipa told the court she will impose her sentence on Pistorius next Tuesday.The legless Olympic athlete was found guilty of culpable homicide last month in the death of Reeva Steenkamp, a model who was shot through a locked bathroom door on Valentine's Day 2013. The conviction carries a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison with no minimum prescribed sentence. During the penalty phase of the trial, several witnesses urged the court to sentence Pistorius to house arrest.Prosecutor Gerrie Nel cited the testimony of Steenkamp's cousin, Kim Martin, who tearfully told the court this week about the devastating effect Steenkamp's death had on her family."Every other mother who heard her evidence felt the pain. I felt the pain," Nel said.The prosecutor said Martin was not just the voice of the family, she was the voice of society, adding that her plea to have her Pistorius sent to jail cannot be ignored."The minimum that society will be happy with will be 10 years in prison," Nel said. "This is a serious case."The prosecutor rejected arguments that Pistorius, 27, should be spared prison in the spirit of Ubuntu."It's not even a principle that can be considered. The interest of society demands a prison term," Nel said.Pistorius' lawyer Barry Roux, however, said Ubuntu is appropriate in this case arguing that the sprinter known as the Blade Runner was anguished by Steenkamp's death, had been vilified in the press, would be vulnerable to attacks in prison because of his disability, and was broke spiritually and financially.Tears streamed down Pistorius' face as Roux described his condition."My Lady, that is what is happening. He lost everything. This man was a global icon. He has nothing left, he can't even pay his legal fees," Roux said.Roux said that the spirit of Ubuntu -- an African term referring to essential human virtues, like compassion and humanity, and restorative justice -- should be taken into account. He said that the basic principle of Ubuntu was to do something good in society, coupled with an apology, to pay back society and the victim.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Has ISIS Lost the Battle for Kobani?


iStock/Thinkstock(KOBANI, Syria) -- The tide may have turned in favor of Kurds defending the key Syrian town of Kobani from Islamic State invaders, according to the BBC.A Kurdish commander reportedly told the British news service that ISIS has been driven out of most sections of Kobani.Baharin Kandal claimed that the town, where 200,000 people have fled fighting that has gone on for weeks, will be "liberated soon."According to Kandal, militias battling ISIS forces have received weaponry and other supplies from unidentified sources.Meanwhile, U.S. military jets have launched a relentless air campaign to strike ISIS targets around the besieged town.Holding Kobani is considered crucial because losing it could allow the Sunni extremist group to control the border between Syria and Turkey.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio




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