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Trump admin bypassing Congress with $7 billion arms sale to Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates
iStock/MicroStockHub (WASHINGTON) -- The Trump administration on Friday said it would sell $7 billion-worth of weapons to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates with getting congressional approval, citing Iran as an urgent threat. The move has sparked bipartisan outrage on Capitol Hill, where lawmakers are promising to block the sales and calling out Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for what they see as an illegal decision made in a shady manner. "The excuse that this is somehow an emergency is just flat out false, and they know it. But they're still going ahead and doing it, which is beyond...
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3 more die on Mount Everest amid heavy crowding
iStock/Zzvet (NEW YORK) -- A total of five people have died this week on Mount Everest, as crowds of climbers experienced bottlenecks in the rush to take advantage of a short window of good weather to attempt the world's highest summit. Three deaths were reported on Thursday, and two others died on Wednesday. The deaths come amid reports of massive crowding on the mountain. Around the Hillary Step, where climbers have to go single-file, there were reports of two-to three-hour delays on Wednesday. Nepal issued a high number of permits to climb the mountain this year -- 367 to foreigners...
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Explosion on a street corner in Lyon, France, leaves 8 with minor injuries
midesi69/Twitter (LYON, France) -- An explosion in the French city of Lyon on Friday left eight people with minor injuries, local officials said on social media.The blast occurred at the corner of Victor Hugo Street and Sala Street, and authorities are urging people to avoid the area.The New York Police Department's counter-terrorism division said in a message on Twitter that they were "closely monitoring" the incident and "reports of a package explosion."In January, a science building at the University of Lyon in France caught on fire after three gas cylinders on the roof of the building exploded, injuring three students,...
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New charges against Julian Assange prompt outcry from Edward Snowden, civil liberties groups
DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty Images (LONDON) -- Julian Assange has always been a lightning-rod for controversy, but the latest charges against him have journalism watchdog groups crying foul.Assange, the WikiLeaks founder, was charged by U.S. authorities Thursday of violating the Espionage Act. Now there's a debate whether prosecutors can claim the same about journalists who publish stories on state secrets.The Department of Justice is defending he charges against Assange. According to Assistant Attorney General for National Security John Demers, "Julian Assange is no journalist" and "the Department takes seriously the role of journalists and our democracy and we support it."Journalism groups don't...
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UK Prime Minister Theresa May resigns in wake of mismanaged Brexit
Leon Neal/Getty Images (LONDON) — U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May on Friday announced her resignation, putting an end to months of speculation over her future because of her handling of Brexit."It is now clear to me that it is in the best interests of the country to have a new prime minister," May told reporters.She said she will be resigning on June 7."It is a matter of deep regret that I have not been able to deliver Brexit," May added. "My successor will have to find a consensus. Consensus will only be possible if those on both sides of the...
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10 dead, 8 missing after boat capsizes in China
yorkfoto/iStock (GUIZHOU, China) -- At least 10 people are dead and eight missing after a boat capsized on a river in southwestern China.The vessel capsized in the remote Banrao village of Guizhou province.Police arrested the captain, and the others who were rescued were rushed to a hospital.Accidents on Chinese waterways have declined in recent years because of an increased government emphasis on safety.Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
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More troops, defensive capabilities requested to Middle East to deter Iran
Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan (US Department of Defense) (WASHINGTON) -- U.S. Central Command is requesting additional defensive capabilities that could lead to as many as 5,000 to 10,000 additional troops being sent to the Middle East to deter Iran, a U.S. official told ABC News.On Thursday afternoon, acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan confirmed that the Pentagon is asking for more forces, but would not confirm any numbers, saying that it was not 5,000 or 10,000. "What we are focused on now is do we have the right force protection in the Middle East?," he told reporters outside...
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UN names Ebola chief to tackle world's 2nd largest outbreak: 'We have no time to lose'
lucagavagna/iStock (NEW YORK) -- United Nations officials on Thursday named an emergency Ebola response coordinator to help bolster efforts to contain the growing outbreak in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo that has killed more than 1,200 people in 10 months.David Gressly, the U.N. deputy special representative for the Democratic Republic of the Congo, has been appointed to the new position, in which he "will oversee the coordination of international support for the Ebola response and work to ensure that an enabling environment -- particularly security and political -- is in place to allow the Ebola response to be...
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Narendra Modi claims victory in Indian election
Chirag Wakaskar/Getty Images (LONDON) — Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi claimed victory in the country's general election on Thursday, as early vote counts showed his Bharatiya Janata Party on course for a significant win.Early data from the nation's Electoral Commission showed the BJP led in contests for 269 of the 542 seats in Parliament, while its rival party, the Indian National Congress, was winning just 56."Together we grow. Together we prosper. Together we will build a strong and inclusive India. India wins yet again!" Modi wrote in announcing his victory on Twitter. सबका साथ + सबका विकास + सबका विश्वास...
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Botswana's elephants and Zimbabwe's buffaloes are fair game after lawmakers relax hunting laws
sasacvetkovic33/iStock (PRETORIA, South Africa) — Big 5 hunters are rejoicing after two Southern African countries scrapped or relaxed their hunting laws.Five years after outlawing elephant hunting, Botswana has backtracked its decision, claiming an increased population has started to impact farmers' livelihoods. Wildlife authorities in neighboring Zimbabwe lifted a ban on hunting buffaloes with bows and arrows.The prohibition on elephant hunting in Botswana was introduced in 2014 by then-president Ian Khama, who was a keen environmentalist. But within months of being succeeded by President Mokgweetsi Masisi last year, a public review was launched.Lawmakers from the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) lobbied...
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Utah man Donald Lynn Cash, who reached Seven Summits, dies on Everest
gagarych/iStock (NEW YORK) -- An American man who conquered the Seven Summits -- the tallest mountains on each continent -- died on Mount Everest shortly after reaching the peak.Donald Lynn Cash, a 55-year-old Utah resident, fainted due to high altitude sickness on Wednesday, guide company Pioneer Adventure wrote on its website.Sherpa guides brought Cash down from the 8,848-meter peak to Hillary Step, a landmark on the mountain that is located at about 8,770 meters, after administering CPR, raising Cash's oxygen pressure and giving him a massage. Ultimately, though, they were unable to save him, the company wrote. Tackling Everest was...
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Far-right nationalist parties seek center stage in EU parliament elections
AlxeyPnferov/iStock (NEW YORK) -- Supporters and leaders of Europe’s far-right parties gathered for Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini’s international alliance of European Nationalist parties last Sunday, hoping to unite Europe’s top nationalist parties and their voters in advance of the upcoming European Parliament elections. Marine le Pen of the National Rally (formerly known as National Front) was in attendance, as was Germany’s Jörg Meuthen, leader of the German far-right party Alternative for Deutschland (AfD). Yet Europe's populist party -- Austria’s Freedom Party -- was notably missing. One day earlier, a video obtained by Germany’s Der Spiegel revealed the far-right party’s...
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