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Norwegian cruise engine failure off Norway coast prompts rescue operation for 1,300 people on board
Eva Frisnes (MOLDE, Norway) -- Rescue helicopters were battling severe winds on Saturday to airlift more than 1,300 people off a Norwegian cruise ship that issued a distressed call after an engine failure. Of the 1,300 stranded, 900 were passengers on the Viking Cruises' ship called The Viking Sky, Norway's Rescue Coordination Centre told ABC News. The ship can house 930 guests and was built in 2017, according to the company's website. The initial mayday was received by the agency at 2 p.m. local time, the agency spokesperson said. Currently, the cruise ship is close to shore and has one...
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As olive oil woes increase, Italian producers step up the fight
iStock/MariaUspenskaya (ROME) -- Italy's production of olive oil fell to a 25-year low of 185,000 tons last year -- a more than 57 percent drop in quantity from the preceding year.Amid the decline, which experts principally attribute to climate change-related problems, Italian producers are innovating to combat those problems while improving quality.The need for innovations is dire: the decline in production is threatening thousands of businesses and causing a huge loss of jobs, especially in the southern regions. And, now that olive oil is produced successfully outside the Mediterranean, Italy's market share is at risk.Tensions flared last month as producers...
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Syrian Kurdish forces declare victory over ISIS in Syria
iStock/Thinkstock (BAGHOUZ, Syria) -- Syrian Kurdish forces declared victory over the Islamic State on Saturday, after a years-long fight to reclaim territory that once belonged to the terror group’s self-declared caliphate."Syrian Democratic Forces declare total elimination of so-called caliphate and %100 territorial defeat of ISIS," Mustafa Bali, head of the SDF press office, said on Twitter. "On this unique day, we commemorate thousands of martyrs whose efforts made the victory possible."At its peak in 2014, ISIS controlled approximately 34,000 square miles of territory across Iraq and Syria that was home to about 10 million people.On March 1, the Syrian Democratic...
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'Horrible attack': Catholic priest stabbed during live-streamed church service in Canada as stunned parishioners look on
iStock/Mauro_Repossini (MONTREAL) -- A Catholic priest was stabbed while celebrating Mass in Montreal Friday morning as stunned parishioners looked on, according to officials and video footage.The horrifying incident, which authorities said was not terror-related, unfolded just before 9 a.m. at the historic St. Joseph's Oratory, leaving Father Claude Grou, 77, with lacerations to his upper body, according to Montreal police spokeswoman Caroline Chevrefils. He was rushed to a local hospital where he was listed in stable condition, according to the Montreal Diocese."There was a man, a young man, who stood up and, quickly, went to the front, into the sanctuary,...
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ISIS 100 percent eliminated in Syria, White House claims
iStock/Diy13 (WASHINGTON) -- The territorial ISIS caliphate in Syria has now been 100 percent eliminated, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders announced on Friday.President Donald Trump has, on numerous occasions before now, announced ISIS' defeat, but this time it would appeared the claim had the full backing of the White House and Pentagon.Sanders, speaking to the traveling press pool of reporters on Air Force One as the president headed to Florida, Sanders directed reporters to the Department of Defense for further questions but shared a photo of what appeared to be the same map President Trump declassified and showed reporters...
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Amid wait for Ethiopian Airlines crash data, carrier asks Boeing to cancel MAX 8 order
the_guitar_mann/iStock (NEW YORK) -- In the latest blow to the world's biggest commercial airline manufacturer, a flagship carrier in Indonesia is asking Boeing if it can cancel a nearly $5 billion order of 737 MAX 8 planes because of lack of consumer trust in the jetliner. Garuda Indonesia, the nation's government-backed airline, ordered nearly 50 Boeing 737 MAX 8s in 2014, striking a deal with Boeing for $4.9 billion. Outright cancelling the deal would carry a high cost for Garuda but the airline hopes to negogitate with Boeing for a switch to a different model aircraft.The airline's passengers have "lost...
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Following arrest of K-pop star, South Korea deals with fallout of video camera sex scandal
South Korea's National Police Agency (SEOUL, South Korea) -- Police in South Korea are cracking down on the illegal filming and sharing of sex videos amid a widening scandal that uncovered spy cameras in the motel rooms of hundreds of guests and the high-profile arrest of a K-pop celebrity this week. The stepped-up efforts by authorities come as pop star Jung Joon-young was arrested Thursday on charges of filming and sharing a sex video without consent in a group chat on a social networking app. On Wednesday, police arrested arrested two men accused of installing spy cameras in motels and...
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New Zealanders wear headscarves in display of solidarity after mosque attacks
Kai Schwoerer/Getty Images (CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand) -- New Zealanders of all religions donned headscarves on Friday in a symbol of unity as a mass funeral was held for dozens of victims of last week's mosque attacks. Worshipers were gunned down inside the Al Noor mosque in Christchurch and then at a nearby mosque in the suburb of Linwood on March 15. At least 50 people died, and dozens more were injured.The alleged gunman, identified as Brenton Tarrant, has been charged with one count of murder, but more murder charges are expected to be filed against the 28-year-old Australian.The massacres sparked...
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Two US service members killed in Afghanistan
KeithBinns/iStock (KABUL, Afghanistan) -- Two U.S. service members were killed in Afghanistan on Friday, according to military officials.The two were killed "while conducting an operation," according to a statement from NATO's Resolute Support.There were no further details given about how they were killed or where the incident took place.The victims' names will not be released until 24 hours after their families have been notified, in accordance with Department of Defense policy.The deaths are the third and fourth by U.S. service members in Afghanistan this year.Sgt. Cameron Meddock, 26, was shot during a fire fight on Jan. 13, 2019, in Jawand...
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Thousands await rescue in Mozambique after tropical cyclone kills hundreds
Tafadzwa Ufumeli/Getty Images (BEIRA, Mozambique) -- Thousands of people, some seen clinging to rooftops and tree branches, still await rescue from rising floodwaters in Mozambique, one week after an intense tropical cyclone walloped the southeast African nation.Nearly 350,000 others are at risk of becoming trapped in the coming days as remnants of tropical cyclone Idai dump rain over low-lying areas already inundated with swelling rivers and bulging dams.Some 100,000 people may need to be rescued from the town of Buzi alone, according to a spokesman for Mozambique's Ministry of Land, Environment and Rural Development."We have a critical situation in Buzi,"...
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Big Ben turns blue again
Mark Duffy/UK Parliament (LONDON) -- Big Ben, the iconic clock tower in London, is returning to its former glory.The clock's north face has been restored to its original Prussian blue and gold colors. Sir Charles Barry built the tower in 1859.Big Ben, which is currently covered in scaffolding, has been undergoing a major makeover that's expected to be completed in 2021.“It was incredibly exciting to slowly piece together the tower's appearance as has it evolved throughout the decades and we are thrilled to see the original color scheme looking out over modern London once more,” Phillipa McDonnell and Rhiannon Clarricoates,...
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President Trump announces US will recognize Israeli sovereignty over Golan Heights
RnDmS/iStock (WASHINGTON) -- President Donald Trump on Thursday changed decades of U.S. Middle East policy with a tweet, announcing that "After 52 years, it is time for the United States to fully recognize Israeli's Sovereignty over the Golan Heights."Trump said the Golan "is of critical strategic and security importance to the State of Israel and Regional Stability!" This major, unexpected announcement comes just days before Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visits the White House on Monday and speaks at the pro-Israel AIPAC conference in Washington.Within minutes, Netanyahu tweeted, "Thank You President Trump!" Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is currently in...
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