World Headlines
Subscribe To This Feed

Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- South and North Korea are bracing for a historic summit between its leaders Friday, with high hopes of setting the stage for a peaceful coexistence.

But both nations are wary of how the results may affect the proposed subsequent meeting planned between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, an encounter the United States has said is tentatively planned for late May or early June.

Seoul is confident that this third-ever summit between the two Koreas will lead to a complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization on the Korean peninsula. But skeptics doubt that's what the North intends.

To Kim’s credit, he declared a "new strategic line" last week to focus on economic development, claiming that because he's achieved "victory" in becoming a nuclear power, North Korea is ready to take its share of responsibility to denuclearize.

Kim took the first step, even before his scheduled summits with South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Trump, by announcing the North will suspend nuclear and missile tests and shut down its Poongyeri nuclear test site.

The sudden turn of events, after nearly reaching the brink of war last year, has many wondering what North Korea wants in return for its pragmatic approach now.

Those answers may become clear, at least to some extent, on Friday as millions around the world watch the summit broadcast live.

Kim and his entourage are scheduled to walk across the military demarcation line to step foot on South Korean soil and to meet Moon around 9:30 a.m. local time.

Honor guards will escort the two leaders to a welcome ceremony at the truce village of Panmunjom.

The summit will take place in the morning and afternoon inside the Peace House at the southern side of the DMZ with separate luncheons and a short ceremony to plant a "commemorative pine tree as an expression of wishes for peace and prosperity," Im Jong-seok, South Korea's presidential chief of staff, said at a news briefing.

The declaration of mutual agreement will be announced in the afternoon, followed by a dinner banquet carefully prepared to reflect wishes for peace and prosperity.

It is still undecided whether Kim's wife, Ri Sol-ju, will attend the banquet, Im said.

For Kim, it is a risk to step outside his isolated country and away from the state-controlled media that worships him. Journalists from around the globe will report on his every move and analyze his every word.

"This is the big event where Kim Jong Un is truly making a grand debut to the international community," said Yun Keol Lee, chief of the North Korea Strategic Information Service Center, a private research group in the South.

The success, or failure, of the high-stakes talks could determine the fate of the Korean Peninsula. Here's what to watch for:

Denuclearization

Debate lingers over what exactly "denuclearization" means to North Korea compared with how it's viewed in the U.S.

The big question is: How much is Kim willing to give up?

Some analysts have said the North's nuclear program is already too advanced and scrapping it completely isn't realistic.

South Korea has repeatedly hinted that Kim is willing to go for a complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization, or CVID.

Skeptics doubt Kim's intentions given his nation's track record of breaking its promises.

"North Korea will never give up the nukes,” said Lee Young Jong, director of the Unification Research Institute at South Korea's JoongAng Ilbo newspaper, describing how Pyongyang has long believed that only military force, especially nuclear weapons, could protect it from external threats.

To North Koreans, "there is no such thing as a complete denuclearization," Jong added.

What Kim actually declared in a report to the Workers Party of Korea last week is murky, and interpretations may be worlds apart. Kim said his country would halt nuclear and ICBM testing because it's already achieved development goals.

But at the same time, the report noted the North Korean arsenal is a "powerful treasured sword for defending peace" and a "firm guarantee" for future generations to "enjoy the most dignified and happiest life in the world."

In other words, he will keep the arsenal as insurance.

"The language is carefully calculated, just enough to keep the momentum going for talks without pledging to give up the nuclear weapons," Shin Beom Chul, a professor at the Korea Diplomatic Academy -- part of the South's Ministry of Foreign Affairs -- and senior fellow at the Asan Institute for Policy Studies, a think tank in Seoul, told ABC News.

Even if the two leaders agree on the basic idea of disarmament, most analysts believe frictions will occur in the process of laying out details on how and by when denuclearization would be carried out.

"North pulled the wool over our eyes to buy time for further nuclear experiment. This time, we should not repeat our past mistakes," said Shin Kak-soo, South Korea’s former ambassador to Japan.

"North Korea is deftly maneuvering the global community to show off Kim’s big influence internationally and domestically and in a way to appear as if the North is recognized as a nuclear-armed nation," Yun added.

The Moon administration admits the difficulties of stipulating Pyongyang's will to denuclearize. Even if there is a clear, mutual agreement, to what extent the two Koreas will go to guarantee "complete" denuclearization is up to the two heads of state to finalize, Im said.

Securing permanent peace

In return for a pledge to relinquish its nuclear program, North Korea wants two things from the outside world: economic assistance and a guarantee others will not seek to topple its leaders.

In what seems like an effort to ease Pyongyang’s insecurity, Moon has outlined a "spirit of mutual respect" to achieve permanent peace.

"We do not wish for North Korea's collapse, and will not work towards any kind of unification through absorption," said Moon, meaning Seoul has no intention to strike the North militarily.

North Korea is paranoid about the outside world. Many there have long believed that the U.S. intended to force a change in leadership, upending three generations of Kim rule.

To that end, Pyongyang long has insisted that U.S. troops in South Korea are a threat to its autonomy. Withdrawing those 28,000 U.S. troops has been mentioned as a longstanding precondition to talks of disarmament, an idea strongly supported by China, North Korea's strongest ally.

However, Moon told reporters last week that North Korea is not explicitly asking the U.S. to remove all of its troops from the peninsula as a precursor to denuclearize.

Many analysts don't expect a definitive announcement Friday on what will happen to the U.S. troops there.

The "troops issues should be handled at the U.S.-North Korea summit. It’s a matter of choice and decision to be made by President Trump's administration," said Joo Seung-hyun, a North Korea specialist and defector who now teaches military science at Kijeon University, in Jeonju, South Korea.

Hammering out those details is expected to take months of negotiations among high-level diplomats and officials.

Peace treaty

Also on the agenda for Friday's meeting is replacing the current armistice between South and North Korea with a formal peace agreement -- a goal long shared by both nations.

Three years of brutal warfare, with the North backed by China and the South supported by American and United Nations forces, ended in 1953 but without a formal peace treaty. Technically, the Koreas are still are war.

Such a peace treaty could involve three parties, just as the armistice did when a U.S.-led U.N. alliance assisted on behalf of South Korea, the Chinese People's Volunteer Army and the North Korean People's Army.

"North Korea did not recognize the South as a partner that could sign a ceasefire since the armistice was signed among the other three parties," Joo explained.

Then Pyongyang stepped back in 2007 to welcome the South's participation when former North Korean leader Kim Jong Il and former South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun met for the second-ever summit. The elder Kim, now deceased, had also suggested Beijing and Washington be part of the peace treaty, but those discussions never formally materialized.

Keeping that in mind, the South Korean president now is hoping to, at least, declare an end to the war with North Korea by pursuing a separate agreement and resetting bilateral relations during the summit.

"But a peace deal in the form of a treaty," former South Korean Unification Minister Jeong Se-hyun told ABC News, "will be left aside for Trump to claim credit as a prize."

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

0
comments



Subscribe To This Feed

Cole Burston/Getty Images(TORONTO) -- Ten people were killed earlier this week when a rental van plowed into pedestrians on a roadway and sidewalks in northern Toronto, police said.

Another 14 people were injured in Monday's deadly attack. The alleged driver of the vehicle, identified as 25-year-old Alek Minassian of Toronto, has been arrested and charged with murder and attempted murder.

Ontario's chief coroner, Dirk Huyer, told reporters Tuesday afternoon that the deceased victims had not been identified, adding that the task is "our No. 1 priority."

However, some of those who knew the victims -- including their employers -- have publicly come forward to identify them.

Here's what we know so far.

Anne-Marie D'Amico

Anne-Marie D’Amico was among those killed, according to Tennis Canada, the sport's governing body within Canada, which confirmed that D'Amico had volunteered at its Rogers Cup professional tennis tournament since she was 12.

D'Amico started out as a ball girl and was most recently serving as committee head of stadium control, in addition to her full-time job at U.S.-based investment management firm Invesco, according to a statement from Tennis Canada. She was voted Tennis Canada's volunteer of the year in 2016.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with Anne-Marie’s family and with all those impacted by this tragic event," Gavin Ziv, vice president of professional events at Tennis Canada, said in a statement Tuesday. "Anne-Marie lived for working at Rogers Cup and seeing her fellow volunteers each summer. The tournament was such a large part of her life and we were so lucky to have her on our team each summer. Her passion for Rogers Cup was contagious and we are honored to let the world know what an amazing person she was and the great things she did for others."

A spokesperson for Invesco confirmed that D'Amico worked for the firm and was among the victims in Monday's attack, but declined to provide further comment out of respect for her family.

Renuka Amarasingha

Renuka Amarasingha was also killed in Monday's attack, according to a statement from her employer, the Toronto District School Board, which is the largest school board in Canada.

Amarasingha, who graduated from one of the school board's adult programs, was a nutrition services staff member who had worked at a number of schools within the district since 2015. She had just finished up her first day at Earl Haig Secondary School when she was killed, according to the board's director of education, John Malloy.

"It is with heavy hearts that we are learning of the death of a TDSB staff member whose life was tragically cut short during Monday’s horrible events along Yonge Street," Malloy said in a statement released by the board Wednesday. "We are reaching out to her loved ones to support them in any way possible."

"On behalf of trustees, we extend our sincere condolences to Renuka’s family and friends," the board's chair, Robin Pilkey, said in the statement. "This is a difficult time for the students and staff that knew her and we will continue to provide support to them in the days and weeks ahead."

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

0
comments



Subscribe To This Feed

Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will sit down for a historic summit Friday and will be accompanied by the most powerful officials from both countries.

The list comprises of all related parties who have worked out a meticulous process to materialize this summit into “spring of Korean Peninsula,” according to the South’s presidential office.

Delegates who will accompany their leaders through the inter-Korean summit are considered those who are deeply aware of the overall atmosphere in the Korean Peninsula. Compared to the past two summits in 2000 and 2007, military experts are included in the delegation.

Here’s a look at who’s who attending the inter-Korean summit:

North Korean delegation

-- Kim Yong-nam, North Korea’s nominal head of state, played a major role in steering Seoul and Pyongyang to a peace mood.

-- Kim Yo-jong, the influential younger sister of Kim Jong-un, serves as director of propaganda and agitation for the Department of the Workers’ Party of Korea. She came into the limelight early this year while leading the North’s delegation to the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics and delivering Kim’s handwritten letter to President Moon.

-- Kim Yong-chol, vice chairman of the ruling Workers’ Party of Koreas, is known to be another powerful elite in Pyongyang. He took a leading part in bringing "spring to the Korean peninsula" after his visit during the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics. Kim was a chief military negotiator during 2006 and 2008 inter-Korean talks, but is also labeled the most dangerous North Korean general by the South because he was in charge of the Reconnaissance General Bureau when a South Korean naval ship was attacked in 2010. The South Korean intelligence agency has said the North Koreans were to blame; the North has since denied any involvement.

-- Choe Hwi, vice party chairman and the chief of the national sports body, was part of a high-level delegation teaOlympics Pyeongchang Winter Olympics. Managing sports-related policies is of considerable importance within the North Korean regime. Analysts say Choe played an important role in garnering Communist Party support for Kim Jong-un shortly after he came into power.

-- Ri Son-gwon, chairman of the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Country, also known as the right-hand man of Kim Yong-chol, was a member of the high-level delegation to the Winter Olympics. Ri was the chief delegate of North Korea during the first high-level talks between two Koreas in January. He left the conference venue in 2011 during a military working-level talk with South Korean counterparts. But Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon of South Korea told the South Korean press that Ri’s negotiation attitude has changed from the past.

-- Ri Myong-su, the chief of the general staff of the Korean People's Army, started his military career during the Korean War. The 84-year-old general was formerly responsible for the daily operational management of the DPRK’s naval, ground, air and anti-air forces.

-- Ri Yong-ho, North Korea’s foreign minister, is known as a skillful negotiator. He had talks in the past regarding North Korean nuclear program with the U.S.

-- Ri Su-yong, vice party chairman on international affairs. He is the spokesman in talks with the U.S. and is known as one of the most influential person in the making decisions.

-- Park Yong-sik, the minister of North Korea's armed forces.

South Korean delegation

-- Chung Eui-yong, national security advisor, who visited Pyongyang early this year as an envoy. He is regarded in South Korea as the mastermind behind the inter-Korean rapprochement. Chung also personally delivered Kim’s message to President Trump at the White House last month.

-- Suh Hoon, national intelligence service director, is deeply involved in proceeding the summit along with Chung. Media reports say he also helped coordinate the deal through close consultations with his American counterpart, Mike Pompeo, then-Director of the Central Intelligence Agency.

-- Cho Myoung-gyon, unification minister, participated in both 2000 and 2007 inter-Korean summit and played a key role in the preparation of the upcoming summit.

-- Im Jong-seok, presidential chief of staff, is known to be the closest aide to President Moon. A former student activist, Im has been criticized by the opposition as left-leaning and pro-North, and for steering South Korea dangerously closer to the communist Pyongyang.

“North’s choice of official entourage show their consideration in further talks with the upcoming U.S and international talks,” Im Jong-seok, South’s presidential chief of staff, said during a press briefing Thursday at the inter-Korean summit press center.

-- Song Young-moo, Defense Minister

-- Kang Kyung-wha, Foreign Minister

-- Jeong Kyeong-doo, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who was added last Thursday.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

0
comments



Subscribe To This Feed

Polizia di Stato(NAPLES) -- Italian security forces have detained an asylum seeker from Gambia and accused him of planning a terror attack with a vehicle.

Alagie Touray, 21, was arrested outside the Licola mosque in southern Italy last Friday. He is a member of ISIS, Italian authorities said.

Touray was picked up at the request of the Naples public prosecutor after a joint investigation by the Carabinieri and State Police who had received a tip from Spanish intelligence. Touray’s arrest was announced today at a news conference in Naples.

During questioning, authorities said, the Gambian admitted to having received a request via the messaging app Telegram where he was told to “crash a vehicle into a crowd,” Naples prosecutor Giovanni Melillo, said at the news conference.

Touray admitted having received instructions to commit a terror attack but, according to Prosecutor Melillo, the Gambian said he had no intention of carrying out the attack.

The examination of his Telegram uncovered other alarming messages, including those where he asked people "to pray for him" and that "he was on a mission," authorities said.

Touray also recorded a pledge of allegiance to the leader of the Islamic State (ISIS), police said, provided a transcript and image from the message where Touray said, "I swear allegiance to the Caliph of Muslims Abu Bakr Al Quaraishi Al Baghdadi, and to listen to him and obey him in difficult and easy times, on this 2nd day of Rajab and Allah is witness to what I say,”

The Gambian arrived in Sicily by boat with 800 other migrants in March 2017 before requesting political asylum, which was still under review, authorities said.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

0
comments



Subscribe To This Feed

ABC News(MONETERREY, Mexico) -- Dramatic surveillance video shows a foiled attempted armed robbery thanks to the quick thinking of a man wearing a cowboy hat.

The footage appears to show a young man walking into a Carnes Cares store in Monterrey, Mexico, wearing a dark-colored hooded sweatshirt, according to Reuters. He quickly pulls a gun and points it at the store employee behind the cash register.

The man in the cowboy hat, who is standing near the register, takes advantage of the would-be robber's momentary distraction and tackles him in dramatic fashion, wresting his gun. Another employee takes the weapon as the man attempts to take down the attempted bandit.

The suspect can then be seen, shirtless, attempting to escape the store, but three individuals, including the good Samaritan in the cowboy hat, finally subdue him as the employee behind the counter appears to make a phone call.

The identities of those involved are unknown.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

0
comments



Subscribe To This Feed

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- French-style kisses on both cheeks, lengthy handshakes turned into “bro-shakes” and repeated affirmations of a burgeoning friendship: the “bromance” between President Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron was on full display during the first state visit of the Trump Administration this week.

 Don’t expect much of that when German Chancellor Angela Merkel arrives on Friday. At their first meeting in the Oval Office last year, President Trump refused to shake Merkel’s hand for a photo op.

“I think it will be a very sober, low-profile working summit, which better matches Merkel’s expectations and persona,” Henning Riecke, head of Transatlantic Relations at the German Council of Foreign Relations in Berlin, told ABC News. “It could, of course, be a bit of a punishment because Angela Merkel is not as enthusiastic about Donald Trump and his leadership.”

President Trump is the third U.S. president Chancellor Merkel has greeted in office. On her first official trip to the US in 2007, President George W. Bush invited ally Merkel to his ranch in Crawford, Texas.

In 2009, Merkel addressed Congress on the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, and in 2011, there was an official state dinner with President Obama.

 “In Merkel’s case, no one expects warm body language. They are looking for policy outcomes,” said Karen Donfried, president of the German Marshall Fund of the United States.

Donfriend added that Merkel has two big asks of President Trump on time-sensitive issues.

“The EU exemption for steel and aluminum tariffs that President Trump has levied will expire May 1. She wants that extended,” she added.

And like President Macron, Merkel wants to ensure that Trump doesn’t back out of the Iran nuclear deal on May 12.

Germany is the EU’s largest steel exporter. While only about 5 percent of German steel comes to the U.S. -- accounting for just 4 percent of U.S. steel imports -- the 28 EU nations in all make up more than one-fifth of all U.S. steel imports.

Henning Riecke says Merkel and Macron coordinated their push for continued free trade between the U.S. and the EU.

 “President Trump had the idea that the U.S. would be better off negotiating bilaterally,” Riecke says. “He didn’t understand that you can’t negotiate with European Union members bilaterally ... that you have to do that with the EU.”

Getting President Trump to stick to the Iran Deal is another matter, Donfried said.

“I think Merkel and Macron realize the deck is stacked against them. You have a new National Security Advisor in John Bolton who has been very critical of the Iran deal and Mike Pompeo, the incoming Secretary of State, assuming he’s approved, is known to be quite critical of the Iran deal.”

 Riecke says Merkel may reiterate Macron’s proposal to begin new negotiations for 2025.

“They could start with those now, but from a position of trust -- that once an agreement is there, you stick to it,” Riecke said.

He says this would also send a signal to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un for upcoming negotiations on its nuclear program.

Donfried says to find consensus with “deal maker” Donald Trump, Merkel will have to offer the hawks something in return -- like more defense spending.

NATO allies have agreed to meet their 2 percent GDP defense spending goal by 2024. France is already there, but Germany currently spends just 1.2 percents of its GDP on defense.

”I think it would make sense for Merkel to suggest some tangible steps Germany is taking to increase their defense capability,” Donfried tells ABC News.

She says back home, Merkel, a Christian Democrat, can make the case to her less-hawkish Social Democratic coalition partners and her constituents that increased military spending is not a concession, but a growing necessity.

“Germany is the most populous country in Europe with the largest economy in the EU, so Germany has to be setting an example,” Donfried says. “France has a very capable military but you are losing the U.K. as a member of the European Union with Brexit, and Britain has one of the most capable militaries in Europe. So I think for Germany’s own interest -- never mind what President Trump is asking for -- it’s in Germany’s interest to step up and take more responsibility in that foreign security and defense policy arena.”

 Riecke says Germans don’t expect these negotiations to be easy. Ultimately, Merkel’s success on this trip might be measured more in hashtags than in handshakes, he added.

“It would be a win if she came back with a narrative of the meeting and [President Trump] wouldn’t destroy it in 30 seconds in a new tweet the next day,” he said.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

0
comments



Subscribe To This Feed

@kensingtonroyal/Instagram(LONDON) -- More happy news has been announced for Prince William, who welcomed his third child with Princess Kate Monday.

William, 35, has been asked by his brother, Prince Harry, 33, to be best man at his upcoming wedding to Meghan Markle.

“The Duke of Cambridge is honoured to have been asked, and is very much looking forward to supporting his brother at St George's Chapel, Windsor on May 19th,” Kensington Palace said in a statement.

The brothers, the only children of Prince Charles and the late Princess Diana, live close to each other on the grounds of Kensington Palace.

They are both patrons, along with Kate, of the Royal Foundation Forum, where they work closely together on charitable efforts.

William joked in January that Harry, whose engagement to Markle was announced in November, had not yet asked him to be best man, saying with a laugh, “It could be a sensitive issue.”

There was little doubt Harry would pick his older brother to be by his side when he weds Markle, a California native he met nearly two years ago through a mutual friend.

The brothers have stood by each other through the glare of the royal spotlight and the abrupt death of their beloved mother, Diana, in a Paris car crash in 1997.

Last summer, as the brothers honored Diana on the 20th anniversary of her death, William said of Harry, "Our relationship is closer than it’s been because of the situation we’ve been through.”

“Losing our mother at a young age, it’s helped us travel through that difficult patch together," William continued. "You’re like-minded. You go through similar things. It’s a bond, and it’s something, you know, you’ve tackled together and come out better for it.

He added, "That's the thing about being a best mate, inevitably one of you is sometimes on an up, while the other is on a down. You’re always there for each other and repaying the favor."

Now it is William's turn to repay the favor and reciprocate as Harry's best man.

Harry revealed last year that William had encouraged him to seek out mental health support after he "shut down all [his] emotions” for nearly two decades after Diana's death.

"For me personally, my brother, you know, bless him, he was a huge support to me," Harry told the U.K.'s The Telegraph. "He kept saying, 'This is not right, this is not normal. You need to talk to [someone] about stuff. it’s OK.'"

William and Kate have also welcomed Markle into the family, helping to guide her on everything from charitable work -- Markle will become a patron of The Royal Foundation after she and Harry wed -- to the pace of royal life and what to expect at royal engagements.

“The family has been great and over the past year-and-a-half we've just had a really nice time getting to know them and progressively helping me feel a part of, not just the institution, but also part of the family, which has been really, really special," Markle said after her engagement to Harry was announced in November.

William and Kate's young children are also expected to play important roles in Harry and Markle's fast-approaching wedding day.

George, 4, is expected to serve as a page boy and Charlotte, who turns 3 May 2, is anticipated to be a bridesmaid at the May 19 wedding at St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle.

Kate, 36, is also expected to attend the wedding, which will come less than one month after she gave birth to her and William's third child, an 8 pound, 7 ounce boy.

In addition to William, Harry has a group of longtime friends -- including Guy Pelly, Tom Inskip, Arthur Landon and Tom Straubenzee -- who could be by his side at the wedding.

Capt. Mark Dyer, a mentor and friend to Harry, and his U.S.-born wife, Amanda Kline, will also be among those making sure Harry’s wedding is special.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

0
comments



Subscribe To This Feed

Cole Burston/Getty Images(TORONTO) -- The police officer who stopped the man accused of mowing down pedestrians in Toronto on Monday does not want to be called a hero.

Officer Kenny Lam apprehended the suspect, 25-year-old Alek Minassian, without firing a single shot. Minassian is accused of killing 10 people and injuring 14 when he plowed a rented van through a busy street in the Canadian city.

Toronto Police Deputy Chief Peter Yuen told reporters this afternoon that Lam believes he was merely doing his job and that other first responders deserved just as much credit.

“He wants to thank the public,” Yuen said. “And he wants the public to not to call him a hero. He’s Officer Ken Lam. He’s real. He’s got a name, he’s got a badge. He’s not a hero. And he wants every police officer to be known as that, because we all come to work, we want to do the right thing, and that’s why we became police officers.”

Yuen said he had been in touch with Lam repeatedly since the attack and on Tuesday saw him in person. Lam has had trouble sleeping -- waking up in a cold sweat and feeling anxious, Yuen said.

Lam, 42, was born and raised in Toronto, and has been an officer for seven years, starting in traffic services before switching to the Toronto Police Service’s 32 Division because he wanted to interact with the public more, Yuen said. He is currently a traffic response officer.

Lam, who worked as an engineer for 14 years before changing careers, has a wife but no children. His parents immigrated from Hong Kong, Yuen said.

A desire to do more for his community pushed Lam to pursue other job opportunities, according to Yuen.

Lam has been asking colleagues if he made the right decision that day and has asked whether he should go back to the crime scene, according to Yuen, who said Lam is talking to a psychologist as part of the police department's mandatory program for those exposed to trauma.

Yuen urged reporters to respect Lam and his parents’ privacy at this time.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

0
comments



Subscribe To This Feed

Franco Origlia/Getty Images(VATICAN CITY) -- The Vatican announced Wednesday that Pope Francis had invited three Chilean victims of clerical sexual abuse to visit him at his residence in the Vatican this weekend and meet with him in private.

The pope thanked the men -- Juan Carlos Cruz, James Hamilton and Jose Andres Murillo -- for having accepted his invitation, saying he will "ask for their forgiveness, share their pain for what they suffered, and above all, listen to all their suggestions to ensure that these reproachable incidents are never repeated."

The men have accused Bishop Juan Barros and others in the Chilean Church hierarchy of covering up Father Fernando Karadima’s alleged sex crimes. The Vatican removed Karadima from the ministry in 2011 following reports that he sexually abused minors and he was sentenced to a lifetime of penance and prayer. Karadima later refuted the accusations of sexual abuse of children in a civil court in Chile in 2015. He was not sentenced because the statute of limitations had expired although the judge said he found the accusations truthful.

Barros reportedly has offered his resignation to the pope in the past, who has rejected it.

Vatican spokesman Greg Burke told reporters today that Francis "will see each of the men individually, to allow that each can speak as long as he felt he wanted to."

Burke added that the pope asked for prayers for the Chilean church during this painful period, hoping that "these meetings can be conducted in a climate of serene trust and can be an important step to ensure healing and that abuses of conscience, power, and especially, sex, will never again occur within the church."

The three were invited to the Vatican after Francis received a 2,300-page report by Bishop Charles Scicluna. The report was never made public but supposedly included the testimonies of 64 individuals who spoke about sex abuse cases of minors by the clergy and the subsequent cover-up by the Chilean church.

Many people, especially Chileans, had been shocked and dismayed by the pope’s comments about the Chilean cases during his trip, when he said he didn’t believe there was any substance to the accusations and had accused the victims of slander.

In an unusual about face, the pope admitted "grave errors" in judgment and sent Archbishop Scicluna to Chile to conduct a thorough investigation into the accusations. Scicluna is known to have conducted innumerable investigations into sexual abuse by clergy on behalf of the Holy See and of having led a Vatican board that reviews such cases. On receiving the report, the pope admitted to having misjudged the cases and blamed a lack of "truthful and balanced information."

The pope wrote a letter to Chilean bishops in April explaining his decision to invite the Chilean victims to the Vatican. He told the bishops to prepare themselves for an emergency summit in the coming weeks to discuss the scandal, which has hurt his reputation and that of the Chilean church. Barros is expected to attend the summit.



Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

0
comments



Subscribe To This Feed

iStock/Thinkstock(SEATTLE) -- U.S. inspectors have swept the Russian consulate in Seattle after the Trump administration ordered Russia to vacate the property in a dramatic response to Russia's alleged poisoning of an ex-spy in the United Kingdom.

The security sweep took place Wednesday after the U.S. gave Russia extra time to hand over control of the facility -- but it was met by Russian protests and claims the U.S. was violating international agreements.

The Trump administration commanded Russia to close its consulate in Seattle and send home a total of 60 personnel -- whom the U.S. deemed were undercover intelligence operatives, which Russia denied. The consulate was originally to be vacated by April 1, but the U.S. extended it until 11:59 p.m. local time on Tuesday, April 24.

At midnight, the property was "no longer authorized for use for any diplomatic or consular purposes and no longer enjoys any privileges or immunities, including inviolability, previously made available to it," according to a State Department official.

The State Department's Diplomatic Security personnel arrived Wednesday to ensure that Russia had handed it over, breaking locks and entering the mansion, according to ABC's local affiliate KOMO. The State Department confirmed it was a "walk-through inspection" in a statement to ABC News.

But Russian officials were on the scene to document what they called a "break-in" and take video of the "intruders" that was then published on the Russian embassy's Twitter account.

The U.S. withdrew its consent for Russia's consulate, however, as every country has the right to do under the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations. In fact, Russia closed the U.S. consulate in St. Petersburg in retaliation for the Trump administration's decision to shut down the Seattle office.

Russian personnel who worked at the facility were transferred to other Russian missions in the U.S. or forced to depart the U.S.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

0
comments



Subscribe To This Feed

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A team of U.S. investigators has been on the ground with Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh, conducting interviews and gathering evidence for a possible criminal case against Myanmar's government for allegedly committing atrocities against the Rohingya.

The inquiry is the latest sign the U.S. is considering doing more, including possible new sanctions, to punish Myanmar after more than 700,000 Rohingya have been driven from their homes and into neighboring Bangladesh in what the U.S. has called "ethnic cleansing."

Myanmar, also known as Burma, has denied the allegations, saying it is combating an Islamic terrorist threat. But its military crackdown in the country's northern Rakhine state has targeted the Rohingya, an ethnic minority group that is largely Muslim, in an apparent attempt to push them from their homes and eliminate their presence in the country, according to the U.S., the United Nations, and human rights groups.

Reuters was the first to report the news of the U.S. team's work, and a State Department spokesperson confirmed the details to ABC News.

So far, a State Department-led team of 20 U.S. officials has interviewed over 1,000 Rohingya refugees in camps in Bangladesh in March and April. They are seeking to confirm basic facts, such as whether a person is actually a refugee, when they left Myanmar, and what caused them to leave.

Most important, that means documenting the crimes they witnessed or were even victim to, including rape, murder, beatings, and arson. Investigators are even asking refugees to describe the Burmese military's weapons and battalions, with some naming individual military officials, one person involved in the investigation told Reuters.

Burmese military officials have been accused of using these violent tactics to drive Rohingya out and then burning their homes to the ground and bulldozing their villages. A new report by Amnesty International analyzes satellite images that even show villages cleared, with the landscape in some areas "rendered virtually unrecognizable."

Access to Rakhine state has been extremely limited for U.S. officials and others. Interviewing those forced to flee is one of their only alternatives while even an independent international investigation has been blocked by Myanmar.

If enough evidence is gathered, it could be used to build a case at the International Criminal Court against Burmese officials -- or at least provide grounds for new sanctions.

The State Department spokesperson declined to "get ahead of the deliberative, policy-making process," adding in a statement to ABC News, "We consider a wide range of tools to achieve our policy goals."

But the Trump administration is considering more Global Magnitsky sanctions against Burmese military officials, according to two congressional sources.

It's unclear when those could come, but the U.S. is concerned about pushing too hard on Myanmar, whose power-sharing government is split between the military and civilians. The country had been ruled by a military junta since 1988, but after international pressure and isolation, the military allowed some reforms and a gradual opening up of the country, with the first credible elections in 2016.

That balance of power is still delicate, however, and U.S. officials are concerned about alienating their civilian allies or prompting the military to seize back control.

Still, given what has been learned already, then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson announced the U.S. determination that there had been "ethnic cleansing," after similar pronouncements by other western countries and the United Nations.

That designation was followed by sanctions against one top Myanmar general under the Global Magnitsky Act, which gives the White House broad authority to go after human rights abusers. Maung Maung Soe had overseen the brutal crackdown against the Rohingya, but by the time he was sanctioned, he'd been moved to a new role. No one else has been sanctioned since then.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

0
comments



Subscribe To This Feed

Linkedin(TORONTO) -- Alek Minassian apparently wrote a chilling post on Facebook about an "incel rebellion," an abbreviated term for "involuntary celibate," minutes before he allegedly mowed down mostly female pedestrians with a rented van in northern Toronto Monday, according to police.

The 25-year-old Canadian appears to have a limited presence on social media, including the single post on his Facebook account, which was taken down soon after Monday's attack. In the post, he praises Elliot Rodger, a 22-year-old student at the University of California, Santa Barbra, who killed six people and wounded others before killing himself in his car four years ago.

In several YouTube videos, a blog and a 137-page manifesto created before the 2014 rampage, Rodger lamented about his "loneliness" and he appeared baffled -- and angry – about why women were "repulsed" by him because he considered himself the "ultimate gentleman."

In the Facebook post Monday, Minassian allegedly writes, "The Incel Rebellion has already begun! We will overthrow all the Chads and Stacys! All hail the Supreme Gentleman Elliot Rodger!"

The terms "Chad" and "Stacy" are often used on anonymous internet forums, like Reddit and 4chan, where the online community of self-declared "incel" men has been known to congregate. "Chad" apparently refers to a man who has success with women, while "Stacy" is a seemingly unattainable women who rejects "incels."

FacebookToronto Police Service Homicide Det. Sgt. Graham Gibson confirmed to reporters that Minassian is alleged to have posted the "cryptic message" on Facebook, just minutes before Monday's deadly attack in the capital city of the province of Ontario. Gibson also said it was "fair to say" that the victims in the attack were "predominately female," ranging in age from mid-20s to 80s.

But there's no evidence so far that Minassian was specifically targeting women when he "deliberately" drove into pedestrians in Toronto's bustling North York neighborhood, Gibson said.

Gibson wouldn't say whether there's evidence to suggest the suspect was frustrated with or nursed grudges against women, but the detective sergeant said it's something investigators will look into.

"As you can imagine, the investigation is extremely detailed and ongoing, and because the accused has been charged, I’m restricted from discussing any evidence involved in the investigation, including any pertaining to motive," Gibson said during a news conference Tuesday afternoon.

Gibson also declined to comment on whether there's reason to believe Minassian is mentally ill.

"That’s something that would have to be explored, and it’s far too early for me to make any comment on that right now," he told reporters.

Neighbors of Minassian, who lived in the Toronto suburb of Richmond Hill, described him as quiet and odd. They told ABC News they saw Minassian in the neighborhood -- including one neighbor who said he regularly saw him jogging -- but had never spoken to him.

Police said Minassian went to a Ryder truck rental facility just north of Toronto Monday morning where he rented a "paddle-style" white van. That afternoon, he apparently drove the van to Yonge Street and Finch Avenue in Toronto's bustling North York neighborhood, where he allegedly began ramming into pedestrians on the roadway and sidewalk, police said.

Minassian then drove south down Yonge Street for nearly 1 1/2 miles, allegedly striking more pedestrians near Sheppard Avenue. The battered vehicle finally stopped just off Yonge Street on Poyntz Avenue, police said.

Police said 10 people were killed and 14 others were injured in Monday's attack. Ontario's chief coroner, Dirk Huyer, told reporters the deceased victims have not yet been identified, adding that the task is "our no. 1 priority."

"I’m going to tell you today that we have not confirmed any of the identifications at this point and we are working to do that work carefully," Huyer said at the news conference Tuesday afternoon.

Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto confirmed in a statement that it had received a total of 10 patients from the attack. Two of them were pronounced dead upon arrival. Five others were in critical condition and three were in serious condition as of Monday, the hospital said.

Ryder said in a statement it was saddened by "this tragic event" and extended its "deepest sympathies" to those impacted. The rental truck company also stated that it is "cooperating fully with authorities."

Police arrested Minassian and seized a cell phone from him, according to Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders. He has been charged with 10 counts of first-degree murder as well as 13 counts of attempted murder. He is scheduled to appear in court again May 10 via video link.

A 14th attempted murder charge is imminent, according to Gibson.

Canadian Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Ralph Goodale described Monday's incident as an attack, but said he didn't want to speculate when asked whether terrorism was to blame.

"We cannot come to any firm conclusions at this stage," Goodale told reporters Monday. "The police are conducting their thorough investigation into what happened and why it happened."

At a news conference in Canada's capital on Tuesday morning, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said investigators "have no reason to suspect that there is any national security element to this attack."

"Obviously, all Canadians continue and will continue to have questions about why this happened, what could possibly be the motives behind it,” Trudeau told reporters in Ottawa. "As was indicated last night by our public security minister, at this time we have no reason to suspect that there is any national security element to this attack, but obviously the investigations continue."

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

0
comments



Subscribe To This Feed

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A pregnant woman has reportedly been fined for deliberately tripping a 4-year-old boy at a restaurant in northern China, where social media users are questioning her parenting skills.

The incident occurred in Baoji Shanxi Province last Thursday as the child ran through a small restaurant to grab some chopsticks for his parents, who were waiting outside, Chinese media reported.

Video surveillance of the incident has since gone viral in China showing the plastic-strip curtain on a door hitting the pregnant woman in the face as the little boy ran by, causing some of her food to spill. Apparently annoyed and angry, she waited for the boy to run back and then extended her foot, sending him to the floor.

Taking to social media, thousands of people criticized the woman’s action, with many expressing doubts about her capacity to handle motherhood.

The boy, who reportedly has a heart ailment, was taken to the hospital and diagnosed with a mild concussion, his mother told Chinese newspaper China Youth Daily. He was reportedly in stable condition.

The boy’s mother called the police, and the pregnant woman later turned herself in, according to Beijing Youth Daily.

She was fined about $160, according to Chinese media, but authorities spared her 10 days in jail because she is seven months pregnant.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

0
comments



Subscribe To This Feed

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Two Australian teen brothers are doing well after they spent Tuesday night at sea in an inflatable raft.

According to Australia’s 9News, brothers Jordan Guerts, 18, and Tyson Guerts, 12, spent 21 hours in a raft off Western Australia’s north coast with no food or water after a fishing trip went awry.

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority says three helicopters were deployed to search for the boys, who were spotted around 1 p.m. local time on Wednesday, according to 9News.

The massive search was not limited to the three helicopters, though.

Water police, 20 volunteers on foot, a fixed wing Challenger aircraft from the Australian Maritime Safety Authority, as well as six volunteer marine rescue vessels and 12 recreational vessels were all part of the rescue efforts, 9News reported.

A combination of running out of fuel, a strong current and gusty winds left the boys without a way to signal for help, according to 9News.

The brothers were taken to Exmouth Hospital by helicopter after “suffering from mild dehydration.” They were released shortly thereafter, 9News said.

ABC News has reached out to the Australian Maritime Safety Authority and Exmouth Hospital for comment.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

0
comments



Subscribe To This Feed

Alex Wong/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- French President Emmanuel Macron became the first foreign head of state of Donald Trump’s presidency to address a joint meeting of Congress on Wednesday -- a speech in which he defended climate accords and the Iran deal.

His remarks capped off a highly successful three-day visit marked by unusual personal warmth between the two leaders.

While his personal connection to Trump appears to be growing stronger, Macron also presented a strong repudiation of the kind of insular and nationalistic political sentiments that helped Trump win office, drew a contrast between with Trump on trade and the environment, and defended the Iran deal that Trump has called “insane.”

“Both in the United States and in Europe, we are living in a time of anger and fear,” said Macron, rejecting nationalism and isolationism. “You can play with fear and anger for a time, but they do not accomplish anything.”

On Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris climate accords, Macron was firm.

“We are killing our planet. Let us face it -- there is no Planet B,” said Macron, adding, “I am sure one day the United States will come back and join the Paris agreements, and I am sure we can work together to fulfill with you the ambitions of the global compact on the environment.”

On the Iran deal, which Trump has threatened to pull out of, Macron expressed optimism that the U.S. and France can work together to forge a more comprehensive deal that's more acceptable to President Trump.

“Iran shall never possess any nuclear weapons -- not now, not in five years, not in ten years, never,” said Macron. “But this policy should never lead us to war in the Middle East. We must ensure stability and respect the sovereignty of nations, including that one of Iran.”

“We signed it at the initiative of the United States,” he said. “We should not abandon it without having something more substantial instead. That’s my position.”

But after days of public displays of affection, those differences on policy are unlikely to diminish the growing friendship between the two first-term presidents.

On Tuesday, they held hands, kissed cheeks, patted each other’s knees and backs. And, in a gesture normally reserved for family and the closest of friends, President Trump brushed a speck off Macron’s impeccably tailored suit.

“We have to make him perfect,” Trump said. “He is perfect.”

It’s a long way from the 2016 campaign, when Trump would often heap scorn on French immigration policies, recalling how a friend named “Jim” told him, “I don’t go there anymore. Paris is no longer Paris.’”

And further still from that time when Congress was so disgusted with France’s opposition to the Iraq War that it re-named the French fries in the Capitol cafeteria “freedom fries.”

In his Wednesday address, Macron spoke warmly of the relationship between the two nations and their leaders.

“France has participated with heart in hand in the story of this great nation from the very beginning,” Macron told Congress, earning the first of many standing ovations. “Let me thank your president and the first lady for this wonderful invitation for my wife and myself. I am so very grateful.”

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

0
comments



WJTN News Headlines for Apr. 26, 2018

  The dead man whose body was found just off Route 20 in the town of Portland last weekend has now been identified...     State Police in Jamestown say their Bureau ...

Read More