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Attack at church in South Africa leaves 5 dead
Terraxplorer/iStock By WILLIAM MANSELL, ABC NEWS(ZUURBEKOM, South Africa) -- At least five people are dead and more than 40 people arrested in South Africa Saturday following an attack at a church in Zuurbekom, a town in the Gauteng Province of South Africa.Four people were found shot and burnt to death in a car while a fifth victim, a security guard, was also fatally shot, local authorities said.The National Commissioner of Police General Khehla John Sitole said the quick response by authorities averted even more destruction and death."I am certain that the speedy response by the joint security forces has averted...
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Melania Trump statue in Slovenia torched, artist wants to speak with arsonists
JURE MAKOVEC/AFP via Getty Images By DRAGANA JOVANOVIC, ABC News(NEW YORK) -- As President Donald Trump has vowed to punish those who destroy monuments in the U.S., a wooden sculpture of American first lady Melania Trump, near her hometown in Slovenia, was torched on July 4.Authorities don't know who torched the life-size statue, carved by local folk artist Aleš "Maxi" Župevc, or why it was burned.The damaged sculpture is of a rough-hewn Melania Trump, dressed in the pale-blue Ralph Lauren cashmere coat she wore at her husband's inauguration in January 2017.Brad Downey, 40, a Kentucky-born artist based in Europe who...
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US sanctions Chinese officials over Uighur abuses
iStock/Oleksii Liskonih (WASHINGTON) -- BY: CONOR FINNEGANIn a historic step, the Trump administration has sanctioned four Chinese officials and a regional security agency for the Chinese government's repressive campaign against ethnic minorities.The economic penalties and visa bans come on the same day that the White House confirmed it is finalizing a ban on federal contracts and contractors using five Chinese companies, some of which have ties to the campaign against Uighurs. That ban could have a strong economic impact, essentially forcing big U.S. companies to choose between working with the U.S. government and the Chinese firms.While it's unclear what kind...
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ICU in Bergamo, Italy, finally COVID-free after 'nightmare'
ABC News (BERGAMO, Italy) -- BY: PHOEBE NATANSONPapa Giovanni XXIII, the main hospital in Bergamo, Italy, has declared its intensive care unit COVID-free some 137 days after the first novel coronavirus patient was admitted.When the announcement was made on Wednesday, hospital directors and staff members marked the occasion by remembering the victims with a minute's silence before breaking into a long applause "because we all deserved it," Luca Lorini, director of the hospital's emergency department, told the Italian news agency ANSA. "We dreamed of this goal and worked for such a long time to reach it."The few remaining patients who'd...
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Seoul mayor found dead after being reported missing
GoranQ/iStock By JOOHEE CHO and ELLA TORRES, ABC News(NEW YORK) -- The mayor of South Korea's capital, Seoul, was found dead early morning Friday local time, a rescue squad member told ABC News.Mayor Park Won-soon was reported missing Thursday by his daughter, according to officials.The rescue squad member, Shin Joon-Yong, said the team went into the park with five rescue dogs. Shin said he spotted a bag and water bottle not far from a hiking track, and then his partner's sniffer dog found the mayor's body.He was wearing what appeared to be hiking clothes at the time he was found,...
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Russia accuses former defense reporter of treason in growing crackdown on journalists
Selman Keles/iStock By PATRICK REEVELL, ABC News(MOSCOW) -- The arrest of a highly regarded former journalist has set off major outcry among independent media outlets in Russia, which are calling the government's latest actions part of a burgeoning crackdown.Ivan Safronov, accused of spying for the Czech Republic and United States, was arrested Tuesday morning by agents from Russia's domestic security service, the FSB, which has accused him of state treason, a charge that carries a possible 12- to 20-year prison term.Until two months ago, Safronov was a reporter covering Russia's defense and space industries for a leading newspaper, Vedomosti, having...
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One dead after 65-foot crane collapses onto house in London, search and rescue underway
OliverChilds/iStock By GUY DAVIES, ABC News(LONDON) -- One person died and a least four were injured when a 65-foot crane collapsed onto an under-development apartment block in London on Wednesday.The person who died, who has not been identified, was found and died at the scene, according to the London Ambulance Service.Of the four injured, two were "treated for head injuries and taken to hospital," the London Ambulance Service tweeted. The other two were assessed but not taken to the hospital."A 20 meter crane [65 feet] has collapsed onto a block of flats under development and into two terraced houses on...
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US general confident Iraqis will ask American troops remain in Iraq
CT757fan/iStock By LUIS MARTINEZ, ABC News(BAGHDAD) -- The top U.S. military commander in the Middle East is expressing confidence that talks with Iraq will keep U.S. military troops in that country. Gen. Kenneth McKenzie, the commander of U.S. Central Command, visited Baghdad on Tuesday and met with new Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al Kadhimi, who has taken steps to take on an Iranian-backed Shiite militia group that has attacked American forces."I believe the government of Iraq recognizes the true value that the coalition brings to the fight against Daesh (another name for ISIS) in Iraq, and I believe that going...
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Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro tests positive for coronavirus
Myriam Borzee/iStock By JACK ARNHOLZ, ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Jair Bolsonaro, Brazil's 65-year-old president who has consistently minimized the severity of the COVID-19 outbreak, announced Tuesday that he tested positive for coronavirus.Appearing on live television, the far-right president said he took a coronavirus test Monday after developing symptoms, including a high temperature."I didn't know what would be the result. But finally it was positive," Bolsonaro told reporters speaking from the presidential residence in Brasilia Tuesday."There is no reason for fear. That's life. Life goes on. I do thank God for my life and the role I have received to decide...
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Hunger-striking American citizen released from Egyptian prison
iStock/Yasmine Issa (NEW YORK) -- BY: HATEM MAHERA hunger-striking medical student from New Jersey was released from a Cairo jail after serving more than a year in pre-trial detention for holding aloft a sign that read "Freedom to All Prisoners" in the iconic Tahrir Square, the human rights advocacy group that represents him said on Monday.Mohamed Amashah, who is 24 and holds dual American-Egyptian citizenship, flew home on Monday following his release a day earlier, the Washington-based Freedom Initiative group said in a statement."Yesterday Egyptian-American political prisoner Mohamed Amashah was released from Egyptian prisons after 486 days of arbitrary detention,"...
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Hong Kong activist Joshua Wong speaks out on national security law
samxmeg/iStock By BRITT CLENNETT, ABC News(NEW YORK) -- While Hong Kong’s new national security law may have caused some well-known activists to flee the city or censor what they say, Joshua Wong appears to be standing his ground."We will never give up and surrender to Beijing,” said Wong today outside a court where he pleaded not guilty to charges related to a pro-democracy protest last year.His fellow activist, Agnes Chow, pleaded guilty.It’s the second time Wong has faced the public since the controversial law was passed late on June 30.The legislation covers secession, subversion and terrorism, with a maximum penalty...
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Election monitors allege Putin referendum saw unprecedented ballot fraud
iStock/malerapaso By: PATRICK REEVELL, ABC News (NEW YORK) -- Data scientists and independent election observers have claimed statistical analysis suggests there was massive falsification of votes in a referendum this week that overwhelming approved constitutional changes to grant Russian President Vladimir Putin the right to extend his rule until 2036.The week-long referendum on a package of constitutional amendments that "reset" Putin's term limits concluded in Russia on Wednesday with a result hailed by the Kremlin as a "triumph." The official tally showed 77.92% of voters backing the amendments and 21.27% against, with a turnout of 65%.Those numbers are significantly above...
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