World Headlines

RobsonPL/iStockBy GUY DAVIES, ABC News

(LONDON) --At least four people have died after a car drove into a pedestrian area in the city of Trier, Germany, on Tuesday.

In the wake of the attack, two were pronounced dead, but officials confirmed four people had died -- including an infant -- and at least 15 were injured. Four of those remain in the hospital with life-threatening injuries, officials said.

Police said the male driver, a German citizen who was arrested on the scene, had a high blood alcohol content and there was reason to believe he was mentally ill.

"We arrested one person and one vehicle was seized," Trier Police posted on Twitter. "According to initial findings, two people have died. Please continue to avoid the city center."

The driver, a 51-year-old from Trier-Saarburg, was driving a Land Rover, and investigators said he may have been living in the vehicle.

The authorities have called on the public to avoid the city center and avoid spreading speculation about the incident.

There is no ongoing threat. The pedestrian zone -- which in verified footage from the scene appears to be a shopping district in the center of Trier -- has been cordoned off. Trier lies just inside the German border with Luxembourg, and the suspect is a 51 year-old from the Trier-Saarburg.

Police tweeted a map of the driver's 900-meter path -- about half a mile -- through the city, swerving into pedestrians.

Officials said there did not appear to be a terror or political motive in the incident.

Roger Lewentz, interior minister of the federal state of Rhineland-Palatinate, seemed to condemn speculation online that it had been an Islamist attack, while not saying so directly.

"The perpetrator is from the region with a German background and we can already see on the internet that there are certain speculations, which nobody here will confirm," Lewentz said.

An official said the man had recently been psychologically evaluated by a doctor at the health ministry.

"I am shocked and deeply shaken by the crime in my hometown #Trier," Malu Dreyer, a local lawmaker, said in a statement. "My deepest sympathy goes to the relatives of the dead. I wish all the injured will recover soon and quickly.Thanks to all the emergency services. I will be in #Trier soon."

The investigation is still ongoing, and the Trier Police spokesperson told ABC News it was "way too soon" to establish a motive.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


KeithBinns/iStockBy MINA KAJI and AMANDA MAILE, ABC News

(NEW YORK) -- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is warning Americans against all travel to Mexico as coronavirus cases continue to rise in the country.

In the past two weeks, Mexico surpassed 100,000 deaths due to the virus and reported over one million cases since the beginning of the pandemic. The agency assigned Mexico its highest advisory, saying travel there “may increase your chance of getting and spreading COVID-19.”

The warning comes as U.S. airlines bolster their winter schedules with flights to popular beach destinations in Mexico. Last month, Mexico was the "clear leader" for U.S.-International air travel, according to Airlines for America (A4A).

Data from travel itinerary app TripIt showed while air travel from the U.S. to Mexico in December is down overall, "the share of U.S.-origin flight reservations to the country have increased 179 percent year-over-year."

One possible attraction is Mexico does not require U.S. citizens to present a negative COVID-19 test to enter, unlike other beach locales in Hawaii and the Caribbean.

Brittany Bamrick, 31, plans to take her first international trip in January since the pandemic began. Her company bought out a "remote" yoga retreat center in Todos Santos, Mexico, that allows a maximum of 30 guests.

"I feel that I know the situation I'm getting into and assume the risk," she said. "It's an optional retreat, so if anyone wants to cancel, they can, it's what you feel comfortable with."

Bamrick and a majority of the people headed to the yoga retreat live in San Diego, California.

"It's like going into a neighboring state for us," she said. "It's a shorter flight than others I've taken, so I almost feel better going to Mexico."

Ashley Lewis, 36, has traveled to Mexico three times since March.

"I felt more safe there than I would at a Target or market in Los Angeles," Lewis told ABC News. "The resorts were secluded, they weren't selling the hotels to 100 percent capacity, and everyone was wearing masks and abiding by the rules. So much in those areas are dependent on tourism, and you could tell they were working incredibly hard to make the guests feel safe."

Lewis says she is trying to take advantage of being able to work from anywhere -- also traveling to Hawaii, Turks and Caicos, and Las Vegas during the pandemic.

"When I come home from a trip I quarantine in my home for a week or week and a half," Lewis explained. "Then I go get that test and that's for peace of mind that I can see my family without the fear of being an asymptomatic spreader."

She said the CDC's travel advisory wouldn't deter her from flying to Mexico a fourth time in January.

"I feel like I take all the necessary precautions and am smart about the type of things that I do," Lewis said. "You wouldn't find me close to a nightclub or anything like that, and so I feel like from what I've seen on my trips to Mexico I don't believe that I'm at any more of a heightened risk."

Health experts are still warning against all non-essential travel, especially during the holidays, as they worry a surge in travel could translate to a surge in cases.

"People that think they can escape the virus in Mexico are in for a potentially different scenario," ABC News medical contributor Dr. Jay Bhatt said. "We're in a time where the pandemic is getting worse, we're setting records we don't need to set, and it's not getting better. If you're going to a place that has higher prevalence, you're more likely to be at higher risk for transmission."

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.



(SEOUL, South Korea) -- Globally accomplished K-pop stars like BTS will now be granted a chance to put off military conscription until the age of 30 following a new amendment to South Korean law.

South Korea’s National Assembly passed a bill to amend the Military Service Act on Tuesday, stating that a pop artist can postpone military service upon the culture minister’s recognition that he has dedicated to elevating the national reputation.

According to the revised Military Service Act, "a pop culture artist who was recommended by the Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism to have greatly enhanced the image of Korea both within the nation and throughout the world" would be allowed to postpone their military service until the age of 30 if they do not have an extraordinary reason. Before revision, the Military Service Act only gave deferral exceptions to athletes, classical musicians, and those who enrolled in Ph.D. programs abroad.

The amendment to the act was proposed in September, shortly after the seven-member boy band BTS hit the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 singles chart with its song "Dynamite."

“A number of Korean men in their 20's, including BTS, often had trouble proving their talents due to concerns about the military service. This amendment has solved that concern by a little,” Jeon Yong-gi of the Democratic Party, one of the lawmakers who drafted the bill, told ABC News.

Article 39 of the Constitution of the Republic of Korea mandates all South Korean citizens to enlist in the military between the ages of 18 and 28. One’s original career is put on hold until the military service is completed.

However, there’s an exemption to sports figures or artists who have won designated national or international competitions so that they may continue their careers. But as K-pop stars have become more and more influential in the pop music scene over the last decade, questions have been raised on whether to give exemption to pop stars who are at the height of their careers as well.

Despite the debate, the Military Manpower Administration in charge of enlisting soldiers, has made it clear through a written statement in October that pop singers were not eligible for military exemption. The administration explained that it is not in line with the government's basic stance to improve fairness and equality in the implementation of mandatory military service.

BTS’ military enrollment has been under the spotlight this year as the oldest member of BTS, Jin, turns 28 in December. During a press conference of their new album last month, Jin told the press that “military service is a matter of course, and as our [BTS] members had discussed many times, we all plan to enroll in the military some day.”

“It is prime time for K-pop idols in their 20's to perform and meet with fans, so the military enlistment is an obstacle for not just the artist himself but also the management company in making marketing plans,” K-pop columnist Ha Ja-Keun told Abc News. “Knowing that they can postpone until 30 will definitely loosen the emotional anxiety over military conscription.”

Military service lasts between 18 to 21 months unless the individual is eligible for an exemption.

Last year, 86% of those who joined the military were between the ages of 18 and 21, according to the Military Manpower Administration in charge of enlisting soldiers.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


anouchka/iStockBy IBTISSEM GUENFOUD, ABC News

(PARIS) -- The alleged beating of a Black music producer by three police officers inside his Paris studio is stirring outrage in France.

Paris' court of justice on Monday indicted four police officers, including three for "voluntary violence by a person holding public authority" and "forgery in public writing" for allegedly lying on police reports, according to local radio station Europe1.

Two of the police officers, a brigadier and a peacekeeper, were placed in pre-trial custody. The third, also a peacekeeper, was placed under judicial supervision. A fourth police officer suspected of having thrown a tear gas canister inside the studio during the arrest was charged Sunday, over a week after the alleged attack occurred on Nov. 21 in the 17th arrondissement of Paris.

In a seven-minute video recorded on surveillance cameras, producer Michel Zecler is seen being beaten several times with a police baton and kicked by three police officers in his studio. Zecler was first approached by police after being seen on camera without a mask on and leaving his car to enter his studio.

The videos were shared with journalists of French outlet Loopsider. According to Loopsider's reporting, the officers claimed Zecler dragged them inside the studio, hit them and then called for reinforcements, a version that the surveillance camera videos refute.

"It's going so fast, I wonder if they are real police," Michel said in an interview with Loopsider.

The officers also allegedly attacked young artists, including a minor, who were present in the studio.

Two lawyers for three of the officers did not respond to ABC News' request for comment.

France’s Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin said last week the police officers had "screwed up" and asked for their suspension "as a precaution."

Zecler's lawyer, Hafida El Ali, called the beating "despicable" and described the officers' behavior as similar to "thugs and delinquents."

El Ali told ABC News media coverage of this case helped speed up the indictments.

French President Emmanuel Macron has also weighed in, saying the alleged attack was "unacceptable" and adding that the nation "will never accept the violence perpetrated against our police and our gendarmes, all those who wear the uniform."

The French government has been accused of attacking public freedoms through a much-criticized bill on global security that was approved in France's National Assembly on Nov. 24.

More than 133,000 people demonstrated across France on Saturday to protest the bill, which protects the faces and identity of police officers from being disseminated with a "malicious intent" online. Some protestors carried "Je Suis Michel" signs in support of the music producer.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.



(NEW YORK) -- The "world's loneliest elephant" has been resettled at a sanctuary in Cambodia after receiving some assistance from iconic singer Cher.

Kaavan, a 36-year-old, 9,000-pound elephant, was given the nickname after he was diagnosed as being emotionally and physically damaged while living in a zoo in Islamabad, Pakistan, for 35 years. During that time, Kaavan was mostly chained in his enclosure, and when his partner died in 2012, her body laid next to him for several days before it was removed. Veterinarians have diagnosed Kaavan as being overweight, malnourished and suffering from behavioral issues due to isolation.

Cher, who has been advocating for Kaavan's resettlement along with her animal welfare group Free the Wild, met with Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday and later visited Kaavan before his flight on Sunday.

Kaavan was tested for COVID-19 before his seven-hour journey, which was complete with 440 pounds of snacks. Very few elephants have been relocated by plane, according to Four Paws.

On Monday, Kaavan was greeted in Cambodia by chanting Buddhist monks before he made his way north by truck to his new home in the Oddar Meanchey province. Once he feels settled, he will be released from his temporary enclosure and allowed to roam the sanctuary, which houses about 600 Asian elephants, Neth Pheaktra, a spokesman for Cambodia's Environment Ministry, said in a statement.

Animal rights groups and activists lobbied for years to relocate Kaavan into better conditions.

Kaavan will require years of psychological and physical assistance, experts have said. Living in an enclosure with improper flooring caused his nails to crack and overgrow, and he developed a habit of shaking his head back and forth for hours, which veterinarians attributed to boredom.

The elephant has lost half a ton since his diet was changed to fruit and vegetables, Khalil said. He was previously eating about 550 pounds of pure sugarcane every day and some fruits and vegetables.

The Islamabad zoo where he spent much of his life has been ordered to shut down.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Bo Zaunders/Getty ImagesBy: MICK MULROY, ABC News

(NEW YORK) – Much is being written today about the changing characteristics of modern warfare as a consequence of revolutionary technological innovations such as artificial intelligence, unmanned systems, and the access and use of outer space.  These developments will undoubtedly impact how war is fought. They will not, however, alter war’s fundamental nature that is unchanged since the dawn of human civilization.
War’s unalterable essence still requires soldiers to possess critical attributes of physical and mental fitness, discipline, and the will to fight and never quit – often against overwhelming odds. Georgetown philosopher Dr. Nancy Sherman argues that these qualities – central to Stoicism – comprise the mindset needed for military forces. Her work details how the Stoic concepts of anger, fear, resilience, mourning, and brotherhood can be incredibly helpful for contemporary and future warriors. Consequently, she recommends the military embrace the Stoic approach to combat, while tempering the warrior spirit with humor and humility.
Though many service members may not be formally educated in the tenets of Stoicism and the works of Epictetus or Seneca, their attitudes and way of thinking resonate with the basic tenets of the philosophy often due to their military training.
Stoicism was developed during a period of near-constant war in the third century B.C.E. at the philosophical center of the Greek world – Athens. Stoics taught that your wealth may go up or down, careers may falter or succeed, but none of these changes truly matter because material wealth is not that important. What matters is being just, being wise, and having courage. All these components help a person deal with uncertainty and especially danger — the kind that military professionals face regularly.
The following details the importance of Stoicism to the warrior mindset, to the mental well-being of our fighting men and women, and the effective use of military force according to societal values, exploring the need for a more conscious and formal adoption of Stoic principles into the core of the American military profession and specifically addresses the Stoic view of anger, fear, and the concept of universal brotherhood.

Entering the world of Epictetus

James Stockdale is one of the most decorated Naval Officers in the history of the United States, having received the Medal of Honor, two Distinguished Flying Crosses, three Distinguished Service Medals, four Silver Star Medals, and two Purple Hearts.  He was a Vice Admiral, the President of the Naval War College, the President of the Citadel, and a Vice Presidential candidate in 1992.

During a September 1965 flight over North Vietnam, Stockdale’s A-4 Skyhawk aircraft was struck and completely disabled. He ejected and parachuted to the ground. As described in his book, Thoughts of a Philosophical Fighter Pilot, before landing, he whispered to himself, “Five years down there, at least. I’m leaving the world of technology and entering the world of Epictetus.”

Stockdale was held as a prisoner of war for seven and a half years, including four in solitary confinement He was repeatedly tortured — his arms were torn from their sockets, his back broken and his legs injured so severely that he walked with a painful limp for the rest of his life. He said Stoicism, specifically Epictetus’s Discourses, was the key to his survival.

Epictetus believed one should not fear death because it was inevitable. The only choice we have is how we will live. He also believed adversity would inevitably happen to people, so it was how you dealt with that adversity that mattered. Your response to that adversity is the only thing you can control.

During his time in captivity, Stockdale maintained the morale of his fellow prisoners. When they were tortured, he told them they should not feel guilty if they had broken and that everybody breaks eventually. Epictetus wanted to free men of guilt like this. Once your actions are behind you, it is out of your control.

After four years of isolation and torture, Stockdale tried to kill himself with shards of glass. A fellow prisoner scratched out lines of the poem Invictus where he knew Stockdale would see it. A poem known by Stoics everywhere. The last two lines were, “I am the master of my fate. I am the captain of my soul.” Stockdale never attempted to kill himself again.

On anger and fear

The Stoic ideal is a person in control of their emotions, making rational decisions based on facts. Stoicism promotes the image of a warrior standing stone-faced in battle despite the passions unleashed by mortal combat. The Stoic philosopher Seneca wrote extensively on the topic of anger, its negative consequences, and techniques to avoid those consequences. Uncontrolled anger leads to bad decisions. For this reason, these techniques are helpful for soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines in combat.
Military training attempts to remove emotion from tactical responses and operational decisions by repetition in realistic scenarios. People who have been in combat commonly note how impressed they were with others who maintained their “coolness” under pressure as opposed to those who went into a rage — an uncontrolled emotion. Conversely, rage has often become a factor in many of the war crimes we have seen in the United States and around the world. Controlling emotions through the practice of Stoic techniques could serve as a key aid in preventing similar tragic events in the future.
Seneca also addressed the other unhelpful emotion for warriors – fear. "Two elements must therefore be rooted out once for all — the fear of future suffering, and the recollection of past suffering; since the latter no longer concerns me, and the former concerns me not yet."  Perhaps this was the intent of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt when he said in 1933, “the only thing we have to fear is …. fear itself.”
Seneca’s counsel on controlling fear easily applies to warfare. The build-up to an operation includes extensive planning, preparation, and rehearsal. All these seek to limit the unknown – a key contributor to fear. Extreme fear can cause paralysis in battle, leading to defeat. Consequently, warriors must practice the discipline of controlling fear to engender courage.  In my own experiences on the battlefield, I have seen heroism and people overcoming their fear – the essence of courage – in the direst of circumstances.
I once watched two of my friends engaged in fierce combat from video recorded from an aircraft overhead. One of them was engaged by heavy enemy fire and was severely wounded. Despite his wounds, he continued to fight, calling out the location of the enemy to guide friendly forces. My other friend, in a moment of pure courage, selflessly rushed through withering fire to come to our comrade’s aid. Side by side, they fought to the end and now are buried next to one another in Arlington National Cemetery.
Others who observed the actions of these two courageous men – all of them combat veterans – hoped they would have shown the same level of courage had they been in that situation. To run into the fray to save a friend is the height of valor. Overcoming fear is what we respect most in our military and sets apart a great military from a good one.  The best weapons and technology are critically important, but the will to fight, largely rooted in courage, is required for victory.
We highlight acts like these to get our young soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines to emulate them. Service members need to understand that fear can be overcome in an act of courage. Stoicism is one of the few philosophies that directly addresses the overcoming of fear, explaining why many in the military follow it and why many advocate its adoption in the formal training of military professionals.

The brotherhood

One distinct concept of Stoicism is the idea of Universal brotherhood and sisterhood. It is a complex concept but generally speaking it holds that all people are part of something much bigger than themself. That rank, race, ethnic groups, wealth, or other external divisions don’t really matter. It is therefore completely counter to things like racism, xenophobia, narcissism, and sexism. It holds that your service is beyond just what is beneficial to you.

Soldiers may join the service for lofty patriotic goals. But they fight for the soldier standing next to them. The brotherhood and sisterhood of the profession of arms outlast any one person. This was the point of Gunnery Sergeant Hartman in Stanley Kubrick’s movie Full Metal Jacket, “Today, you are Marines. You're part of a brotherhood. From now on, until the day you die, wherever you are, every Marine is your brother. Most of you will go to Vietnam. Some of you will not come back. But always remember this: Marines die. That's what we're here for. But the Marine Corps lives forever and that means you live forever. ”
While I do not agree that Marines are here to die, I (and most marines I know) agree that if the Marine Corps lives forever, marines do as well. The Marine Corps may be an extreme example of camaraderie, and proud of it, but every service in the U.S. military holds this value as do the best military units around the world. Regardless of differences, all American warriors are part of something larger than themselves. These shared concepts mutually support one another and further add to the argument that Stoicism should be the official philosophy of the military.

Stoicism in Review

Stoicism provides a basic set of values: courage, justice, and wisdom and seeks to control the rash impulses of anger and fear. It helps our service members deal with decisions in complex circumstances with dire consequences with maturity beyond their years. Stoicism may also add to our troops’ sense of belonging to something larger than themselves, helping them cope with the loss of their brothers and sisters in arms.

Society has a set of values that we expect our military to live by. It is one thing to dictate those values and another to provide the means to help our military deal with the extremes of anger that lead to war crimes and harm to innocent civilians. We owe our service members more than just the best weapons and equipment to operate on the battlefield. We must provide them with a pragmatic and applicable philosophy that can fit with any background or religious belief. We should embrace Stoicism and formalize it in our military training.

You can read the full essay here.

Michael "Mick" Patrick Mulroy is the co-founder of Lobo Institute, a consulting firm, advising, and teaching on current and future conflicts. Mulroy is a former United States Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for the Middle East, a retired Central Intelligence Agency Paramilitary Operations Officer, and a U.S Marine. Also, he is a Senior Fellow for National Security and Defense Policy at the Middle East Institute, a member of the Board of Directors for Grassroots Reconciliation Group, a nonprofit to help rehabilitate child soldiers in Africa, the co-founder of End Child Soldiering, a nonprofit to help rehabilitate child soldiers globally, and an ABC News National Security Analyst.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.



(WASHINGTON) — Edith Bartley had just arrived in Tennessee to visit family members in August 1998 when she got the call from her grandmother: Had she seen the news?

The 25-year-old law student was on break between her summer internship at the Brooklyn District Attorney's Office and returning to University of Missouri Law School for the fall. She had planned on visiting Nairobi, Kenya, to see her father, mother and brother, but her father, the consul general at the U.S. Embassy there, said he'd be traveling to the U.S. in a couple weeks and would see her then.

"It probably saved my life," Bartley told ABC News this week.

Her father, Julian Bartley, and brother, Julian Bartley Jr., who was interning at the embassy, were killed in the bombing -- two of 12 Americans among the dead in twin attacks on the U.S. missions in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

The blasts by al-Qaida operatives killed 224 in total and wounded more than 4,500 -- among the deadliest terror attacks to target Americans before the Sept. 11 attacks.

But for Bartley, losing her dad and brother also launched a lifelong mission -- lobbying for protection and support for American diplomats and their families and pursuing justice for the killing of half her family.

For some of the victims of the 1998 embassy bombings, a sense of justice appears as close now as it ever could be.

Under an agreement signed with the U.S. one month ago, Sudan's government has agreed to pay $335 million to the victims and families for its role harboring the al-Qaida operatives that masterminded the attack. Abu Muhammad al Masri, al-Qaida's No. 2, who was indicted for helping plan the attacks, was also reportedly assassinated by Israeli operatives at U.S. request in Iran this past August -- 22 years to the day after the attacks -- The New York Times reported this month.

ABC News has not confirmed al Masri's killing. The Iranian government denied the report, while al-Qaida has remained quiet.

But his reported death and the deal for compensation are a sign that the victims of the embassy attacks haven't been forgotten, according to Riz Khaliq.

"I am happy that our government didn't give up on trying to hold people accountable for what they perpetrated against us. I'm grateful for that," said Khaliq, who was a 27-year-old economics officer at the time of the bombing.

On a brief assignment in Nairobi before his posting in South Africa, Khaliq was across the street from the embassy at a meeting with U.S. Ambassador Prudence Bushnell and Kenya's trade minister when the blast ripped through the buildings. Khaliq carried Bushnell to safety, his own face bloodied and dirtied by debris.

Twenty-two years later, his heart still races as he tells the story. Like his unease with loud noises, it's a physical manifestation of the horrors of that day, a reminder as real as the shards of glass he still occasionally finds in his skin.

The compensation deal in particular "acknowledges the suffering and the pain that we have been victim to, the 20-plus years that we have been living with and our families have been living with and dealing with," he told ABC News. "Absolutely it would help. But it doesn't mean that it erases that pain or suffering.”

That suffering is every day for Ellen Richards, who was also on a temporary assignment in Nairobi when the blasts blinded her -- although she has found one benefit of blindness. "I don't eat as much," she said laughing. "I can't see the food on the plate, so I don't eat it -- and it's so wonderful."

Like Bartley and Khaliq, Richards has found deep meaning in the attacks. But she said she never searched for justice.

"I don't worry about that. I didn't worry about that. I always figured that God will take care of them. They will get the justice they deserve because they took everyday people who went to work for their government ... and [they] stopped us from breathing," she said.

Richards, who got married two years ago at 72 years old, added, "Life is good. You just can't demand things. God loves each of us, and he knows us each by name, and because he loves us, he'll give us what we need."

Still, robbed of years of work because of her blindness, Richards said money from the settlement deal would help. But while Sudan has transferred the funds to a third-party bank, the money will be held in escrow until the U.S. Congress passes necessary legislation.

The deal stipulates that the victims won't receive any compensation until Congress restores Sudan's "sovereign immunity," a legal term that means it can't be sued as a sovereign state. Sudan lost its immunity when it was designated as a state sponsor of terrorism in 1993. But President Donald Trump lifted the designation last month as part of a historic deal where Sudan and Israel agreed to move toward diplomatic ties.

But the legislation is being held up by two Democrat senators who say it threatens Sept. 11 victims' right to sue Sudan. While the government has never been found responsible for those attacks, restoring Sudan's sovereign immunity would limit 9/11 victims' ability to sue for any alleged role.

Advocates are now racing against the clock to end their opposition. If the money isn't paid out in months, it will return to Sudan -- and Bartley, Khaliq, Richards and others won't get a penny, but a strong sense of betrayal.

"It makes me really upset and puts a bitter taste in my mouth because it's our own government that's frankly holding this up," said Khaliq. "It's nobody else but our own elected officials who are supposed to look out for us as citizens, but instead they're playing politics.”

Even if the deal is approved in this lame-duck session, he and Bartley agreed there's no coming "closure." For Bartley, that's in part because her important work will continue beyond the Nairobi embassy community whose lives were transformed that day.

"In no way will my work as an advocate be complete or over because the very nature of the work that diplomats do and who they are is not very well known to the average American," let alone members of Congress, Bartley said.

"There will be plenty of work to do ... to raise the visibility, the value and the importance of our diplomatic corps and others who serve at our U.S. embassies," she said, like her family did in Colombia, Spain, Israel, South Korea and Kenya.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Martin Zabala/Xinhua via Getty ImagesBy JOE GOLDMAN and MATT ZARRELL, ABC News

(BUENOS AIRES) -- Police shot tear gas and rubber bullets into a massive crowd that lined the streets of Buenos Aires, Argentina, on Thursday to pay their respects to soccer legend Diego Maradona, who died on Wednesday at the age of 60.

The procession line, which stretched from Constitution rail station to the government house where Maradona lies in state, includes people from all walks of life, many of whom have come from faraway provinces where COVID-19 has hit hard, with many having been in lockdown for weeks or months.

It is unclear what lead police to take action against the crowd -- an unknown number of injuries were reported in the incident. Police in Buenos Aires did not immediately return ABC News' request for comment.

"We demand that the mayor and city security minister stop this craziness carried out by the city police force," said Interior Minister Waldo de Pedro.

Following the news of Maradona's death, millions of Argentines went out on their balconies, sidewalks and streets all over the country -- even in the throes of a deadly pandemic -- to give their idol a sustained round of applause. The city's landmarks, stadiums, parks, plazas and the house where he died in the northern suburbs was filled with wreaths left by admirers.

In response to the death, Argentine President Alberto Fernandez declared three days of national mourning.

Maradona died of a heart attack after being released from a hospital in Buenos Aires following brain surgery, according to reports.

Born in Villa Fiorito in October 1960, Maradona first turned pro in his early teens, dominating at two Argentine clubs, Argentino Juniors and Boca Juniors, before becoming a household name with professional clubs in Europe including Barcelona and Napoli.

"I remember Diego living in an apartment in Naples when he played there and I would visit and there were always, I mean always a crowd of fans outside his window," local sports writer Alejandro Apo said on Wednesday.

Maradona's crowning achievement came as he led Argentina to the 1986 World Cup championship, which included his infamous "Hand of God" goal, to defeat England in the quarterfinal.

The soccer legend's career was not without controversy -- drug and alcohol addictions, along with a heavy interest in nightlife led to a steep downfall. During the 1994 World Cup in the United States, he failed a routine post-game drug test and was suspended for the remainder of the tournament.

The importance of Maradona to Argentina's national identity is perhaps best embodied by writer Roberto Fontanarrosa, who said, "It's not important to me what Diego did with his life, it's important what he did to mine."

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


File photo. (Anne Webber/iStock)By JULIA JACOBO, ABC News

(NEW YORK) -- One hundred marine mammals have died after a mass stranding on remote beaches in New Zealand.

The animals washed up on Rekohu, Wharekauri and Chatham islands, according to a statement from the New Zealand Department of Conservation.

Wildlife officials were notified of the strandings on Sunday afternoon -- 28 of 97 pilot whales and three dolphins among those that died were euthanized due to rough seas and the presence of great white sharks, which were attracted to the area due to the strandings, Jemma Welch, a biodiversity ranger for the department, said in a statement on Wednesday.

Biologists determined that the animals still alive appeared "very weak," and the remote location and a nearby power outage made it too difficult to provide additional assistance, Welch said.

A karakii/karakia ceremony was performed to honor the spirit of the whales, which will be left to decompose naturally.

In September, nearly 400 pilot whales died in a mass stranding in multiple locations off the west coast of Tasmania, Australia.

Strandings in that location are not unheard of, Australian wildlife officials said at the time.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty ImagesBy ZOE MAGEE, ABC News

(NEW YORK) -- In an essay for the New York Times, Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, revealed the trauma she and her husband Prince Harry suffered as a result of a miscarriage last July.

The duchess describes the moment she knew she was losing her unborn child.

“I felt a sharp cramp. I dropped to the floor…I knew, as I clutched my firstborn child, that I was losing my second," she wrote. “Hours later, I lay in a hospital bed, holding my husband’s hand. I felt the clamminess of his palm and kissed his knuckles, wet from both our tears. Staring at the cold white walls, my eyes glazed over. I tried to imagine how we’d heal.”

The duchess, who has a 19-month-old son, Archie said she was publicizing her grief to help others who have suffered similarly.

“Losing a child means carrying an almost unbearable grief, experienced by many but talked about by few," she wrote.

Others have recently been raising awareness of what it means to miscarry a child, and breaking down any potential stigma attached to such loss.

Chrissy Teigen and her husband John Legend shared very raw photos of Teigen in the hospital moments after they’d lost their child.

"It was designed for the people that were hurting and John was very uncomfortable, taking them," Teigen told ABC News' Good Morning America co-anchor Michael Strahan in an interview that aired Tuesday on GMA.

The Duchess’ editorial echoes these sentiments, writing, “In the pain of our loss, my husband and I discovered that in a room of 100 women, 10 to 20 of them will have suffered from a miscarriage. Yet despite the staggering commonality of this pain, the conversation remains taboo, riddled with (unwarranted) shame, and perpetuating a cycle of solitary mourning.”

Meghan also touched on the pandemic and the social unrest in the U.S. following the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor.

“A young woman named Breonna Taylor goes to sleep, just as she’s done every night before, but she doesn’t live to see the morning because a police raid turns horribly wrong. George Floyd leaves a convenience store, not realizing he will take his last breath under the weight of someone’s knee, and in his final moments, calls out for his mom. Peaceful protests become violent. Health rapidly shifts to sickness. In places where there was once community, there is now division,” she wrote.

She concluded the article by asking for everyone to pull together over the holiday season.

"So this Thanksgiving, as we plan for a holiday unlike any before — many of us separated from our loved ones, alone, sick, scared, divided and perhaps struggling to find something, anything, to be grateful for — let us commit to asking others, 'Are you OK?,'" she wrote. "As much as we may disagree, as physically distanced as we may be, the truth is that we are more connected than ever because of all we have individually and collectively endured this year.”

A source close to the Sussex’s explaining the timing of Wednesday's editorial said the couple now felt ready to share their news.

ABC News also understands that the rest of the royal family were aware of the situation and the couple’s desire to talk about it.

Prince Harry and Meghan stepped down from their roles as senior members of the royal family earlier this year. The couple now lives in California with their son Archie.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Indigo/Getty ImagesBy KATIE KINDELAN, ABC News

(LONDON) -- Prince William, Duchess Kate and their three children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, are mourning a beloved member of their family, their dog Lupo.

William and Kate, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, shared in an Instagram post Sunday that Lupo, a 9-year-old cocker spaniel, passed away earlier this month.

"Very sadly last weekend our dear dog, Lupo, passed away. He has been at the heart of our family for the past nine years and we will miss him so much," the Cambridges wrote, signing the post as "W & C."

Lupo was a wedding gift to William and Kate from Kate's brother James Middleton, who is the owner of Lupo's mom, Ella. Middleton also shared a tribute to Lupo on Instagram.

"Nothing can ever prepare you for the loss of a dog. For those who have never had a dog, it might be hard to understand the loss," he wrote. "However for those who have loved a dog know the truth: a dog is not just a pet; it is a member of the family, a best friend, a loyal companion, a teacher and a therapist."

"Rest in peace Lupo ... You will always be remembered and your legacy will live on forever. Good Boy," Middleton concluded his post.

Lupo was front and center over in Cambridge family photos over the years, notably including the first official photos of Prince George in 2013.

George, now 7, was also photographed playing with Lupo in photos released for his third birthday, in 2016.

Speaking of the important role Lupo played in the Cambridges' household, ABC News royal consultant Victoria Murphy said of the dog in 2015, "Lupo is their absolute, beloved pet dog, who they treat exactly like one of the family."

The Cambridges kept Lupo with them at their homes at Kensington Palace, their main residence in London, and Anmer Hall, their family home in Norfolk, where they spent much of their time during the coronavirus pandemic.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


shotbydave/iStockBy JULIA JACOBO, ABC News

(NEW YORK) -- More than 38 billion tons of material were extracted from the Earth in 2017 for trade, a figure that shows how much the demand for raw resources has increased in recent decades, a new United Nations report has found.

The materials include biomass, such as wood and crops for food, energy and plant-based materials; fossil fuels, such as coal, natural gas and oil; metals, such as iron, aluminum and copper; and non-metallic minerals, such as sand, gravel and limestone, according to the report.

From 1970 to 2017, the amount of materials extracted from the Earth globally tripled, according to the report.

The volume of trade has increased at a faster pace than the volume of the extracted resources since the 1950s, which signifies how much the global economy relies on material trade, the report states. About one-third of the 101 tons of material extracted from the Earth annually are destined to produce goods for trade.

In addition, the process of using the raw materials -- including extraction, processing, use and disposal of material resources -- deeply affects the planet’s climate, according to the report.

Trade can be damaging to the environment by expanding overall resource production and use, shifting production to countries with less stringent environmental legislation and increasing energy use and pollution linked to transporting the goods.

Rising demand is being met by fewer producers, as several countries shift to becoming net importers with "very few" becoming net exporters, according to the report.

When accompanied by appropriate measures, like facilitating access to green technology and environmental goods and services, trade can enable and accelerate the transition to a greener, circular economy, the report states.

To protect the Earth, authors recommend implementing policies such as enhancing alignment between international trade and environmental legal frameworks, ensuring that trade agreements move toward a circular economy inclusive of developing countries and proactively using regional trade agreements to reduce demand for primary raw materials.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.



(WASHINGTON) -- People in Kabul, Afghanistan, woke up to the sound of rockets fired by insurgents Saturday as families rushed toward schools to check on their children and loved ones.

The attack, which happened in a residential area during the morning rush hour, resulted in at least eight deaths and 31 wounded, according to Kabul police. Most rockets landed inside residential houses.

Saturday's attack reminded many people about the days of war between different warlords and the mujahideen factions in 1992, when seemingly every street in Kabul was controlled by warlords.

It also shows how fragile the political and security situation is in Kabul and all over Afghanistan.

Although the Taliban denied any involvement in Saturday's attack, the government intelligence agencies accused the terrorist organization for this and other recent attacks in Kabul and other parts of the country.

Many Afghans are worried about their future after the U.S. announced it would reduce the number of troops in the country to 2,500, which sends the wrong message to many of the Afghan public.

With violence from the Taliban increasing around the country at such a critical time, many hope for a presence of international forces who could militarily and politically force a peace agreement between the Taliban and the Afghan government.

Before Saturday's attack, the State Dept. confirmed that U.S. Secretary Mike Pompeo would meet the Taliban's political leadership in Doha, Qatar, Saturday, as well as the Afghan national negotiating team, chosen by the Afghan government.

The two sides have been stuck for nearly two months now arguing over the mechanisms for peace talks, including thorny issues like terminology or which school of Islamic jurisprudence to use for disputes.

As those talks roll on slowly, fighting on the battlefield has raged on, with U.S. airstrikes helping keep the Taliban at bay from retaking provincial capitals, as the Washington Post detailed .

An Afghan official told ABC News Thursday that the Afghan negotiating team "will not walk out of the table no matter how difficult working with the Taliban is. But there's no appetite for peace among Taliban. They know nothing but war."

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Vernon Yuen/NurPhoto via Getty ImagesBy BRITTYN CLENNETT, ABC News

(HONG KONG) -- Hundreds of revelers gathered at Hong Kong Disneyland on Friday to witness the opening of the resort's reimagined Castle of Magical Dreams.

The 167-foot-tall structure, nestled into the hills of Lantau Island, has been transformed over four years, more than doubling the height of the previous Sleeping Beauty Castle, itself a near-replica of Walt Disney's original castle in Anaheim, California. The previous castle can still be seen embedded at the base of the new structure.

It's made up of 15 modules that were made off-site, then craned onto the existing castle like a jigsaw puzzle.

The upgrade comes as Hong Kong Disneyland marks its 15th anniversary at a challenging time.

"The castle is the heart and soul of any given Disney Park," Kelly Willis, executive creative director of Walt Disney Imagineering who oversaw the transformation, said at the opening on Friday. "We wanted to transform the image of Hong Kong Disneyland to mark a new era of the resort."

"It's a symbol of courage, hope and possibility," Willis added.

The architecture is inspired by 13 stories of Disney princesses and queens. Each tower is dedicated to their iconic stories through color, patterns and symbolism.

"Living in Hong Kong, the city is made up of a rich fabric of diverse cultures from all around the world, and it's well known for its international character," Willis said. "The transformed castle is inspired by this notion and its rich diversity."

At the opening, a Disney super fan named Melissa, who told ABC News she visits the park every week when she can, said, "I'm feeling very proud of it because it's an exclusive design ... it's beautiful. "

Amid the pandemic, uncertainty remains over whether Hong Kong's version of the happiest place on earth will need to temporarily shut its doors to visitors once again. The resort had already been forced to close twice this year due to waves of coronavirus infections. It reopened for a second time in September. It now looks as though Hong Kong is being hit by another surge of cases, with more than 60 cases being reported on Friday. The city had reported close to zero cases for months.

Disney is the parent company of ABC News.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Larina Marina/iStockBy JULIA JACOBO, ABC News

(NEW YORK) -- A new report details the grim circumstances facing marine animals as millions of pounds of plastic continue to make their way into the oceans every year.

Nearly 1,800 animals from 40 different species swallowed or became entangled in plastic between 2009 and 2018, the report, by ocean conservation group Oceana, found. About 88% were animals listed as endangered or threatened under the Endangered Species Act, including Hawaiian monk seals, Stellar sea lions, manatees and all six species of sea turtle found in the U.S.

The plastic was found to have affected the animals at all life stages, from recently hatched sea turtles to seal mothers with nursing pups. More than 800 animals listed in the report were sea turtles, and more than 900 were marine mammals.

Researches added that the numbers in the report are likely conservative estimates, as not every affected animal is reported.

The pieces of plastic chronicled in the report ranged from microplastics that perforated the gastrointestinal tract of a baby sea turtle to DVD cases and "huge plastic sheets" that had been swallowed by whales.

Plastic packing straps, bags, balloons with strings, and sheeting were the items most commonly reported.

The animals also came into contact with items such as zip ties, dental floss and mesh produce bags seen at grocery stores, Dr. Kimberly Warner, the author of the report and a senior scientist at Oceana, said in a statement. Other incidents involved items including bottle caps, water bottles, straws, buckets, plastic chairs, plastic forks, toothbrushes, children's toys, buckets, bubble wrap, sponges, swim goggles, plastic holiday grass, sandwich bags and polystyrene cups, the report said.

The animals often mistake plastic for food or swallow it while swimming or feeding, according to experts. After it's consumed, the plastic can lacerate their intestines or obstruct digestion, according to the report. When the plastic remains in an animal's stomach, they may believe they are full and not seek to eat, leading to starvation or death, scientists say.

In some cases, just one piece of ingested plastic may have been enough to contribute to an animal's death, like in the case of a pygmy sperm whale whose dead body was discovered in New Jersey with just one plastic bag in its stomach, according to the report.

And when entangled in plastic, some marine life can drown, choke or suffer physical trauma or amputation, which can then lead to infection, the report said.

In one case study, a Kemp's ridley sea turtle drowned after a plastic bag filled with sand wrapped around its neck, according to the study. Scientists believe the turtle drowned from the weight of the bag.

Scientists estimate that 15 million metric tons of plastic flow into the ocean every year -- the equivalent of about two garbage trucks' worth every minute, according to the report.

Plastic production is expected to quadruple in the coming decades, and the amount of plastic flowing into the oceans will triple by 2040 if nothing changes, Christy Leavitt, one of the report's coauthors, said in a statement.

Researchers complied the report by surveying dozens of governmental agencies, organizations and institutions that collect data on the impact of plastics on wildlife.

Stopping plastic from entering the ocean will take a combination of action by both government and big business, according to the researchers. To do so, not only must companies reduce the production of plastic, especially single-use plastic, but they must offer plastic-free choices to consumers. In addition, governments at all levels must pass policies to reduce the production of single-use plastics, and federal agencies tasked with protecting oceans and the species within them must require standardized reporting of all plastic interaction cases, the researchers said.

"The world is hooked on plastic because the industry continues to find increasingly more ways to force this persistent pollutant into our everyday routines -- and it's choking, strangling and drowning marine life," Warner said in a statement. "We can only expect these cases to increase as the industry continues to push single-use plastic into consumers' hands."

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


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