(MOSCOW) -- A delegation of American lawmakers will travel to Russia next week in part to investigate last month’s Boston Marathon bombings, ABC News has learned.
The group, led by Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., wants to find out why a 2011 Russian request that the United States investigate Tamerlan Tsarnaev, one of the suspected Boston bombers, did not raise more red flags.
The Russians offered a vague warning that Tsarnaev planned to link up with extremist groups abroad, but an FBI investigation yielded no evidence to support those claims at the time. The lawmakers also want to know why subsequent U.S. requests for additional information ...Read more
(TEL AVIV) -- The Syrian military said on Tuesday that it fired on an Israeli army jeep in the contested Golan Heights in the early hours of the morning, destroying it.
Israel said the jeep was slightly damaged and there were no casualties, but the incident raised fears that the long-time enemies could soon once again find themselves embroiled in renewed conflict.
Just after 1 a.m., the Israeli vehicle on patrol was fired upon by Syrian forces, both sides reported. Syria said the jeep had crossed the ceasefire line in the mountainous Golan Heights that divides the two countries and was heading to the village of Beer Ajam, on the ceasefire ...Read more
(DUBAI) -- A hotel that bills itself as the world’s most luxurious is giving guests the ultimate in over-the-top amenities: a 24-carat gold iPad at check in.
Dubai’s Burj Al Arab hotel claims to be the first in the world to offer the iPads to guests. No, the iPad is not yours to keep.
Burj Al Arab teamed up with London-based Gold & Co. to offer the iPads.
“The Gold & Co. London 24-carat gold iPad is the ultimate in luxury accessories, hence we wanted it to be paired with Burj Al Arab, the world’s most luxurious hotel. The symmetry is obvious, as both the gold iPad and the hotel are unique...Read more
(BAGHDAD) -- Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is accusing some lawmakers of fueling the latest sectarian unrest that's responsible for close to 250 deaths in his country over a five-day period.
The Shiite leader also blamed large Sunni demonstrations for counteracting his attempts at achieving national unity almost a year-and-a-half after U.S. forces pulled out of Iraq.
Sunnis and Kurds contend its al-Maliki who's stoking sectarian tensions by marginalizing minorities.
Either way, violence has picked up during the past two months, with reports Monday of at least 95 deaths in predominantly ...Read more
(ROME) -- Claims that Pope Francis performed an exorcism on a disabled teenager in St. Peter's Square after mass on Sunday have led to denials from the Vatican.
The Catholic TV2000 filmed the pope blessing children with disabilities, showing the pope covering one teen's head with his hands and pushing back.
The TV network interviewed exorcists who said it was an exorcism, or "liberation prayer" from evil.
The Vatican instead said it was simply a prayer for someone suffering.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio...Read more
(NEW YORK) -- The battle for the Western Syrian city of Qusayr is being described by both sides as the possible turning point of the two-year civil war.
What makes this conflict different from other cities where fighting continues to rage is that it also involves the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah, which is allied with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in his bid to crush opposition groups seeking his ouster.
Even as the Syrian government has been hitting rebel strongholds hard with air strikes in Qusayr, Hezbollah is sustaining heavy losses.
One Syrian watchdog group reports that nearly 30 Hezbollah guerrillas ...Read more
(PRETORIA, South Africa) -- Oscar Pistorius's agent says the international athlete known as "Blade Runner," who is accused of murdering his girlfriend, will not compete again this year as he fights to clear his name.
The 26-year-old Olympic sprinter is currently awaiting trial after being charged with the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in February. Pistorius maintains he shot Steenkamp, 29, by accident, mistaking her for an intruder on Valentine's Day. He is due back in court on June 4 with a trial scheduled to take place before the end of this year.
In a statement Monday, Peet van Zyl, ...Read more
(MOSCOW) -- Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) claims to have cornered a group of suspected militants in the town of Orekhovo-Zuyevo, east of Moscow, thwarting a possible terror attack, according to Russian news reports. The group opened fire, and two suspects were killed in the shootout. A third person was detained.
The reports don’t say when the operation took place.
The FSB claims the suspects were planning a terror attack in Moscow, but reports thus far don’t provide any details of their plans. The three are reportedly from Russia and received training in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Copyright ...Read more
(BAGHLAN, Afghanistan) -- At least 14 people, including a senior political official, were killed Monday by a suicide attacker in the northern Afghanistan province of Baghlan.
The attacker entered the provincial council compound on foot wearing a police uniform before detonating a suicide vest at the gate of the council's headquarters, BBC News reports.
According to the spokesperson of the governor of Baghlan province, the attack claimed the lives of 14 people, including council head Haji Rasool Khan Mohseni, a key Taliban opponent in the province. Nine others were injured in the attack.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama will travel to Africa this summer.
The president will take his family to U.S. allies Senegal, Tanzania, and South Africa, where Nelson Mandela lives in retirement.
During the trip, scheduled for June 26 through July 3, the president, "will reinforce the importance that the United States places on our deep and growing ties with countries in sub-Saharan Africa, including through expanding economic growth, investment, and trade, strengthening democratic institutions, and investing in the next generation of African leaders," White House press secretary Jay Carney said in a statement Monday. ...Read more
(SEOUL, South Korea) -- North Korea fired a short-range missile into the Sea of Japan on Monday, marking the third straight day the country has launched similar rockets in the area, according to South Korea's Yonhap news agency.
The latest missile comes after the North launched one on Sunday, Yonhap reports. Three others were fired on Saturday.
North Korea's committee in charge of inter-Korean relations says the recent firing of short-range rockets are part of a regular military drill.
Following Sunday's launch, South Korea called North Korea's action "deplorable" and "provocative." Seoul warned that it had placed ...Read more
(ISLAMABAD) -- Pervez Musharraf is one step closer to freedom, but he's not out of the woods yet.
A judge granted bail on Monday to the former Pakistani president and military strongman. Musharraf stands accused of being involved in the December 2007 assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.
Bail was granted when the man who made the accusation refused to testify.
Despite the bail, Musharraf remains under house arrest while two other cases against him make their way through Pakistan's complicated legal system.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio...Read more
UPDATE: A series of car bombings in Iraq on Monday has left close to 60 people dead and more than 200 others injured.
(BAGHDAD) -- Is Iraq destined for another civil war?
The most recent spike in sectarian-related violence leading to more 140 deaths in just four days has many worried that Shiite Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is losing control even as security patrols were ordered increased around the country.
Last Friday, at least 70 people died in targeted Sunni neighborhoods, with dozens killed in a bombing near a mosque north of Baghdad.
The capital itself is turning into an armed camp with more SWAT teams,
(NEW YORK) -- Syrian President Bashar al-Assad appears resistant to any attempts by the international community to set up a peace summit that would work towards ending the two-year conflict in his country.
In an interview with the Argentinean newspaper Clarin, the embattled leader threw cold water on a joint U.S.-Russia effort to set up a conference in early June that would get officials from his administration and the main Syrian opposition to arrive at a ceasefire and compromise.
Once more, al-Assad blamed the West for supporting who he terms as "terrorists" trying to usurp his authority, saying, "We do ...Read more
(KABUL, Afghanistan) -- The move to strengthen women's rights in Afghanistan took a major hit Saturday when conservative religious lawmakers blocked landmark legislation.
Khalil Ahmad Shaheedzada, a conservative member of parliament, said the measure was withdrawn when religious parties claimed it violated Islamic principles and encouraged disobedience.
Shaheedzada even went as far to say, "Whatever is against Islamic law, we don't even need to speak about it."
Had the legislation been considered and passed, it would have set a minimum age for girls to get married while ending prosecution of women who are raped. ...Read more