iStock/Thinkstock(TEHRAN, Iran) -- Marking the 37th anniversary of its Islamic revolution, Iran continued to publicly mock the 10 U.S. sailors its military forces detained in Iranian waters last month.
Groups of shackled Iranian men and at least one woman (many of them overweight) were paraded thought the streets of downtown Tehran as part of the celebration. Dressed in fatigues meant to depict those of U.S. sailors, the men had guns pointed at them while kneeling on the ground with their hands behind their heads. Others were tied together with bags over their heads.
Crowds gathered to watch the mock reenactment of the heavily propagandized Jan. 12 incident. Ten American sailors were detained for roughly 24 hours after their Riverine command boats strayed into Iranian waters near Farsi Island.
Iranian state media released images Wednesday that it said shows one of the U.S. sailors weeping while in detention. The State Department expressed its “disgust” at Iran’s decision to release that footage in a statement to ABC News.
Last month, Defense Secretary Ash Carter said he was “very, very angry” after Iran first released footage of the U.S. sailors and said the U.S would not have done the same to the Iranians, had the roles been reversed.
The Navy’s 5th Fleet released a short description of the incident last month but has yet to produce a larger investigation it said is in the works. None of the U.S. sailors involved have publicly talked about the incident.
ED JONES/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Kim Jong Un, the self-proclaimed "Supreme Leader" of North Korea, has released video footage showing the rocket launch he reportedly oversaw on Saturday.
The KCNA, the state-owned news agency in North Korea, reported that the blastoff was a "complete success" and for "peaceful purposes."
This launch comes exactly one month after the Democratic People's Republic of Korea allegedly tested a nuclear bomb.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, a South Korean national, called the rocket launch "deeply deplorable."
The UN Security Council hosted an emergency meeting following reports of the launch and subsequently condemned North Korea for breaking international security resolutions in a statement.
World leaders from the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan, South Korea, and other nations have also spoken out condemning the launch. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry called the launch a "major provocation" and a threat "not only the security of the Korean peninsula, but that of the region and the United States as well" in a statement.
The unverified footage of the rocket launch appears very similar to the footage the regime released of a rocket launch in 2012.
AMER ALMOHIBANY/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — The findings of a new report puts the number of casualties from the ongoing fighting in Syria well above most estimates. That’s the word, according to a new report by the Syrian Center for Policy Research.
In its findings, SCPR — an independent think tank — says 470,000 people are dead as a result of the five-year war that’s still raging. Conversely, the United Nations says that some 250,000 people were killed in the fighting.
The report also claims that more than 11 percent of the Syrian population has been killed or injured.
SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- If Albert Einstein was alive today, he'd be saying: "I told you so."
In one of the most experimental findings in recent years, scientists announced on Thursday they have detected gravitational waves, vibrations of space and time, proving Einstein was right 100 years after he first predicted their existence.
David Reitze, the executive director of LIGO, the Advanced Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory, said the discovery is a "scientific moonshot" that many, even Einstein, believed would be difficult to detect. He said the detection would allow scientists a new window into seeing and hearing cosmic events that otherwise might not be detected.
"Up until now we have been deaf to the universe. Today, we are able to hear gravitational waves for the first time," Reitze said.
Here's a breakdown on why this is such big news for the scientific community: What Causes Gravitational Waves
Violent events -- such as when two black holes collide -- are believed to create ripples in the fabric of space and time known as gravitational waves. Since gravity is a weak force, Einstein predicted it would be nearly impossible to detect these ripples, even as they passed through people and objects on Earth.
Whenever an object moves in the fabric of the universe, Einstein predicted in his Theory of General Relativity that it would create ripples the same way an object would if thrown into the water. Those ripples are what scientists announced on Thursday they're finally able to detect, giving them a microphone of sorts to now listen to the universe.
What Was Detected
The gravitational waves detected are from the collision of two black holes 1.3 billion years ago. Reitze said the black holes are about 150 km (93 miles) in diameter and have about 30 times the mass of the sun. The black holes then collided at half the speed of light, he said, creating the gravitational waves that were able to be measured from LIGO's two observatories in Washington State and Louisiana.
Even Einstein didn't know if gravitational waves, which he predicted were weak, could ever be measured by people on Earth, making Thursday's announcement huge for the scientific community.
Why This Matters
The discovery of the waves is important for the scientific community because it will open up a new way to see and hear the universe, allowing astronomers to now search and see objects we previously didn't know existed.
Scientists reported in 2014 they had detected gravitational waves using a telescope in Antarctica; however, the discovery turned out to be a false alarm after further research found the data was contaminated by cosmic dust.
iStock Editorial/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A Canadian woman took matters into her own hands last week when it seemed a snowstorm was going to stop her from getting coffee.
Allyson Mitton, who lives near Sussex, New Brunswick, hitched her two border collies, Shift and Braya, to a sled and rode with them more than two miles into town to get her morning fix.
"It was just a stormy day and what else can you do, be stuck inside?" Mitton told CTV Atlantic on Wednesday. "[The dogs] love to run and they don't care about the snow. So we just hauled out the dogsled and away we went to [Tim Hortons]."
Mitton told CTV she and her dogs received some strange looks once they arrived at the popular coffee chain.
"I heard one woman say something like, 'I don't think I've ever seen anything like this before in the drive-thru,'" Mitton said.
Mitton said the two dogs enjoyed some Timbits -- Tim Hortons’ bite-size doughnuts -- while she sipped her coffee before heading home.
iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Little Esmé Bayes is already a world traveler at the age of one.
At just 10-weeks-old, she was off with her parents, Karen Edwards and Shaun Bayes, on her first trip to Singapore.
After touching down in Bangkok Wednesday, the traveling tot will have visited 12 countries, which her mom beautifully documents for her 12,000 Instagram followers.
Edwards says she hopes her daughter gains three things from this experience: “Develop her insight into different cultures, develop her social skills, [and] develop a desire to see the world.”
The apple certainly doesn’t fall far from the tree. When Edwards found out she was pregnant with Esmé, she admits she “instantly thought ‘That’s it, travel days are over.' Needless to say that has not been the case so far.”
Baby Esmé was born in London, but her mother is from Ireland and her father is from New Zealand.
“The gal is destined to travel!” Edwards wrote on her blog.
Edwards and Bayes temporarily moved to New Zealand after Esmé's birth. The family decided to use Karen’s maternity leave creatively and backpacked through Southeast Asia for 7 weeks with Esmé in tow.
“Breastfeeding and baby-wearing is what made this easy,” she explained. “I don't think I could have done it with having to carry and sterilize everything.”
The proud mom said her favorite place they’ve visited as a family is Vietnam.
“The people are so friendly and helpful with Esmé,” she said. “The place is just incredibly beautiful.”
The only downsides to traveling with her youngster is not being able to enjoy the nightlife in all of these exotic locations, and sometimes not being able to explain exactly what they need for their child.
“You don't get any evenings as bed time is generally the same time for all of us as Esmé has to sleep,” she wrote in an email. “When in less-well-traveled countries, it's harder to communicate what you need for Esmé. Google Translate is always a lifesaver and can be quite hilarious at times.”
Overall, the “Travel Mad Mum”’s only regret is “not bringing enough Western, healthy, sugar-free baby snacks.”
And the biggest thing she’s learned?
“It's easier to be away and have quality family time together than it is to be home cooking and cleaning and maintaining a household,” she said.
Edwards says she plans to write a travel book chronicling their adventures.
iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The man authorities believe may have smuggled a bomb onto a Daallo Airlines jet in Somalia last week apparently traded seats with another passenger before the blast, airline CEO Mohammed Ibrahim Yassin told ABC News.
The passenger was originally sitting in a window seat, but agreed to move to the aisle when the suspected bomber, identified by Somalian officials as Abdullahi Abdisalam Borleh, asked to switch, according to Yassin, who spoke with the passenger.
Just a quarter of an hour later, shortly after takeoff, the bomb -- which authorities believe may have been concealed in a laptop -- exploded, ripping a hole in the fuselage and sucking Borleh’s burned body out of the Airbus 321.
As the cabin lost pressure and flight attendants herded frightened travelers to the back of the plane, the pilot made an emergency landing in Mogadishu.
Two passengers –- including the man who had given up his window seat -– were wounded.
Yassin says he suspects the attack may have been an “inside job” involving airport employees. Surveillance video released by Somali authorities appears to show two men in airport staff uniforms handing the laptop to the suspected bomber.
Both men have since been arrested.
Authorities are looking into whether the attack may have been backed by al-Shabab, an al Qaeda-linked terror group, or even ISIS.
According to Yassin, 70 of the flight’s 74 passengers, including Borleh, were originally booked on a Turkish Airlines flight that was cancelled “last minute.”
A Turkish Airlines spokesperson tells ABC the flight was cancelled “due to operational reasons required in the framework of bad weather conditions.”
But Yassin said he didn't know what was behind the cancellation. The airline refused to comment beyond their initial statement.
Following last week’s incident, there will be “more layers of security” at Mogadishu airport, Yassin said, including more screenings and a greater effort to isolate aircraft.
iStock/Thinkstock(TEHRAN, Iran) -- New video broadcast on Iranian state TV Wednesday appears to show a U.S. sailor crying while briefly detained by Iran in early January. The sailor was one of 10 U.S. sailors aboard two small Navy vessels that strayed into Iranian waters in the Persian Gulf.
A U.S. Department of Defense official said the video released Wednesday by the Islamic Republic of Iran News Network appears similar to footage aired at the time the sailors were detained. That original footage showed the moment of their detention at sea with their hands behind their heads, as well as all of the sailors sitting around a large room.
The new footage shows one of the sailors in that room with what appear to be red and moistened eyes. Later in the footage, the same sailor is shown using what appears to be a tissue or handkerchief to wipe his eyes and nose. It is unclear what circumstances may have prompted the sailor's apparent tears.
Commenting on the new video, Cmdr. Kevin Stephens, a spokesman for the U.S. Navy's Fifth Fleet, told ABC News, “As Secretary [of State John] Kerry has said, we are disgusted by the exploitation of our Sailors in Iranian propaganda.”
He called the Jan. 12 detention of U.S. sailors “outrageous and unacceptable.”
“Professional mariners understand that it is a duty and obligation to assist other mariners who suffer mechanical problems or who find themselves off track at sea,” he said in a statement to ABC News. “In fact, our Navy has assisted Iranian mariners in distress in the Gulf region seven times since 2012.”
Five days after the release of the sailors, U.S. Central Command released an initial timeline of events surrounding the detention.
It said the vessels drifted into Iranian territorial waters near Iran’s Farsi Island in the middle of the Persian Gulf while on a journey from Kuwait to Bahrain the afternoon of Jan. 12.
That statement referred to navigational error and said one of the vessels had engine problems. While the vessels stopped to assess the mechanical problem, Iranian boats approached the sailors.
The 10 sailors were kept in an unknown location on Iran’s Farsi Island before being freed the following day.
It is still unclear why the American vessels entered Iranian waters or whether the sailors knew their exact location.
The Navy is conducting an investigation to provide “a more complete accounting of events,” but it has yet to be released.
That report will rely heavily on the testimony of the sailors and their own version of events, which could provide more context to these new images.
Several weeks ago, Secretary of Defense Ash Carter commented on his initial reaction to seeing the videos of the sailors on their knees.
“I was very, very angry at it,” he said. “Remember, as you’re thinking about our guys, that you’re looking through the lens of the Iranians.”
This new video was released the day before the 37th anniversary of Iran’s Islamic revolution when the U.S.-supported government of Mohammad Reza Shah was toppled.
moodboard/Thinkstock(ANKARA, Turkey) -- Dramatic video released by the Turkish Coast Guard Wednesday captured the rescue of a lone Syrian refugee who had been clinging for several hours to a sinking boat in the Aegean Sea near Edremit, a city in eastern Turkey.
The helmet camera footage shows the Monday rescue of Syrian refugee Pelen Hussein from the perspective of Turkish Coast Guard Sgt. Tuncay Ceylan, according to international news agency Agence France-Presse.
The video shows Ceylan lowering himself from a helicopter and then swimming to Hussein, who can be seen desperately holding onto the bow of a vertically sinking boat nearly fully submerged in the water.
Ceylan then tells Hussein, "Jump into the water!" before getting a hold of him and hoisting him up back to the helicopter. Hussein was then flown back to land and immediately taken to a hospital, AFP reported.
Hussein "was on the verge of hypothermia, and in a state of shock," Ceylan told Turkish media, according to AFP. "I tried to calm him down."
Ceylan added, "When he came to himself a bit he started to cry. Probably his relatives came to his mind as there were a lot of corpses in the water."
Hussein was one of several dozen Syrian refugees who had set off by boat in the hopes of reaching the Greek island of Lesbos, which is near the Turkish eastern coast, AFP reported.
Twenty-seven migrants, 11 of them children, drowned, according to the Turkish Coast Guard.
Over 900,000 migrants and refugees entered Europe last year, according to the International Organization for Migration.
Many of the migrants and refugees risk their lives trying to flee dangerous conditions in war-torn countries by crossing perilous seas in overcrowded boats.
From the beginning of 2015 through this past Monday, IOM recorded 409 fatalities on Mediterranean routes, the organization said in a news release Tuesday.
iStock/Thinkstock(BEIJING) -- China has confirmed its first case of the Zika virus, state news agency Xinhua reports.
The state news agency says the National Health and Family Planning Commission announced on Tuesday that a 34-year-old man from Jiangxi province traveled to Venezuela last month, where he experienced symptoms of the virus. Upon returning home last week, he was placed under quarantine.
The NHFPC says the risk of the virus spreading from this imported case is low given the low temperatures in the region.
Historic Royal Palaces(LONDON) — Kensington Palace, home to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry, will be opening its palatial doors to a new dazzling exhibition called "Fashion Rules: Restyled." The exhibit is organized by the charity Historic Royal Palaces (HRP) and takes visitors into the wardrobes of three famous royal women: Queen Elizabeth, Princess Margaret and Diana Princess of Wales.
"The exhibition looks at the unofficial rules of royal dressing in a way many of the considerations that a designer or a royal individual will take into consideration when getting dressed in the morning," senior curator Deirdre Murphy told ABC News.
Mounted on the walls of the exhibition rooms are sketches with fabric samples pinned to each sketch alongside notes recording conversations between the designer and the women.
There are eighteen couture gowns on display in five rooms including some of Diana's most iconic dresses. One of them is a bottle green double-breasted velvet dress with beautifully detailed diamante buttons created by British designer Catherine Walker. In 1997 Diana was photographed wearing it for the famous Vanity Fair photo shoot by Mario Testino.
"Catherine Walker was one of Diana Princess of Wales’ favorite designers and she really helped to develop that very sleek elegant streamlined sophisticated look for the Princess of Wales for the 1990s and late 1980s," Murphy told ABC News.
A sophisticated, one-shouldered navy blue dress with gold rope detailing that Diana wore to a private occasion is also on display. The dress style became her signature look and shows off Diana’s more sleek style.
Historic Royal Palaces"She did have a daring side the way she dressed but she also dressed within a long standing royal tradition," Murphy said.
A memorable dress worn by the princess is another Catherine Walker creation: a black velvet bodice and voluminous tartan ball gown skirt.
And there is the off-the-shoulder salmon pink evening frock with a long tunic style bodice the princess wore to the reopening of the Savoy theater in 1993.
Diana's rules for dressing throughout the 1980s and 90s included wide shoulders and shoulder pads, dresses with dropped waists and bold trimmings to a more streamlined, elegant look. Perhaps the best description of her style comes from Catherine Walker.
"[Walker} felt for the princess that she needed to design a dignified show stopper. I think that's a very nice way of putting that sort of tension between something that is really really glitzy and red carpet magnificent dress and on the other hand dignified adhering royal tradition," Murphy told ABC News.
The exhibition also features film and photographs capturing the women wearing the dresses at various famous occasions. One of them is the dress the queen wore to a state visit to France in 1972 and in her 1977 Silver Jubilee portrait. It is a heavily beaded bodice covered with two layers of chiffon embroidered with small pearl beads and diamante detailing. The evening gown is also iconic because it was famously used by the sex pistols for their "God Save the Queen" single and later on immortalized by Andy Warhol in his screen prints of reigning Queen Series.
ABC News(SYDNEY) -- After a 10,000-mile long flight from Virginia to Australia, a World War II U.S. army veteran finally reunited with his wartime girlfriend Wednesday after recently reconnecting online.
For the first time in over 70 years, Norwood Thomas, 93, came face-to-face with Joyce Durrant Morris, 88, his long-lost first love.
The two were speechless at first and shared a warm embrace and kiss on the cheek.
"This is about the most wonderful thing that could have happened to me," Thomas said in a reunion broadcast on Australia's Channel TEN TV show The Project.
"Good," Morris replied with a laugh. "We're going to have a wonderful fortnight."
The two said they planned to spend Valentine's Day together.
Thomas and Morris' story began in the spring of 1944 in London. The two had dated for a few months but were separated when Thomas was forced to leave for the Battle of Normandy in France, he told ABC News in November.
For over seven decades, the two lived separate lives. Both married other people, though Morris is now divorced and Thomas' wife passed away a few years ago. Morris also lives in Australia.
The two were brought together again last November, when Morris' son found contact information for Thomas' son online. The men reconnected their parents through Skype and phone calls, the first of which brought the wartime lovers to tears.
"When she called me 'Tommy,' her nickname for me, oh my God, it stirred emotions that had been dormant for a long, long time," Thomas told ABC News. "She had always been on the fringes of my thoughts this whole time. She'd always pop up as a pleasant memory, and it turns out that she'd been thinking of me this whole time too."
Though Thomas wasn't sure if he'd call his "strong feelings" for Morris "love" quite yet, he said he was excited to see Morris again in Australia and to "reminisce about their old days together," his son Steven Thomas told ABC News last month.
Thomas' trip was made possible by hundreds of people who made donations online after reading his story and by Air New Zealand, which made arrangements to fly Thomas and his son first class, free of charge.
iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- An official from the U.S. Department of Defense told ABC News Tuesday that the North Korean satellite that had been tumbling in orbit “appears to have been stabilized.”
The satellite is believed to be equipped with small rockets that seem to have corrected the satellite’s position in orbit.
The North Koreans have described the satellite as an earth observation satellite which would mean it would have some imagery capability.
If that’s the case, then it is likely of rudimentary low resolution. It’s unclear if the satellite is transmitting signals yet.
The satellite is in a polar orbit, so it can cover most of the earth in a day.
iStock/Thinkstock(MOSCOW) -- Moscow residents woke up Tuesday morning to scenes of startling destruction here, after the city's government unleashed 700 bulldozers overnight to destroy 100 makeshift shops across the city center, according to officials.
The shops, a mixture of outdoor kiosks and more permanent structures, were flattened, some still with furniture inside and the lights still on. Piles of twisted metal and wreckage were left behind.
A feature of Moscow's urban landscape since Communism fell, the shops sold everything from eyeglasses and underwear to Kalashnikov-shaped vodka decanters. In recent years, many had evolved into larger structures, housing kebab shops, cafes and cellphone dealers.
The mayor's office believes the stalls are a throwback to a more anarchic time and wanted to raze them as part of an effort to bolster the Russian capital's image as a modern and sophisticated city.
Authorities had said the kiosks were built illegally, without planning permission. But the official reason for the clearing was that the structures — built mostly around subway stations — posed a safety threat to the system's communications.
"It's barbarism," said Irina Karaseva, 54, a radio editor standing next to a seven-foot pile of rubble. "They should not have done it this way."
Alina Bibisheva, an urban design specialist who studied the kiosks in a research paper for Moscow's Strelka Institute for Media, Architecture and Design, said "Normally you don't do it in the night, with the lights on and people inside."
The kiosks' owners had been ordered to dismantle the structures themselves after a ruling by the government a year ago, but most ignored the order. At the Chistiye Prudi subway station in central Moscow, some of the shops were still serving food when the bulldozers arrived.
Those working there have now lost their livelihoods and many will appeal for compensation, claiming they had the appropriate permission from the city. But officials have said no compensation will be offered.
"We've been here 25 years," said Larisa, who declined to provide her last name, sitting in her newspaper stand, which had been spared the night's leveling. "We're also illegal. They'll pull us down too."
Moscow has changed rapidly in the past five years, with huge areas undergoing restoration — stylish new parks and pedestrian zones have appeared, as well as vast new shopping malls. Some saw the removal of the kiosks as a positive continuation of this trend.
"There wasn't any need for them — they blocked up the entrance to the subway," said Olga Kosyanchuk, a 25-year-old painter. "We need to pull them down as quickly as possible."
But Zoya Baranova, 77, a local pensioner who walked by a row of demolished kiosks, was more sympathetic. "I feel sorry for the people who worked here. [But] it'll be clean and beautiful."
Alex Wong/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Top U.S. leaders laid out the major worldwide threats facing the United States at Tuesday's Senate Armed Services Committee hearing -- including homegrown terrorism and North Korea's nuclear program.
"It's a very accurate litany of doom," said Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) during the testimony by James Clapper, the director of National Intelligence, and Marine Corps Lt. General Vincent Stewart, director of the Defense Intelligence Agency.
Here are some of the highlights:
Terrorism in the US: Stewart cautioned against homegrown threats, saying, "ISIL will probably attempt to conduct additional attacks in Europe, and attempt to direct attacks on the U.S. homeland in 2016." In his written statement, Clapper similarly warned that “the perceived success of attacks by homegrown violent extremists in Europe and North America, such as those in Chattanooga and San Bernardino, might motivate others to replicate opportunistic attacks with little or no warning, diminishing our ability to detect terrorist operational planning and readiness.” He said that U.S.-based homegrown violent extremists pose "the most significant Sunni terrorist threat to the US homeland in 2016."
Taking Back Mosul: Stewart said he was not optimistic about taking Mosul from ISIS in the near term, saying it's unlike to happen in the next year. "We may be able to begin the campaign, do some isolation operations around Mosul," he said. "But securing or taking Mosul is an extensive operation and not something I see in the next year or so." Stewart also mentioned there is still work to be done to secure Ramadi.
North Korean Nuclear Power: Clapper said North Korea has expanded their Yongbyon nuclear facility not far from the capital of Pyongyang. “We assess that North Korea has followed through on its announcement by expanding its Yongbyon enrichment facility and restarting the plutonium production reactor," he said. "We further assess that North Korea has been operating the reactor long enough so that it could begin to recover plutonium from the reactor's spent fuel within a matter of weeks to months." On Saturday, North Korea successfully launched a long-range missile, apparently into space.