iStock/Thinkstock(MOSCOW) — Russia's Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Communications is investigating complaints from a Russian senator who thinks emoji depicting people in “non-traditional” sexual relationships are corrupting his country’s family values.
The Senator, Mikhail Marchenko, claims the emoji, found on social media sites like Facebook, violate a 2013 law against so-called "gay propaganda," according to a report by the Russian newspaper Izvestia. That law gives authorities the power to block or censor websites that it says “promote homosexuality.”
Marchenko claims emoji like "Two Men Holding Hands" denies "family values" and shows "disrespect for parents and other family members."
Image credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA, Acknowledgement: Matej Novak(NEW YORK) -- A picture is worth a thousand words, and NASA's Hubble telescope captured the death throes of a dying star, a process it says has taken tens of thousands of years.
The photo, posted to the NASA website this week, shows the star radiating wisps of blue and orange light. The European Space Agency says that a cloud of gas ejected from the star left its core exposed.
The result, The ESA says, is gas energized by ultraviolet light and radiating an array of colors. Similar colors are seen in the Ring Nebula.
Planetary nebulae general last about 10,000 years, The ESA adds, before the central star cools and turns into a white dwarf, fading from view.
iStock/Thinkstock(JERUSALEM) -- A second victim has died in a spate of violent attacks by Jewish extremists in Israel.
Shira Banki, a 16-year-old Israeli, succumbed to her wounds after being stabbed by an Ultra-Orthodox Jewish man on Thursday at Jerusalem's gay pride parade.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said his government will have "zero tolerance towards Jewish extremists" following two deadly attacks that have raised concerns that a fringe of ultra-nationalists are growing more violent.
Netanyahu vowed again to find and try the suspected Jewish settlers, who on Friday, torched a West Bank home and burned a Palestinian toddler to death.
The manhunt by police and IDF forces is ongoing but so far, no arrests.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has ordered his security forces to prevent revenge attacks.
iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force has apologized after claiming that a lion named Jericho, which they said was the "brother" of Cecil, was shot and killed by a hunter, and now says the lion is "alive and well."
"I would like to sincerely apologise for my last report where I stated that Jericho had been killed," Johnny Rodrigues, Chairman for the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force, said in a statement Sunday. The Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force is not an official government agency.
"I have now discovered that he is alive and well. The cubs are also doing well," Rodrigues said. Rodrigues said that the story began with a phone call from a journalist who told him that Jericho had been killed.
"I was completely devastated by this news and I tried to confirm it," he wrote in the statement. After trying the research center in Hwange, "I eventually got through to one of the wardens in Hwange who confirmed to me that Jericho had been killed," he wrote. "A couple of other people also confirmed the story."
But the story proved to be false.
"I don't know why I was given this story and I feel very embarrassed about it," he wrote. "Bear in mind, I live 900km away from Hwange so I couldn't go and check for myself so I had to trust the people on the ground."
The Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority, the government authority on wildlife in Zimbabwe, said Sunday that Jericho is living and being monitored by Brent Stapelkamp of the Lion Research Project. It released a photo of Jericho as of 7:06 a.m. on Sunday feeding with the pride.
The authority also clarified that Jericho is a ‘coalition’ partner to Cecil -- unrelated males who team up to defend their territory -- not a blood-related sibling, after the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force described Jericho as Cecil's "brother."
Oxford University Department of Zoology/WildCRU, whose study lion was Cecil, also said that Jericho is alive and well. The department also mentioned that both Jericho and Cecil are not brothers.
On Saturday, Rodrigues told ABC News Jericho was shot and killed Saturday at Hwange National Park. "It is with huge disgust and sadness that we have just been informed that Jericho, Cecil's brother has been killed at 4pm today," the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force said in a Facebook post. "We are absolutely heart broken."
Rodrigues told ABC News Jericho was shot by a hunter and died at 4 p.m. local time, just a half hour after the park put out a statement at 3:30 p.m. announcing a ban on hunting all lions, leopards and elephants.
"The park released the statement at about 3:30, and not even half an hour later I got a phone call that Jericho was killed," Rodrigues said in the statement.
The USS Mount Whitney destroyer sits in the waters of the Georgian city Poti on September 5, 2008. SEIRAN BAROIAN/AFP/Getty Images(RIJEKA, Croatia) -- A U.S. ship caught fire while undergoing maintenance at a Croatian shipyard on Saturday.
According to the U.S. Navy, the U.S.S Mount Whitney was being worked on at the Viktor Lenac Shipyard since January. That work was intended to extend the service life of the ship through 2039. The fire, the Navy says, was extinguished in under an hour and no one was injured.
The cause of the blaze and the extent of the damage to the ship remains under investigation.
Marcio Silva/iStock/Thinkstock(BAGHDAD) -- The United National Assistance Mission for Iraq says that more than 1,000 Iraqis were killed in acts of terror and violence in July.
UNAMI's monthly press release shows the number of Iraqis killed in attacks last month was 1,332, and an additional 2,108 were injured in those attacks. The figures include 844 civilians killed and 1,616 injured. Baghdad was the site of much of the violence, with 335 fatalities and 756 injuries occurring in that Governorate.
"Since last summer's onslaught by terrorists of the so-called [ISIS]," Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Iraq Jan Kubis says, "Iraq has been living through one of the most difficult phases in its modern history." Kubis called for resolute action to end the "tragic situation."
"The human cost of the conflict and the suffering of the people is enormous and profoundly worrying," Kubis added.
iStock/Thinkstock(BULAWAYO, Zimbabwe) -- Cecil the Lion's brother, Jericho, was shot and killed Saturday, the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force said, in the wake of Zimbabwe calling for the extradition of the American dentist who admitted killing Cecil in early July.
"It is with huge disgust and sadness that we have just been informed that Jericho, Cecil's brother has been killed at 4pm today," the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force said in a Facebook post. "We are absolutely heart broken."
The Bhejane Trust in Zimbabwe, however, posted its own message on Facebook, saying that reports of Jericho's death were untrue, and that the animal was "alive and well."
Walter Palmer, the Minnesota dentist who admitted to killing Cecil the Lion in Zimbabwe, said in a statement earlier this week that he "deeply" regretted the pursuit of the early July hunt in Zimbabwe that "resulted in the taking of this lion." He added that he "had no idea" Cecil the lion was a "known, local favorite, was collared and part of a study."
"I hired several professional guides and they secured all proper permits," Palmer said in his statement. "To my knowledge, everything about this trip was legal and properly handled and conducted."
In the U.S., a petition to extradite Palmer began July 28, and quickly surpassed 100,000 signatures. The White House has not responded to the petition.
iStock/Thinkstock(TOULOUSE, France) -- With authorities “increasingly confident” the airplane debris recovered Wednesday comes from MH370, the jet that vanished over the Indian Ocean last year, official analysis of the part is set to begin on Wednesday in Toulouse, France.
Engineers have tentatively identified the part as a “flaperon” from a Boeing 777, the same plane as Malaysia Flight MH370.
In Toulouse, investigators will attempt to definitively link the debris to the ill-fated jet, and search for clues about the plane’s final moments.
According to industry experts like Bill Waldock, a professor of safety science at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, investigators will likely clean the jet, and then examine its surface, first with a magnifying glass, then potentially through ultrasound technology.
They’ll look for tiny fractures in the surface, which could reveal the jet’s angle of impact, says Waldock.
An ultrasound could show “just how violent the separation was,” the professor tells ABC News.
Based on preliminary photographs of the recently recovered debris, some experts believe the plane hit the water relatively slowly, with the flaps pointed down, which would suggest there was someone consciously manipulating the controls when the plane went down. However, there’s also a chance that it suffered a high speed, nose-first crash.
Though the recovered piece could give investigators hints about what happened to the jet, “it certainly doesn’t address how it happened or why,” Waldock told ABC.
Investigators may also examine the marine life that attached itself to the flaperon during its 16-month journey across the Indian Ocean.
There’s a chance that the species attached to the part could help investigators more closely estimate the crash site, which is likely thousands of miles away from where the part eventually washed up. The age of the barnacles could also help investigators more definitively link the piece to MH370.
If investigators conclude the flaperon is from MH370, “this confirms the airplane crashed — and that removes any hope” that the passengers survived, Waldock says. “It is the proof that the airplane crashed, that’s the significance.”
Pawel Gaul/iStock/ThinkStock(JERUSALEM) -- It’s the tiniest grave in the village’s cemetery, just big enough for a bundle nearly two feet long.
Eighteen-month-old Ali Dawabsheh burned to death after Jewish extremists attacked his family today in the Palestinian village of Duma, near Nablus. By Friday night, the Palestinian Justice Ministry autopsy report found soot inside the toddler’s body, confirming he was alive when he caught fire.
Ali’s uncle, Wisam Dawabsheh told ABC News the attackers approached the village in the early hours of Friday and knocked on the windows of the Dawabsheh house. The attackers then hurled molotov cocktails inside, setting fire to the house. Before fleeing, the attackers left the word “Revenge” in Hebrew spray-painted on the house, a so-called “price tag” attack.
Just hours after Ali’s death, villagers were handing out posters plastered with Ali’s face ahead of the funeral. The attack paralleled the killing of 16-year-old Mohammed Abu Khdeir last July who was burned alive by Jewish extremists. Last year, protesters hit the streets following Abu Khdeir’s murder, chanting “Intifada! Intifada!” Friday, there were reports of light clashes throughout the West Bank but no widespread violence.
Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah spoke to the funeral Friday, as hundreds of men sat under the midday heat, crying and praying as the tiny body was laid to rest. Ali’s 4-year-old brother, Ahmad and his parents, Saad, 32, and Riham, 27, remain in critical condition at a hospital in Israel.
YANNICK PITOU/AFP/Getty Images(PARIS) -- Johnny Begue and his friend were out looking for stones earlier this week on Reunion Island when he stumbled upon a piece of an airplane wing washed up on the sand.
"I asked my friend to come help pick it up. First we thought that we'd use it as a piece of decoration and then we thought because it's a piece of plane, we should probably call the police,” Begue, 46, told ABC News Friday.
The piece was discovered on Wednesday by Begue and may be the first item anyone has seen of the doomed Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, which disappeared in March 2014 with 293 people on board. Investigators are treating the airplane part, believed to be a "flaperon," as a major lead into the disappearance of the plane.
Based on a part number that was visible in pictures, Boeing workers believe it came from a 777, the same type of plane as MH370, according to a U.S. official. MH370 is the only missing 777 jet in the world.
Begue is still getting used to the significance of the find.
"I feel like maybe it's God that sent me, I was just looking for a stone and now I think maybe God sent me so that the people that have lost their loved ones can grieve properly," he said.
In the wake of the discovery, a tattered piece of luggage was also found on the same beach.
The origin of the piece of luggage has not been determined, but it was seized by local police for examination.
French officials said the plane part will arrive over the weekend in Toulouse, where it will undergo analysis next week.
Artist's rendering. NASA/JPL-Caltech(WASHINGTON) -- Earth's closest rocky neighbor outside of the solar system has been confirmed using NASA's Spitzer telescope.
The alien rocky planet has been named HD 219134b and is 1.6 times the size of Earth, according to NASA. What makes this exoplanet special is it's 21 light-years away from Earth, while most other exoplanets that have been located are hundreds of light years away.
In fact, it's so close that the star that the exoplanet orbits is visible to the naked eye, in the constellation Cassiopeia, NASA officials said.
While the exoplanet was first discovered using the Italian Galileo National Telescope in the Canary Islands, Spitzer has taken infrared measurements, allowing scientists to learn more about the exoplanet's size and confirm its rocky terrain.
The exoplanet is transiting in front of its star, making it an ideal body for scientists to study and a potential gold mine of scientific data, according to NASA scientists.
"Transiting exoplanets are worth their weight in gold because they can be extensively characterized," Michael Werner, project scientist for the Spitzer mission, said in a statement on Thursday. "This exoplanet will be one of the most studied for decades to come."
One thing scientists know they won't find though is alien life. According to NASA, the exoplanet rotates too close to its star, making it unable to sustain life.