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American couple being held at ransom in Haiti, family says: ‘We told them not to go’

Toussaint and Imbert Family(TAMARAC, Fla.) -- An American couple visiting Haiti is being held at ransom after being kidnapped from a bus nearly a week ago, according to their family. Jean-Dickens Toussaint and his wife, Abigail Toussaint, of Tamarac, Florida, were in Haiti to see ailing relatives and attend a community festival when they were kidnapped Saturday while traveling on a bus from Port-au-Prince, their family said. A family friend who met the couple at the airport to escort them was also kidnapped, their niece, Christie, who declined to give her last name, told ABC Miami affiliate WPLG. "They stopped the bus at a stop and they asked for the Americans on the bus and their escorts to come off   ... Read More

“Hotel Rwanda” hero Paul Rusesabagina to be released from prison, Rwandan government says

Darrin Klimek/Getty Images(LONDON) -- The Rwandan government announced Friday that Paul Rusesabagina, who inspired the acclaimed 2004 film Hotel Rwanda, will be released from prison nearly three years after he was captured and detained. The 68-year-old Rwandan hotelier-turned-dissident, who is a lawful permanent resident of the United States, was tried and convicted on a slew of terrorism-related charges in Rwanda's High Court in Kigali in 2021. He was sentenced to 25 years behind bars. Rusesabagina's prison sentence was commuted by presidential order on Friday after consideration of requests for his clemency and approval by the Cabinet, according to Rwandan Minister for Justice and Attorney General Emmanuel Ugirashebuja. "Under Rwandan law, commutation of sentence does not extinguish the underlying conviction," Ugirashebuja   ... Read More

Harris to discuss ‘brutality of slavery’ at Cape Coast Castle during weeklong Africa visit

Harris to discuss ‘brutality of slavery’ at Cape Coast Castle during weeklong Africa visit(WASHINGTON) -- Kamala Harris, the first Black U.S. vice president, on Saturday begins a historic first trip while in office to Africa, with stops scheduled in Ghana, Tanzania and Zambia during her weeklong tour. She continues the Biden administration's outreach to African countries amid competition from China and their growing influence on the continent, where countries have forged trade and other ties with Beijing. Previewing the vice president's agenda on a call with reporters on Thursday evening, senior administration officials said Harris will be asking the leaders not to "choose" between the U.S. and China but to "expand" their options. "We can't ignore the current geopolitical moment. It's no secret that we are engaged in competition with China. And we've   ... Read More

Additional attacks on American bases in Syria Friday after US retaliatory airstrikes on Iranian-backed groups

omersukrugoksu/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- A U.S. official told ABC News that there were two new attacks late Friday on two U.S. facilities in Deir ez-Zor Province in eastern Syria after another earlier in the day and a drone attack on Thursday that prompted retaliatory U.S. airstrikes that targeted Iranian-backed militias believed responsible. Both attacks late Friday happened about the same time, the official said. One involved three drones targeting one facility and the other involved five rockets fired at a separate facility, according to the official, who said one American service member was wounded and was in stable condition. The official said that two of the three drones that targeted one U.S. facility were shot down, but one drone made it   ... Read More

How to watch the five-planet alignment: Jupiter, Mercury, Venus, Uranus and Mars

ABC News Photo Illustration(NEW YORK) -- Don't miss your lucky chance to see the stars -- or planets -- align next week. A five-planet alignment of Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, Uranus and Mars will be visible in the night sky on Tuesday, March 28. Bill Cooke, who has a Ph.D. in astronomy and heads NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office at the Marshall Space Flight Center, spoke to ABC News' Good Morning America about the best ways to catch this upcoming alignment. He said to grab a pair of binoculars and head outside right after sunset in order to see Mercury and Jupiter, which will be the closest to the western horizon. "Perhaps the hardest to see with your eye will be the   ... Read More

US speeds up delivery of Abrams tanks, could be in Ukraine by fall

FILE photo -- Stocktrek Images/Getty Images (WASHINGTON) -- Ukraine will get American Abrams tanks this fall, much sooner than expected, after the Pentagon decided to refurbish existing hulls in its inventory instead of building new ones from scratch. Meanwhile. the Patriot air defense missile training for Ukrainian troops that has been taking place in Oklahoma will wrap up "in coming days" and the missile systems will be in Ukraine "in coming weeks" on an expedited basis, according to a U.S. Army spokesman. In January, the Pentagon would be sending Ukraine 31 M1A2 Abrams tanks that would be built from scratch, a process that could take at least a year, if not longer. On Tuesday, the Pentagon's top spokesman told reporters   ... Read More

Large asteroid to safely pass by Earth in once-per-decade moment

Tayeb Benzian / 500px/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- An asteroid between 140 and 310 feet in size will safely pass by Earth on Saturday, according to NASA Asteroid Watch. An asteroid of this size only goes by Earth about once every decade, the agency said. The asteroid, named 2023 DZ2, will be at least 100,000 miles away when it moves by Earth, according to NASA. Astronomers "are using this close approach to learn as much as possible about 2023 DZ2 in a short time period - good practice for #PlanetaryDefense in the future if a potential asteroid threat were ever discovered," NASA said. Copyright © 2023, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.   ... Read More

Survivors reel in aftermath of one of Africa’s deadliest cyclones

AMOS GUMULIRA/AFP via Getty Images(LONDON) -- “Let me tell you, it is a serious situation. It is a tragedy,” says Paul Turnbull, Malawi Country Director of the World Food Programme. He is talking about the aftermath of Cyclone Freddy, one of the deadliest and long-lived tropical cyclones to have ever been recorded in Southern Africa. In the trail of its double landfall, Cyclone Freddy has left a death toll of at least 522 people across Malawi, Mozambique and Madagascar and displaced tens of thousands. Hundreds still remain missing. “The United States expresses our deep sadness at the tragic loss of life and destruction across the Southern African region in the aftermath of Cyclone Freddy,” a USAID spokesperson told ABC News.   ... Read More

Xi departs Putin meeting, after signaling strength in Russia-China alliance

Grigory Sysoyev/SPUTNIK/AFP via Getty Images(HONG KONG) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping departed Moscow on Wednesday after two days of highly symbolic meetings with Russian President Vladimir Putin, in which the two presented a united front and an alternative vision for global leadership. Much of the summit seemed to be directed at countering narratives from the United States, NATO and other nations that have stood against Putin's invasion of neighboring Ukraine more than a year ago. Despite statements saying that "China-Russia relations are not the kind of military-political alliance during the Cold War," China and Russia made clear they wanted to "advance the trend toward a multi-polar world." "This highly publicized summit may reflect a shift towards a new and more   ... Read More

North Korea fires multiple cruise missiles amid US-South Korea joint drills

omersukrugoksu/Getty Images(SEOUL, South Korea) -- North Korea fired multiple cruise missiles toward the East Sea Wednesday, the latest show of its military capabilities during the 11-days-long joint drills between the U.S. and South Korea. The U.S.-South Korea joint military exercise is expected to wrap up Thursday morning local time. “South Korea’s military detected several cruise missiles fired at 10:15 a.m. from South Hamgyong province towards the East Sea,” South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff told ABC News. North Korea’s military provocation took place just as the Amphibious Assault Ship USS Makin Island arrived in South Korea to join the large-scale landing exercises for the joint drills. Pyongyang relentlessly fired various types of missiles the last 10 days, consistent with North   ... Read More

Gun used in kidnapping, killing of Americans in Mexico came from US

Steve Prezant/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- A gun used earlier this month by cartel members to kidnap a group of Americans and kill two of them was illegally trafficked from the U.S., according to a criminal complaint filed in federal court. It's a stark reminder of how the violence that often makes the news in Mexico is in large part fueled by the U.S.—by the steady flow of guns and the strong demand for illicit drugs. Roberto Lugardo Moreno appeared in court Monday to face charges for conspiring to illegally export a firearm—days after admitting to federal agents that he purchased guns in the U.S. and knowingly provided them to members of the Gulf Cartel in Mexico. In particular, one AR-style   ... Read More

Japan’s Prime Minister Kishida bound for Ukraine, Zelenskyy meeting

YOSHIKAZU TSUNO,LUDOVIC MARIN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images(TOKYO) -- Japan's Prime Minister Fumio Kishida is en-route to the Ukrainian capital for face-to-face talks with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. Kishida, who just wrapped a two-day state visit to India's leader Narendra Modi, arrived by car at Poland's Przemysl station just after 1 a.m. local time on Tuesday. Broadcaster NHK showed images of the leader exiting a black car then boarding a Ukraine-bound train which departed minutes later. The leader was accompanied by two other high-ranking government officials. Japan's prime minister had been the only G7 leader who had not visited the war-torn country since the Russian invasion began. Zelenskyy extended an invitation to Kishida in January when the two leaders spoke by telephone. Since   ... Read More

Notre Dame’s iconic spire being rebuilt ‘as it was’ ahead of 2024 reopening

Institution to Rebuild Notre-Dame de Paris(PARIS) -- A team in northeastern France is busy rebuilding Notre Dame's famous spire, with construction ramping up ahead of next year's reopening. With the cathedral's grand reopening to the public set for Dec. 8, 2024 at 11:15​ a.m.​, the first step in the restoration of the cathedral's spire is underway in Briey, a city in northeastern France. The collapse of this iconic part of the Paris landmark in a 2019 fire left an indelible mark on the minds of millions around the world. The stakes are high as the reconstruction of the spire relies on the success of a very rare operation which has not been repeated since 1842. The crux of this project   ... Read More

Putin hosts China’s president Xi in Moscow amid Ukraine war

Soltan Frédéric/Getty Images(HONG KONG and LONDON) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping has held the first day of talks with Vladimir Putin during a closely watched state visit to Moscow, with the two leaders presenting a united front against the West just days after the Russian president was issued" target="_blank">indicted by the International Criminal Court for alleged war crimes. Xi's three-day state visit is the strongest show of support from China to Russia since the latter's invasion of Ukraine, representing a significant boost for Putin, and comes as Xi has sought to frame Beijing as a possible peace-maker in the conflict, even as Western countries have warned he is considering providing weapons to Moscow. Xi landed at Moscow's Vnukovo airport on   ... Read More

Russia-Ukraine live updates: Zelenskyy visits troops after night of Russian strikes

Anton Petrus/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- More than a year after Russian President Vladimir Putin launched a full-scale invasion of neighboring Ukraine, the countries are fighting for control of areas in eastern and southern Ukraine. Ukrainian troops have liberated nearly 30,000 square miles of their territory from Russian forces since the invasion began on Feb. 24, 2022, but Putin appeared to be preparing for a long and bloody war. Here's how the news is developing. All times Eastern: Mar 23, 12:03 PM EDT Ukraine says Russia's Bakhmut assault loses steam, counterstrike coming soon Ukrainian troops, on the defensive for four months, will launch a long-awaited counterassault "very soon" now that Russia's huge winter offensive is losing steam without taking Bakhmut, Ukraine's   ... Read More


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