Matthew Horwood/Getty Images(LONDON) -- London Metropolitan police arrested two more men early Wednesday in connection with last week's bombing of a subway car in Parsons Green.
Police said they arrested two men, ages 48 and 30, in Newport, Wales, just after 5 a.m. local time. The men were arrested under Section 41 of the Terrorism Act after officers executed a warrant at the address where the two men were located.
A 25-year-old man was arrested Tuesday evening at a different address in Newport.
The total number of people held in the attack is now five. None of the five men have been identified by police.
A 21-year-old man was arrested on Saturday in Hounslow, a borough in west London, by detectives with the Metropolitan Police's Counter Terrorism Command, and earlier Saturday police had evacuated a house in a London suburb as well as part of the Port of Dover after arresting an 18-year-old man that morning in the southeastern coastal city in connection with the attack, police said.
Thirty people were injured in the attack on Sept. 15 at the Parsons Green subway stop in London. Police said an apparent bucket bomb exploded during the Friday morning commute, injuring 30 people. All of the injuries were considered minor. Authorities said the bomb did not fully explode, likely limiting the number of casualties.
"This continues to be a fast-moving investigation," said Dean Haydon, head of the Counter Terrorism Command, in a press release. "A significant amount of activity has taken place since the attack on Friday. We now have five men in custody, and searches are continuing at four addresses. Detectives are carrying out extensive inquiries to determine the full facts behind the attack."
Police said the search at the Hounslow property had concluded, but two addresses in Surrey and two in Newport were still being combed over by authorities.
The terror threat was lowered to "severe" from "critical" over the weekend, but police warned on Wednesday that the public should remain vigilant and report any unusual activity.
Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A little over a year ago, few people gave Germany's controversial, right-wing populist Alternative for Germany (AfD) Party any chance of making a dent in German national elections. In recent months, the party suffered through several embarrassing internal spats and saw its polling numbers sink amid growing support for Chancellor Angela Merkel.
But AfD is now poised to become Germany’s third largest political party after Sunday's elections. Opinion polls show the AfD scoring as much as 12 percent of the vote on Election Day, allowing it to send dozens of lawmakers to national Parliament - or Bundestag - and potentially disrupting German politics.
If the predictions hold, it will be the first time since the end of World War II that a far-right party has attracted enough votes to enter Germany’s Parliament. And the strong showing means the AfD will be the biggest opposition party if Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU) continues its governing coalition with the center-left Social Democratic Party (SPD).
"It's without question a significant achievement for a right-wing party when you view it historically,” said Karen Donfried, the president of the German Marshall Fund, referring to Afd. She said because of its Nazi history, German voters have usually rejected right-wing parties in elections.
“But this is a significant shift for the German political landscape,” she noted.
Founded in 2013 as an anti-European Union party, the AfD shifted its focus from the euro zone debt crisis to immigration after Merkel in 2015 opened the doors to over a million migrants, many fleeing war in the Middle East.
Since then, the party has increasingly found success by becoming the most visible anti-immigration party in Germany. It scored well in a series of regional elections thanks largely to a growing public anger over Merkel's welcoming policy toward refugees, particularly from Syria and elsewhere in the Arab world.
Gideon Botsch, a political scientist at the University of Potsdam just outside Berlin, said AfD's success is partly due to the disillusionment voters feel with Germany's established political parties.
“Many voters, especially on the right but also in the center, have felt that the two traditional parties have not addressed the issue of immigration and German cultural identity,” Botsch said. “And that has led them to consider voting for the AfD.”
The party's platform is staunchly anti-immigrant and opposes any welcoming of Muslims to Germany.
The AfD has called for sealing the European Union’s borders, instituting rigorous identity checks along Germany's national borders and setting up holding camps abroad to prevent migrants from leaving for Germany in the first place. The party also wants to deport anyone whose application for political asylum is rejected while encouraging foreigners to return to their home countries.
Party leaders believe the few migrants who are allowed to remain have a duty to fully integrate into German society, emphasizing the primacy of the German language and traditional German culture. Many of its top officials have outwardly rejected the idea that Islam is part of German society.
German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel equated the party with the Nazis who ruled the country from 1933 to 1945, an insult rarely heard in national politics.
“If we’re unlucky, then these people will send a signal of dissatisfaction that will have terrible consequences,” Gabriel, a member of the Social Democrats, said in an interview with Internet provider t-online.de. “Then we will have real Nazis in the German Reichstag for the first time since the end of World War II.”
Justice Minister Heiko Maas warned that the AfD's religious, family, criminal and European policies are in clear violation of the German constitution. In an essay published in the Frankfurter Rundschau newspaper, he singled out a blanket ban on minarets - the towers on mosques from which the muezzin calls the faithful to prayer - which the AfD has promised to introduce.
Though the official AfD platform says that the party supports direct democracy, separation of state powers and the rule of law and order, throughout its short history critics have accused individual members of promoting neo-Nazi ideas and using neo-Nazi language.
Earlier this month, the party was forced to defend its co-leader Alice Weidel following media reports that she had expressed racist views in a private email four years ago. Top AfD officials dismissed a report in the weekly Welt am Sonntag that quoted from an email Weidel allegedly sent to an acquaintance in which she claimed the government was trying to cause "civil war" by systematically flooding German cities with Arab and Roma migrants.
The AfD also developed a series of controversial campaign ads, including one showing the belly of a pregnant woman that says “New Germans? We'll make them ourselves.” Another ad declares “Burkas? We prefer bikinis.”
“In years past, these kinds of ads would turn off many voters in Germany,” Donfried said. “But this time around they seem to resonate with some voters and that’s been a problem for the two main politics parties.”
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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- As residents of Puerto Rico brace for Hurricane Maria -- which slammed into the Caribbean as a Category 5 storm Monday night -- Puerto Rico's governor is calling the storm "the biggest and potentially most catastrophic hurricane to hit Puerto Rico in a century."
Maria, which has left at least two dead in the Caribbean, is forecast to "remain an extremely dangerous Category 4 or 5 hurricane" as it approaches Puerto Rico early Wednesday, the National Hurricane Center said.
Maria could bring life-threatening flooding and mudslides, as well as a 6- to 9-foot storm surge, to the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. Dangerous flash flooding and mudslides are also possible, especially in mountainous regions in Puerto Rico.
As of 3 a.m. on Wednesday, Maria's maximum sustained winds had decreased to 160 mph, but it remained a Category 5 storm. Maria's maximum sustained winds had been as high as 175 mph during the day Tuesday. It was located 35 miles west of St. Croix and 70 miles southeast of San Juan, the capital of Puerto Rico. The storm is expected to reach the southeastern coast of Puerto Rico on Wednesday morning.
The last time Puerto Rico was hit by a Category 5 storm was in 1928.
President Donald Trump tweeted his best wishes and pledged support for the U.S. territory late Tuesday.
Puerto Rico being hit hard by new monster Hurricane. Be careful, our hearts are with you- will be there to help!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 20, 2017
Early Wednesday, a gust of 137 mph had been reported in the western part of St. Croix as the storm moved west-northwest at 10 mph.
The prefecture of Guadeloupe announced early Wednesday two people were killed in the hurricane, and two others were missing.
A palm tree in St. Thomas appeared to be nearly uprooted as the storm moved over the island in video posted to Facebook.
Hurricane warnings are in effect in St. Kitts and Nevis, the U.S. and British Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and the eastern coast of the Dominican Republic.
Most models are forecasting Maria will stay away from Florida and the U.S. mainland.
The storm -- which is expected to bring life-threatening winds, storm surge and flooding -- will be violent, the governor of Puerto Rico warned today. The governor advised residents to be prepared to hunker down for 72 to 90 hours.
The eye of the storm is expected to approach the eastern part of Puerto Rico and make landfall between 6 a.m. and 8 a.m. Heavy winds and gusts over 100 mph for the eastern part of the island in the morning, while strong winds will affect San Juan into the afternoon hours.
It's been just two weeks since Hurricane Irma, which killed at least 39 people in the Caribbean and demolished homes, tore through Puerto Rico, and now Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello is saying Maria is "potentially most catastrophic hurricane to hit" the U.S. territory in a century.
A Category 4 storm hasn't hit Puerto Rico directly since 1932.
Rossello said up to 25 inches of rain could fall in some areas and he urged anyone in a flood-prone, mudslide-prone or coastal area to leave. Over 300 people are already at shelters as of this afternoon, the governor said.
Rossello said a lot of infrastructure will likely be lost and he said communications will be affected.
The governor in an address this afternoon said, "We have not experienced an event of this magnitude in our modern history."
When Irma tore through the Caribbean, Rossello said, "the people of Puerto Rico not only demonstrated our resilience but we banded together to show our kindness and hospitality to thousands of our fellow Americans in the U.S. Virgin Islands, BVI, St. Marteen and beyond."
"Now we’re looking down the barrel of Maria, a historic Category 5 hurricane. Although it looks like a direct hit with major damage to Puerto Rico is inevitable, I ask for America’s prayers," he said. "No matter what happens here in the next 36 hours, Puerto Rico will survive, we will rebuild, we will recover and with your support, we will come out stronger than ever."
While Puerto Rico residents appeared to go about their days with little urgency Monday, many seem to be on edge today as the storm nears.
In the capital of San Juan, most businesses are closed or closing early today and the San Juan Airport is closing this evening.
As Maria hit the Caribbean island of Dominica Monday night, Dominica Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit published a series of dire Facebook posts, calling the 160 mph winds "merciless."
"We do not know what is happening outside. We not dare look out ... we pray for its end!" Skerrit wrote.
Maria was the first Category 5 hurricane to make landfall on Dominica; before Monday the strongest hurricane to hit Dominica was Hurricane David, a Category 4 in 1979.
Guadeloupe and Martinique, which both neighbor Dominica in the Caribbean, were also battered with Maria's powerful winds and rain Monday night.
Officials said in Guadeloupe one person died from a falling tree.
Officials said 80,000 are without power on Guadeloupe and some flooding was reported, but few homes are damaged.
Dominica was "shut down" as the storm approached, said Anil Etienne, a spokesman for Dominica’s Office of Disaster Management. Etienne told ABC News officials were worried about flooding in low-lying areas and opened about 146 shelters.
The prime minister of Dominica wrote on Facebook late Monday night, "My roof is gone. I am at the complete mercy of the hurricane. House is flooding," before announcing, "I have been rescued."
Skerrit gave an update this morning, writing on Facebook, "Initial reports are of widespread devastation. So far we have lost all what money can buy and replace. My greatest fear for the morning is that we will wake to news of serious physical injury and possible deaths as a result of likely landslides triggered by persistent rains."
"The winds have swept away the roofs of almost every person I have spoken to or otherwise made contact with," he continued. "The roof to my own official residence was among the first to go and this apparently triggered an avalanche of torn away roofs in the city and the countryside."
After hitting Puerto Rico, the storm will begin to turn north and is expected to come near the Dominican Republic Wednesday afternoon, potentially with winds over 100 mph.
Maria is forecast to then continue north, avoiding the Turks and Caicos, the Bahamas and Florida, before ending up out to sea.
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PEDRO PARDO/AFP/Getty Images(MEXICO CITY) -- At least 217 people are dead after a 7.1 magnitude earthquake rocked central Mexico Tuesday afternoon, hitting on the 32nd anniversary of the biggest earthquake to ever strike the country's capital.
The earthquake caused extensive damage to Mexico City, leveling at least 27 buildings, including homes, schools and office buildings, according to President Enrique Pena Nieto, who did a flyover of the city this afternoon. At least two children were trapped under rubble at the entrance of a school in Mexico City, according to local reports. Neighbors and volunteers were working to free them.
Meanwhile, the city's airport descended into chaos as the ground rippled and chunks of plaster fell from the walls, Dallas resident George Smallwood told ABC News. “I felt the ground shaking, and I heard everyone screaming and starting to run,” he said, adding that at first, he thought he was in the middle of a terror attack.
The earthquake comes 11 days after an 8.1 magnitude quake struck off Mexico's southern Pacific coast, killing dozens of people.
Tuesday's earthquake hit at about 2:14 p.m. ET near the town of Raboso in Puebla state, according to the United States Geological Survey.
The deaths occurred in Mexico City, and the states of Morelos, Puebla and Mexico, said Carlos Valdes, director of Mexico's National Center for Prevention of Disasters. Preliminary numbers show about 3.8 million customers are without power, Mexico's Federal Electricity Commission said.
Smallwood, who stopped in Mexico City for a long layover after a vacation in Medellin, Colombia, was getting ready to go through security at Mexico City International Airport for his 3:35 p.m. flight back to Dallas after spending the day exploring the capital when the earthquake hit.
Smallwood said he saw parts of the ceiling “swinging back and forth” and said the panicked crowd was “running in every different direction.”
Smallwood estimated the tremors to have lasted for about six to seven minutes. Once the shaking subsided, he saw first responders helping those who were injured and a fleet of military and police helicopters flying overhead, he said.
Smallwood’s flight was rescheduled for 8:30 a.m. Wednesday, so he will need to find somewhere to stay for the night, he said.
Photos and video posted to social media depicted the destruction in Mexico City.
mexico city today pic.twitter.com/0359hgxG67
— Andrea Michelle (@michglez) September 19, 2017
Flames and a large explosion could be seen in a video posted on Twitter, while a window panel was spotted falling from an office building in Mexico City in footage posted on Instagram.
Video filmed inside an office building showed the overhead lights swinging violently as the ground shook.
Chaos broke out in the newsroom of Milenio, a Mexican news site.
Several cars were damaged by falling debris.
Earlier in the day, earthquake drills were held in Mexico City to mark the anniversary of the Michoacán earthquake of 1985, which caused widespread death and injuries as well as catastrophic damage in Mexico City.
President Donald Trump tweeted Tuesday afternoon, "God bless the people of Mexico City. We are with you and will be there for you."
God bless the people of Mexico City. We are with you and will be there for you.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 19, 2017
The U.S. State Department said in a statement, "We stand ready to provide assistance should our neighbors request our help. Our embassy in Mexico City has sent out public messages to U.S. citizens in Mexico, and the embassy stands ready to provide consular assistance to any U.S. citizens who may have been affected. We offer our condolences to any who were injured or lost loved ones."
.@statedeptspox: Our thoughts & prayers are with the people of #Mexico affected by today’s 7.1-magnitude earthquake. https://t.co/AFmJr9tB5O
— Department of State (@StateDept) September 20, 2017
A spokesman for U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said, "The Secretary-General is saddened by the loss of life and damage resulting from the earthquake that took place in Mexico today. He extends his condolences to the Government and people of Mexico and wishes those injured a speedy recovery."
Mexico City -- built on a former lake bed -- is one of the worst possible places for an earthquake to strike due to its soil, which can amplify shaking by factors of 100 or more, California-based seismologist Dr. Lucy Jones told ABC Los Angeles station KABC-TV. By comparison, the worst conditions seen in Los Angeles during an earthquake is shaking amplified by a factor of five, Jones said
Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
Sean Gallup/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Germans head to the polls Sunday for national elections that could prove to be the country’s most consequential political contests in decades.
While Chancellor Angela Merkel looks likely to win a fourth term, several smaller parties could have a big impact on the 63-year old's stewardship in her next term.
The most notable is the Alternative for Germany (AfD), a nationalist upstart that has rocked the German political establishment with its rejection of open borders, Islam, political correctness and the euro.
While many experts initially thought the party’s popularity would wane, opinion polls now show it gaining enough strength to send dozens of its lawmakers to parliament. If polls hold, it would mark the first time in 60 years that a far right party would enter the German Bundestag.
"The AfD appears to pulling votes from both of the more established parties in Germany," said Sudha David-Wilp, a senior fellow at the German Marshall Fund in Berlin. "That could mean a much stronger turnout for the party on election day than many expected."
Here is a breakdown of what you need to know ahead of Sunday's vote.
Germany’s notoriously complex voting system does not allow the public to vote directly for chancellor. Instead, voters cast ballots for political parties.
Who are the main players?
There are two main parties in Germany, the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and the Social Democratic Party (SPD), but turnout for several smaller parties in this year’s voting could prove pivotal.
The CDU holds the chancellorship, thanks in part to historic support for its top candidate, Merkel. The CDU and its sister party, the Christian Social Union (CSU), are in the same parliamentary group. Since the end of World War II, the CDU has been in power most of the time, and Merkel is hoping to ride that wave of popularity.
In a poll conducted earlier this month by Infratest-dimap and German public broadcaster ARD, Merkel earned her highest approval rating since the fall of 2015. Just over 64 percent of those surveyed at the beginning of June said they were satisfied with the job she has been doing as chancellor, making her the most popular politician in the country.
Often described as Germany’s center-left party, the SPD is the main opposition party. It’s the second-largest party in terms of voter support, after the CDU. Yet its working class base in urban areas has eroded in recent years as Merkel’s popularity has soared.
The SPD’s candidate for chancellor and Merkel’s chief political rival, Martin Schulz, has managed gain ground in the polls in recent months, but most analysts say he faces an uphill battle to unseat her. A former president of the European Parliament, he poses the strongest challenge to her 11-year reign as chancellor. What role could smaller parties play?
Although several other smaller parties will be on the ballot, observers are likely to keenly watch results for the Alternative for Germany (AfD). While many experts initially saw the party as taking votes from the CDU in national elections, new opinion polls show he AfD hurting the SPD.
Though there has been a significant drop in voter turnout in German parliamentary elections during the past two cycles, the rise of the AfD and other populist movements have drawn in many previous nonvoters across the country, making a higher voter turnout more likely this year, according to observers.
The Alliance ’90/the Greens occupies the liberal-leaning part of the political spectrum. It is not expected to see overwhelming national turnout. But the Greens, with its base of urban, well-educated voters, has used its strong environmentalist tilt to attract a growing number of liberal Germans.
The Left Party, a democratic socialist group, often attracts unhappy SPD members; its voter base is traditionally eastern German and working class.
What are the biggest issues?
Without question, national security and immigration policy will dominate this year’s vote. A year ago, Merkel was riding high in opinion polls. But her open-door policy on accepting refugees from Syria and other war-torn countries as well as economic migrants has cost her some support. Her popularity plummeted last year after she welcomed nearly 900,000 asylum seekers, most of them from Syria and Afghanistan, into Germany.
A series of terrorist attacks — including a truck attack at a Christmas market that killed 12 people and injured dozens of others last year — has opened Merkel up to sharp criticism from nationalist groups. The economy is another issue that weighs heavily on voters’ minds, according to surveys. But with unemployment hovering at an all-time low — it reached 4 percent in May — the issue is playing a far smaller role in this year’s vote than in previous elections.
Germany’s relationship with the Trump administration is at play. Trump is deeply unpopular in Germany, and almost all the candidates have been critical of his policies.
Who is expected to win?
Though the CDU and CSU lagged in polling late last year, their fortunes have changed in recent months thanks in part to surging support for Merkel. Most surveys predict Merkel and her party will win easily.
Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
Karson Yiu/ABC News(NEW YORK) -- It was almost 65 years ago when North Korea and the United States agreed to a cease-fire. The guns stopped firing, and the planes stopped dropping bombs, but the war did not officially end. It was settled with an agreement, an armistice, that since 1953 has maintained a fully armed face-off along the 38th parallel. North Korean soldiers still stare at U.S. and South Korean forces across the 2-mile-wide Demilitarized Zone much as they have for decades.
To this day, North Korea is the most isolated country in the world. The DMZ, which divides North and South Korea, has gotten most of the media attention over the years, as it separates almost 28,000 U.S. troops from their enemies to the north.
I have been to North Korea eight times in the past 12 years, but on this trip, I wanted to explore the reclusive country's 880-mile border with China. The border largely follows two rivers: the Yalu in the south and the Tumen in the north. Both flow from the same source: a dormant supervolcano straddling the border — known to the Chinese as Changbaishan and to the Koreans as Mount Paektu.
It is a crucial trip because China is North Korea’s only remaining ally and never before has North Korea been such a threat. The country's mercurial leader, Kim Jong Un, is close to developing a nuclear missile capable of reaching the U.S. mainland. China could change this reality significantly.
The changing relationship with North Korea's lifeline
The relationship between China and North Korea has always been complicated. China's communist leader Mao Zedong famously said that the two countries were "as close as lips and teeth," a relationship forged in blood and steel during the Korean War against the United States.
It is true that these allies have stood side by side for many decades, but it is clear that their relationship is changing quickly — mostly since Kim took over from his father in 2011.
Economically, 90 percent of North Korea’s trade is with China, which means this border is the lifeline of the North Korean regime, a regime that China does not want to fall. The Chinese government fears that the sudden collapse of North Korea could spur a mass migration of people over the border, in a blow to China’s economy. More important, for all these decades, North Korea has served as a buffer for China, keeping U.S. and South Korean forces far from its own borders.
This 880-mile voyage along the border lasted six days and took us to five cities; it was filled with both beauty and unexpected moments.
We started in the city of Dandong, a bustling, unmistakably Chinese hub of commerce and condos on the southern end of the border. This is where the trucks and trains travel back and forth between the countries.
It’s also filled with Chinese tourists and about 40,000 North Korean workers, who spend years there without their families to learn Chinese and take money home when they return.
On another day, we watched Chinese military boats training on the river just a few feet from North Korea. Military guards lined the road, and people stopped their cars to watch. Our guides told us not to record video of North Korean land from our tour boat, lest we anger the soldiers who were carefully watching us from the other side.
During this trip, we heard firsthand about how the relationship between these close allies is quickly changing, largely because of North Korea’s unpredictable new leader. Along the border, Chinese people told us about their growing fears of a possible war. While most don’t believe China would be targeted by bombs or missiles, many told us they are very concerned that China’s economy will suffer if violence breaks out on the Korean Peninsula.
There is anger at the United States for irritating the North Koreans with U.S.–South Korean military operations. The Chinese people we spoke to along the border said they just want all that to end.
Hopes of reuniting someday
We visited many gorgeous places along the border, and perhaps the most impressive was Mount Paektu, which is considered sacred as the spiritual home of the Korean people. It is a volcanic mountain, geopolitically split in two at its crater. Some South Korean tourists we met there told us their hope is that the North and South will reunite someday and put an end to this ongoing war.
From this mountain, the melting glaciers pour into the Tumen River, which flows to the north. Half of China’s 2 million ethnic Koreans live in this region, and the river is narrower and shallower there, which is why more North Korean defectors choose to swim across to China.
In recent years there have been more reports of crimes committed by North Korean defectors, including theft and murder. In some cases, these crimes have also been committed by North Korean border guards, who are underfed and underpaid.
This region is close to North Korean nuclear sites where bombs have been tested. In Yanji, a city in the Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture near the border, a high school security guard told us about how his school was evacuated after he and the students felt the earth shake.
A glimpse of a country its leader never wants anyone to see
Along the roads farther north, Chinese security rules got stricter. Tourism quickly disappeared, and more checkpoints lined the roads.
On three occasions, we were stopped by soldiers, police or state security agents. We were searched, questioned and finally urged to leave the region and return to Beijing.
Although I have been in North Korea multiple times, most of those visits were to the capital, Pyongyang, as well as a few trips to the North Korean side of the DMZ and one tour of a nuclear facility in Yongbyon.
But on those trips, I did not have the chance to speak with everyday people. Pyongyang is the country’s most advanced and modern city, home to the powerful and the elite, and there are virtually no opportunities there to hear from the poor and secluded who largely live in the countryside.
This trip along the border was, therefore, an opportunity to view the reclusive state through the lens of its neighbor and only supposed ally, China.
About 40,000 people have fled North Korea by defecting through this area. North Koreans desperate to leave don’t escape by crossing the heavily armed DMZ to the south. Instead, they flee to the northeast, where they can hide in the Chinese homes of ethnic Korean families. These families speak their language and understand their culture. They live in Chinese cities and villages where all the words on signs and buildings are in both languages.
As we endeavored to hear the stories of people living along this border, Chinese officials sometimes followed us. We were told that North Korean soldiers were watching us from across the water as well.
In spite of this, we had the chance to get a glimpse — from a different angle — of a country its leader never wants anyone to see.
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ABCNews.com(MOSCOW) -- Video has emerged of a Russian attack helicopter seeming to fire on a group of bystanders during the major military exercises Russia has been holding over the past week.
Two videos of the incident show a man standing by some cars and military vehicles in a wooded area and looking up at two KA-52 “Alligator” helicopters as they approach. As the helicopters near, rockets suddenly fly from one of them towards the man, exploding and throwing debris over the camera.
The Russian website 66.ru that first published the video reported two people had been injured in the blast, though Kremlin officials have not confirmed injuries.
The incident reportedly took place at the same firing range where, on Monday, president Vladimir Putin watched artillery and aircraft conduct drills as part of the huge, Zapad 2017 exercises, which have drawn intense attention in recent weeks and worried countries in eastern Europe.
Russia’s ministry of defense confirmed that the incident in the video was authentic, but said it did not occur on the day Putin was present for the large-scale demonstrations and suggested it was unconnected to Zapad.
A ministry spokesperson told the Russian news agency Interfax that the helicopter’s targeting system had accidentally locked onto one of the parked vehicles while the aircraft were taking part in a different army exercise: practicing hitting ground targets.
The ministry, however, insisted it happened at “a different time” than the day Putin had been present and refused to confirm the location.
“On 18 September within the bounds of the staging the episode of the practical actions of the Zapad 17 strategic exercises, there were no incidents connected with the work of army aviation,” the ministry told Interfax.
Accounts in the Russian media, though, seemed to tell a different story. Reports confirmed the incident occurred at the same firing range, though potentially some days earlier. The leading business newspaper, Kommersant, quoted defense sources that it had taken place at the Luzhsky firing range close to Saint Petersburg, but two days earlier, on September 16. According to the sources, three people were lightly injured and two cars damaged, and the military is already carrying out an investigation. A local St. Petersburg news website, Fontanka.ru also cited sources who said it happened at Luzhsky.
A ministry of defense press release last Sunday, the night before Putin arrived, said that Zapad exercises with Ka-52 helicopters had successfully carried out rocket strikes on ground targets at the Luzhsky range.
The second video appears to show the rockets striking an military truck, dug in under camouflage netting. Civilian cars are parked around it.
The heavily armed Ka-52 helicopters took part in the grandiose demonstration watched by Putin on Monday, which included dozens of aircraft, artillery and tanks pretending to repel a NATO-like enemy. The Zapad exercises, conducted jointly with Belarus, have discomforted Moscow’s neighbors in the Baltic States and Poland who, following the Kremlin’s invasion of Ukraine in 2014, see them as a threat.
Russia insists the exercises, which take place every four years, are entirely defensive. But NATO has accused Russia of deliberately under-reporting the numbers of troops taking part; Moscow says no more than 13,000 are involved, while NATO officials have said it could be as high as 100,000.
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ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Aung San Suu Kyi, the de facto leader of Myanmar and a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, said Tuesday that those who violate human rights in the country will be punished, but she did not publicly criticize Myanmar’s military, which has been accused of killing and terrorizing the country's Rohingya ethnic minority.
More than 410,000 Rohingya have fled the country in what the United Nations has described as a “textbook example of ethnic cleansing,” with security forces and local militia reportedly burning villages and shooting civilians.
"Human rights violations and all other acts that impair stability and harmony and undermine the rule of law will be addressed in accordance with strict laws and justice," Suu Kyi said in Myanmar's capital, Naypyidaw, in her first speech since recent violence erupted in the country’s northern Rakhine state.
She said that most Muslims are staying in their homes and that more than 50 percent of their villages are intact, but that she is “concerned” to hear that many are fleeing to neighboring Bangladesh.
"We want to understand why this exodus is happening,” she said. “We would like to talk to those who have fled as well as those who have stayed."
A new analysis by Human Rights Watch of satellite images from Myanmar’s Rakhine State shows the near destruction of 214 villages. A military campaign by Myanmar's security forces has destroyed thousands of homes across Maungdaw and Rathedaung Townships, Human Rights Watch said.
“These images provide shocking evidence of massive destruction in an apparent attempt by Burmese security forces to prevent the Rohingya from returning to their villages,” Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director at Human Rights Watch, said in a statement.
Amnesty International described Suu Kyi’s remarks as “little more than a mix of untruths and victim blaming.”
“There is overwhelming evidence that security forces are engaged in a campaign of ethnic cleansing through murder and forced displacement. While it was positive to hear Aung San Suu Kyi condemn human rights violations in Rakhine state, she is still silent about the role of the security forces in this,” James Gomez, Amnesty International’s regional director for Southeast Asia and the Pacific, said in a statement.
In her speech, Suu Kyi invited diplomats to visit villages that weren't affected so they could learn why fighting did not take place in those areas. She also said that her government “does not fear international scrutiny,” a comment Amnesty International said “rings hollow.”
“If Myanmar has nothing to hide, it should allow U.N. investigators into the country, including Rakhine State. The government must also urgently allow humanitarian actors full and unfettered access to all areas and people in need in the region,” Amnesty International's Robertson said.
Rohingya Muslims have faced persecution in Myanmar for decades, but attacks by Rohingya insurgents on Myanmar security forces on Aug. 25 sparked the fresh violence against the minority group.
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Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images(MOSCOW) -- Russia put on a display of heavy firepower for president Vladimir Putin and foreign media gathered Monday to watch military exercises that are believed to be some of the largest held since the end of the Cold War.
Putin watched as dozens of planes and artillery units unleashed a barrage of projectiles onto a firing range close to Saint Petersburg as part of a drill simulating a defense against an attack by a force intended to represent NATO.
The demonstration was part of Zapad 2017, the week-long exercises that Russia is conducting with its eastern European ally, Belarus and that have attracted intense attention recently and has even stoked war fears among some.
The major exercises have elicited criticism from NATO and the U.S., who say Russia has concealed the true number of troops taking part, and troubled some observers in Eastern Europe, where the Kremlin’s invasion of Crimea in 2014 remains fresh.
Russia has said no more than 13,000 troops are taking part in Zapad, which means West, just below the threshold that would require it to invite international observers. But NATO officials have repeatedly suggested that the real number is likely far higher, potentially between 70,000 and 100,000.
Russian forces are collaborating with Belarusian troops in the war games, which simulate a scenario where a hostile “Western Coalition” seeks to overthrow the Belarus government and split it away from Russia. The two armies are repulsing a fictional nation, invented for the exercises, but which bears a strong resemblance to a Western tract of Belarus. The fake country, Veishnoriya, allied with two more made-up states, stirs up a separatist insurrection.
The exercises, which displayed a reinvigorated Russian military that has undergone extensive modernization in recent years, have raised uncomfortable scenarios in the minds of leaders in the Baltic States and Poland, who see themselves reflected in the Russian-invented countries targeted in the exercises. The U.S. has sent extra fighter aircraft to Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, and deployed 600 paratroopers to the region in response to the games. The troops represent a symbolic reinforcement of the small contingents the U.S. has already deployed in those countries, which are meant to reassure them following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The exercises are a variant of Soviet-era drills and now take place every four years, but this time they have drawn intense interest, fueled by Russia's attack on Ukraine.
NATO officials have said they don’t see any indication the exercises will morph into real operations. The top U.S. general in Europe, Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti, told the Washington Post in Tirana on Monday that the exercises so far were familiar, though they were “larger than what they told us.”
“It’s following in line with what we’ve seen in the past,” Scaparrotti, Supreme Allied Commander of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, told the Post. “They’re usually very large. They’re usually initially defensive in nature but also have an offensive portion thereafter that looks to me like a rehearsal for an attack.”
There has been much speculation, however, including among senior eastern European officials, as to whether the thousands of Russian troops moving into Belarus for the exercises will leave after they finish. Lithuania’s president, Dalia Grybauskaite, has raised the question publicly, as has Estonia’s defense minister.
Opposition activists in Belarus, critical of the country’s long-ruling authoritarian president, Alexander Lukashenko, have warned they fear Russia will seek to lock it grip on the country by inserting its troops. Lukashenko, who has followed a difficult balancing act between independence and his country’s deep integration with its giant neighbor, has recently tried to stake a more self-assertive line, refusing to recognize Russia’s annexation of Crimea and quarreling over gas deals.
Russia and Belarus have dismissed the claims, insisting the exercises are entirely defensive. The chief of Russia’s general staff, Valery Gerasimov, on Thursday called Scaparrotti to notify him of the games' start and inform him they were not targeted at any other country.
On Monday at the Luzhsky firing range where Putin was watching, Russian armor and aviation was tasked with repelling an offensive. The mock-battle lasted 45 minutes, fought over a vast expanse of mud. Relentless rain hid flights of SU-24 bombers, with journalists able only to see the huge blasts of their bombs down the range. Four of Russia’s new KA-52 attack helicopters rose above the tree line, hovering under the murk, punctuating an almost continual stream of ordinance, that ended with a long column of T72 tanks driving forward.
There has also been skepticism around the hyperbole inspired by the drills, which some view more as a propaganda exercise requiring the West’s buy-in. Finland’s defense minister, Jussi Niinistö, last week, suggested Western countries had done the Kremlin’s job for it in inflating the scale of the exercises.
"Western countries have taken the bait completely, they've plugged the exercises so much,” Niinistö told the Finnish broadcaster Yle.
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Anne-Christine Poujoulat/AFP/Getty Images(MARSEILLE, France) -- One day after four Boston College students were attacked with acid in Marseille, France, the college students are doing well and have offered forgiveness to their alleged attacker, according to police and the university.
The attack on the four students, all American women, occurred around 11 a.m. Sunday at the Saint-Charles train station in Marseille, Marseille police said.
Authorities arrested the suspect, a 41-year-old woman, who police said has a history of mental illness.
The attack was not terror-related, police added.
Two of the students suffered facial injuries from the hydrochloric acid and were taken to a Marseille hospital, police said.
They were treated for burns and released on Sunday, according to Boston College.
The other two students were not physically injured but were treated for shock at the scene by emergency services, Marseille police told ABC News.
Boston College spokesman Jack Dunn told ABC affiliate WCVB in Boston on Sunday evening, "All of us at [Boston College] are surprised. We’ve been sending students to Europe for decades and have a dozen students in France this semester."
Boston College says the students involved are all juniors: Kelsey Kosten, who is currently studying at the Copenhagen Business School in Denmark, and Courtney Siverling, Charlotte Kaufman and Michelle Krug, who are all enrolled in the college's Paris program.
The school said in a statement Monday that the students "are doing well."
"The students say they plan to remain in Europe for their studies and offered forgiveness to the woman who sprayed them with an acid solution outside of the train station in Marseille," BC said.
Dunn said in the statement, "We are very proud of our students and the gracious manner in which they have handled themselves throughout this ordeal."
"The BC community is here to provide whatever support and assistance they need," Dunn added.
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FG/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images(AUCKLAND, New Zealand) -- Thousands of air passengers are stranded in New Zealand after a burst oil pipeline caused a jet fuel shortage, leading to dozens of flight cancellations.
The pipeline, which is Auckland Airport's only supplier of jet fuel, was damaged by a digger, according to local media.
Around 2,000 Air New Zealand passengers will be affected by flight cancellations on Monday, the airline predicted. In addition, some long-haul flights will be refueling at Australian and Pacific airports. The fuel shortage means that all airlines only have access to 30 percent of normal fuel usage, Air New Zealand said.
"We are continuing to do everything we can to respond to this infrastructure challenge, and further disruption is likely as we move through the rest of this week,” Air New Zealand Chief Operations Integrity and Standards Officer Captain David Morgan said in a statement.
The fuel shortage resulted in the cancellation of approximately 27 domestic and international flights over the weekend, said Auckland Airport. The airport is working closely with airlines to monitor the impact of the temporary disruption, said Adrian Littlewood, chief executive for Auckland Airport.
“We will have additional staff in the terminals supporting passengers and addressing any questions or concerns they may have," he said in a statement. "We strongly recommend that any passengers travelling over the coming days plan ahead and check with their airline for the latest information.”
The pipeline is operated by Refining NZ, which said it will take days for the pipeline to be repaired due to safety precautions. It expects to have the pipeline working again between Sunday, Sept. 24, and Tuesday, Sept. 26. After that, it will take an additional 30 hours before the fuel will be ready for use and for it to reach the airport.
“We need to be absolutely clear that it is safe to work in before we can start welding in the new section of pipe,” Refining NZ said in a statement.
“The second point is that the work site is in a boggy, peaty area, made even more challenging to work in by the recent heavy rains," the company said. "Rest assured that we are working as quickly as humanly possible to fix the pipe in order to minimize the disruption we are so painfully conscious of.”
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Jack Taylor/Getty Images(LONDON) -- Police in London are focused on a very unlikely location for a suspected bomb factory in the London suburb of Sunbury-on-Thames in connection with the subway attack that sent at least 30 people to the hospital on Friday morning.
The home is owned by an elderly couple, Penelope and Ronald Jones, who were honored by the Queen for serving as foster parents for young men, including some from Iraq and Syria.
An 18-year old man who lived in the foster home has been arrested as surveillance footage made public overnight appears to show a young man leaving the foster house just 90 minutes before the attack carrying a white bag police believe may have contained the bomb used in the attack.
Neighbors were stunned that a foster child might take advantage of the goodness of the elderly couple.
“He was a lovely young man,” Tabitha Jenkins said. “You wouldn’t suspect anything from him. He was polite, courteous to the old couple. They wouldn’t know anything about him.”
On Sunday, a second young man, 21, was arrested nearby, identified in a video by a British tabloid as Yahya Faroukh, a displaced Syrian who lived in London, though his family is spread throughout Europe and Egypt as they await resettlement.
Members of Yahya’s family confirmed to ABC News that the man in the video was Yahya but said they had not yet been contacted by authorities about his arrest.
Yahya is one of nine siblings, and members of his family told ABC News that Yahya never had radical or violent tendencies and the family last spoke with him on Saturday morning and "everything seemed fine and normal and Yahya told them about school and was even talking about getting married."
The family was still mourning the recent and sudden death of their father, however, which Yahya’s brother says affected Yahya especially hard because it happened while he was away.
The second arrest led to another series of police raids at a home disturbingly close to Heathrow Airport.
“The police have made good progress with is an ongoing operation,” said Amber Rudd, Britain’s Home Secretary.
Officials say the forensic evidence raises new questions about the attack, such as whether the bucket bomb used in the attack was a type of explosive designed to release deadly chemicals.
The absence of any metal that could turn into shrapnel suggests to bomb experts that the goal instead was to achieve a release of deadly chemicals.
The threat level has been dropped from critical to severe, but given the series of four attacks in the last six months, British Prime Minister Theresa May told ABC News she wants a hard look at what is being done to prevent them.
“It is necessary for us to look, as we are doing, at whether our police and security service have the full capabilities, the powers that they need,” May said.
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UNHCR/Rahima Gambo(NEW YORK) -- Zannah Mustapha, the Nigerian mediator who brokered a deal for the release of dozens of Chibok schoolgirls captured by Boko Haram, has been named this year's winner of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Nansen Refugee Award.
The Nansen Refugee Award recognizes extraordinary humanitarian work on behalf of refugees, the internally displaced or stateless people. UNHCR, the United Nations' refugee agency, announced Monday that the 2017 recipient is Mustapha, a lawyer and mediator from Borno State in northeast Nigeria.
The agency said Mustapha received the prestigious award in recognition of his efforts to improve the lives of displaced children and widows upended by the regional conflict with Boko Haram.
“The work Mustapha and his team are doing is of the utmost importance, helping to foster peaceful coexistence and rebuild communities in northeastern Nigeria. With this award, we honor his vision and service," United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi said in a statement.
Since Boko Haram launched its brutal insurgency in northern Nigeria in 2009, more than 20,000 people have been killed, thousands of women and girls have been abducted and children have been drafted into the terrorist group's ranks as suicide bombers. Up to 2.1 million residents fled their homes in Nigeria at the height of the conflict -- 1.9 million of whom are currently internally displaced -- while over 200,000 others remain in neighboring Cameroon, Chad and Niger, where they were forced to flee, according to the latest data from the UN.
Meanwhile, tens of thousands of children in Nigeria are growing up without schooling, as the West African nation's education sector is strained by its swelling youth population, and education facilities in the northeast remain under attack by Boko Haram militants, who have destroyed countless schools and killed hundreds of teachers in the past eight years.
“Conflict can leave children with physical and emotional scars that are deep and lasting. It forces them from their homes, exposes them to unspeakable atrocities, and often rips apart their families,” Grandi said in a statement. “Education is one of the most powerful tools for helping refugee children overcome the horrors of violence and forced displacement. It empowers young people, equips them with skills and works to counter exploitation and recruitment by armed groups."
In 2007, Mustapha founded the Future Prowess Islamic Foundation School for orphans and vulnerable children in Maiduguri, the capital of Borno State and the birthplace of Boko Haram. The school currently provides free education to 540 students, half of which are girls. Four times as many children are on a waiting list, according to UNHCR.
Amid the growing demand for classroom seats, Mustapha in 2016 opened a second school near the other facility, which now hosts 88 pupils, all of whom have been forcibly displaced from their homes.
Mustapha and 48 volunteer teachers and staff members open the schools' doors each day, despite the ongoing conflict. The schools are among the only functional primary education institutions in besieged Maiduguri, according to UNHCR.
“Schools lie at the heart of a society. Destroying them crushes the chance of Nigeria’s next generation succeeding,” Norwegian Refugee Council’s Secretary General Jan Egeland, whose organization co-manages the Nanson Refugee Award project, said in a statement. “The recognition of Zannah Mustapha’s brave work highlights the importance of education for the future of Nigeria.”
The students enrolled at Mustapha's schools receive uniforms and healthcare services. Some are children and orphans of Boko Haram fighters and Nigerian soldiers.
"This is the place where every child matters, no matter what religion, background or culture," Mustapha explained in a recent interview with UNHCR. "Our aim is make positive changes in their lives."
Hauwa Madu, 13, is among the displaced children at the Future Prowess Islamic Foundation School. Three years ago, Boko Haram gunmen stormed her small home in a northeast village near Damboa and killed her father three years ago. Her mother, who was pregnant, died in childbirth soon after.
"When I think about my parents I become sad, I miss them," Hauwa recounted in a recent interview with UNHCR, as tears rolled down her cheeks. "This school is really like my home now. I can think of tomorrow again because of what [Mustapha] has done for us here."
Mustapha has also played a crucial role mediating in the past year between the Nigerian government and Boko Haram for the release of 103 girls and young women abducted by the terrorist group from a boarding school in the town of Chibok, Borno State, in April 2014.
The mediator, who grew up in Maiduguri alongside some of Boko Haram's leadership, escorted 21 Chibok schoolgirls to freedom in October 2016. Another 82 have been released with Mustapha's assistance, according to UNHCR.
Mustapha said he believes more Chibok schoolgirls will be freed soon.
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iStock/Thinkstock(LONDON) -- Britain's terrorist threat level has been lowered from "critical" to "severe" after police arrested a second man in connection with Friday's terror attack on a London Underground subway car and authorities there cited progress in the investigation.
Britain's Home Secretary Amber Rudd said Sunday that the decision was made "to lower that level from critical to severe."
On Friday, an apparent bucket bomb exploded on a London Underground train at the during the morning rush hour. The blast propelled a fireball through the passenger car, sending at least 30 people to area hospitals, officials said.
Rudd warned that the lowering of classification doesn't mean the danger is over.
“‘Severe’ still means that an attack is highly likely, so I would urge everybody to continue to be vigilant, but not alarmed,” she said.
Assistant Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service Mark Rowley added that beyond the overnight arrests, a "rapid progress" in the investigation contributed to the decision to downgrade the threat level.
"There are now two searches continuing at addresses in Surrey, and we are getting a greater understanding of the preparation of the device," he said.
A 21-year-old man was arrested around 11:30 p.m. Saturday in Hounslow, a borough in west London, by detectives with the Metropolitan Police's Counter Terrorism Command. The unidentified man was arrested under section 41 of the U.K.'s Terrorism Act, and taken to a south London police station where he remains in custody.
Earlier Saturday, police had evacuated a house in a London suburb as well as part of the Port of Dover after arresting an 18-year-old man that morning in the southeastern coastal city in connection with the attack, police said.
Kent Police arrested the man in the port’s departure area -- about 75 miles from London -- at approximately 7:50 a.m. local time under section 41 of the U.K.'s Terrorism Act, according to London's Metropolitan Police Service. The section provides authorities the power to arrest a person suspected of terrorism-related offenses without a warrant.
"We have made a significant arrest in our investigation this morning," Metropolitan Police Deputy Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu said in a statement. "He was arrested on suspicion of being concerned in the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism. He has now been transferred to custody at a police station in London."
On Sunday, Rowley provided an update on the Parsons Green investigation and the change to the threat level.
“There is still much more to do but this greater clarity and this progress has led JTAC – the independent body that assess threat – to come to the judgement that an attack is no longer imminent. And you will have heard consequently the Home Secretary’s announcement that the threat level has reduced from Critical to Severe which of course means that an attack is highly likely,” he said.
Basu said that after they closed the Port of Dover, "they recovered a number of items during this search."
On Saturday afternoon, police evacuated and launched a search of a house in Sunbury-on-Thames, a town in Surrey county 15 miles southwest of central London, in connection with the investigation. Neighbors immediately surrounding the address were also evacuated as a precautionary measure.
“I want to reassure that community that our expert officers are quickly and thoroughly searching that address and working to ensure that it is safe. Once this is done a detailed search will take place," Basu said.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan hailed Saturday morning's arrest.
"This morning police have made a significant arrest as part of the investigation into the terrorist attack at Parsons Green station yesterday morning," Khan said in a statement. "The police investigation is ongoing and there will still be significant activity today and over the days ahead. I am sure I speak for London when I say we are incredibly grateful to the police and intelligence services for doing everything possible to keep Londoners safe."
"London will never be intimidated by terrorism. We will always defeat those who seek to harm us and destroy our way of life," the mayor added.
ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack through its Amag News Agency. Rowley told reporters that it is "routine" for ISIS to claim responsibility for such attacks, whether the group was involved or not.
Authorities had immediately launched a manhunt for suspects. Following Saturday's arrest, the Metropolitan Police Service announced it was still working to identify and locate any other potential suspects.
“At this stage we are keeping an open mind around whether more than one person is responsible for the attack and we are still pursuing numerous lines of inquiry and at a great pace," Basu said in a statement Saturday night. “We have identified 121 witnesses so far, and we have spoken to 100 of them already. Officers continue to trawl through many hours of closed circuit television footage and more than 180 videos and pictures that have been sent to them by the public."
Eyewitnesses told ABC News that the blast happened as the train pulled into the Parsons Green station in Fulham, an affluent, mainly residential area of West London.
"I heard a loud bang and as I looked to my right, there was a flame, a fireball came through the carriage. ... As the doors opened, people then began leaving the train straight away," said Martin Adams, a security manager for The Walt Disney Company who was riding in the subway car at the time. "I saw some flames coming from what I thought was a blue bag."
Another person who was at the station said she saw a number of people with what appeared to be facial burns and singed hair after the explosion.
"I saw a couple people with burns. One lady had her hair badly singed by the fire," said Sally Faulding, who witnessed the panic on the subway platform. "I also saw people injured obviously from having been stampeded on the platform because we were all running. People were falling over."
As of Friday, the London Ambulance Service said it had transported 19 patients to area hospitals and 10 others took themselves, but none of the injuries were serious or life-threatening. On Saturday, the Metropolitan Police Service said a total of 30 people have received treatment at hospitals for injuries from the attack.
Adams said the situation was managed well by train operators and emergency crews, and that passengers remained relatively calm.
"There were no casualties at all on the train. Everybody appeared to get off," Adams told ABC News. "There was nobody laying on the platform floor. I assessed that there were no serious casualties at that time."
Police said the improvised explosive device on the train did not fully explode. Apparent images of the device show wires hanging out of a white bucket.
U.S. President Donald Trump, who has clashed with Khan in the past, shared his thoughts on Twitter just before 7 a.m. ET.
Another attack in London by a loser terrorist.These are sick and demented people who were in the sights of Scotland Yard. Must be proactive!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 15, 2017
Trump referred to the suspects being "in the sights of Scotland Yard," though London officials have not publicly provided any confirmation of that.
Law enforcement agencies across the United States said they are closely monitoring Friday's incident. New York City Police Commissioner James O'Neill said Friday there were no known threats to the city's subway system, but reminded passengers to remain vigilant and aware of their surroundings.
However, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo released a statement Friday saying he was increasing security in public transportation areas across the Empire State.
"Out of an abundance of caution, I am directing state law enforcement to increase security at vital assets across New York, including airports, bridges, tunnels and mass transit systems," Cuomo said. "The safety and security of New Yorkers is our No. 1 priority, and we remain in close contact with local and federal officials. We remain vigilant, and we stand with the people of London."
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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A filming location scout for the Netflix series Narcos was found shot dead in farmlands near Mexico City last week, according to Mexico's attorney general.
Carlos Muñoz Portal, who in addition to his work on Narcos provided location management for Hollywood blockbusters such as Fast & Furious and Spectre, was found shot dead in the driver's seat of a compact car in the municipality of Temascalapa in Mexico State on Monday, Sept. 11, according to Mexican officials. Netflix confirmed the death on Sunday in a statement.
"We are aware of the passing of Carlos Muñoz Portal, a well respected location scout, and send our condolences to his family. The facts surrounding his death are still unknown as authorities continue to investigate," the company said.
The incident was reported by personnel from the municipal public security department, according to a statement from Mexico's Attorney General's office. Police were then sent to the area to investigate, according to the statement, which adds that a homicide investigation is now underway.
The Mexican Institute of Cinematography (MIC) also confirmed Portal's death in a statement on Sunday.
Portal was a graduate of the University of the Americas, according to the MIC statement. He also worked on hit films Man on Fire, The Legend of Zorro and Apocalypto, as well as the award-winning Amazon series Mozart in the Jungle, according to MIC.
Narcos, which debuted on Netflix in 2015, focused its first two seasons on drug kingpin Pablo Escobar, then moved to the rise of southern Colombia's deadly Cali Cartel. The series' fourth season is set to debut in 2018, and will likely look at Mexico's drug cartels.
Mexico ranked as the 22nd most dangerous country in the world in latest Global Peace Index (GPI) report from the Institute of Economics and Peace (IEP), a global think tank. The country saw an 18 percent increase in homicides; 61 percent of these homicides were the result of a deadly attack with a firearm, according to the IEP. Peace in Mexico deteriorated by 4.3 percent in 2016, according to the institute.
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