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Joel Carillet/iStock(CAIRO, Egypt) -- Wael Ghonim, a United States-based activist who was behind a Facebook page that helped ignite a popular uprising in Egypt in 2011, said his brother was arrested at his family's home in Cairo on Thursday.

Hazem Ghonim, who Wael said is an apolitical dentist, was taken away by security forces to make his elder brother stop posting live videos that have fiercely criticized Egyptian leadership over the past week, the former Google executive said.

He also pleaded with President Donald Trump to intervene and help free his brother, before launching a #savehazem Twitter hashtag that has quickly trended in Egypt.

#savehazem My brother has been kidnapped by the Egyptian regime. He has is an apolitical person. I received a threat yesterday from the Embassy in Washington and when I rejected their offer. My brother got arrested. I am not going to back out. Please help me deal with those thugs

— Wael Ghonim (@Ghonim) September 19, 2019

"My brother has been kidnapped by the Egyptian regime … I received a threat yesterday from the Embassy in Washington and when I rejected their offer. My brother got arrested. I am not going to back out. Please help me deal with those thugs," Ghonim wrote.

"Hey @realDonaldTrump, @alsisiofficial kidnapped my brother in Cairo after I rejected a threat from the embassy next to your white house," he wrote in another tweet. "The authorities threatened my father (after they arrested my brother Hazem Ghonim to stop me from speaking up). They took my family members cellphones and broke into my mom bedroom and destroyed her belongings and took their passports."

Abandoning his usual calm and soft-spoken demeanor, Ghonim has in the past week released a series of profanity-laced videos to attack the regime, which he described as oppressive. He also called for the release of political prisoners and launched tirades against the Muslim Brotherhood group, which was outlawed and forced underground again after late Islamist President Mohamed Morsi was toppled by the military in mid-2013.

Appearing with a shaven-head, Ghonim, who lives in a self-imposed exile in California, said he needed to vent his anger and admitted having suicidal thoughts in the past three years, although he said he has now found his inner peace.

Ghonim is an Egyptian citizen, but is married to an American.

Officials have not commented on Hazem Ghonim's detention nor Wael Ghonim's criticism. In recent years, Egyptian authorities have repeatedly denied accusations of politically motivated arbitrary arrests and forced disappearances.

Social media war

Egypt has recently shown signs of being increasingly wary of the impact of social media after construction contractor Mohamed Ali, who said he has worked with the military for more than 15 years, posted a series of videos that accused army leaders of corruption. The videos, posted after Ali fled to Spain, went viral on Facebook.

Acknowledging that he was asked by security apparatuses not to address the issue, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi publicly responded to Ali's accusations in a conference last Saturday, saying they were "sheer lies."

Stopping short of mentioning Ali by name, Sisi accused him of attempting to undermine the people's confidence in the army.

"The army is a ... very sensitive institution toward any inadequate behavior, especially if it was attributed to its leaders," Sisi said.

The Cairo conference where Sisi spoke was organized to warn about what the state called the "dangers of social media." Facebook and Twitter have returned to the forefront of Egyptian politics in the same way they did in the build-up to the 2011 uprising that unseated autocratic leader Hosni Mubarak.

Ali has openly called for the overthrow of Sisi and urged people to demonstrate against him on Friday, launching an #enough_Sisi hashtag that topped trends in Egypt for a day. Counter hashtags supporting Sisi also appeared, marking a social media war.

However, with Egypt placing severe restrictions on demonstrations, it remains to be seen whether Ali's calls will be heeded.

Sisi has launched a fierce crackdown on opponents from across the political spectrum since he was elected president in 2014. He won another term last year and recent constitutional amendments mean he can retain power until 2030.

Critics accuse Sisi of stifling dissent while supporters say tough security measures are needed to stabilize a country that has been suffering from economic hardships because of political upheavals in 2011 and 2013.

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MicroStockHub/iStock(WASHINGTON) -- President Donald Trump's phone call with a foreign leader that has become the focus of a complaint to the director of national intelligence's inspector general involved Ukraine, multiple sources familiar with the matter tell ABC News.

According to a readout released from the White House, Trump spoke with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on July 25 "to congratulate him on his recent election."

A more extensive readout from the Ukrainian president's office, however, noted that the two also spoke about "investigations into corruption cases that have hampered interaction between Ukraine and the U.S.A."

The president's personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, has publicly and privately urged in recent months for Ukrainian officials to investigate ties between former Vice President Joe Biden's diplomatic efforts in the country and any connections between his son's business ventures.

The Washington Post was first to report the news.

It remains unclear the exact details of the call.

DNI Inspector General Michael Atkinson in a Sep. 9 letter to the House Intelligence Committee said that the complaint rose to a level of "urgent concern" and "appeared credible" enough to warrant the notification of Congress.

The DNI's general counsel and the Department of Justice, however, has disputed that characterization of the complaint, resulting in a constitutional showdown between members of Congress and the Trump administration regarding matters of potentially privileged material.

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omersukrugoksu/iStock(MONROVIA, Liberia) -- More than two dozen people, mostly children, have died in a fire that engulfed a religious boarding school outside Liberia's capital in the middle of the night, authorities said.

An Islamic school on the outskirts of Monrovia caught fire late Tuesday night, around 11 p.m. local time, while students and faculty were asleep inside. Fierce flames swept the main entrance of the building, leaving many people trapped, according to the Liberia National Police spokesman Moses Carter.

At least 26 children and one teacher were killed. Two other children were the only students to escape the blaze, Carter said.

The inspector general of the Liberia National Police, Patrick Sudue, described the disaster as "one of the worst in decades" to occur in the West African nation.

The remains of the victims have been handed over to the families for burial. The cause of the fire remains under investigation, according to Carter.

Liberian President George Weah declared Thursday a national day of mourning in remembrance of those who died. He visited the scene of the blaze in the suburb of Paynesville on Wednesday and later attended a funeral for the victims at a mosque in Monrovia.

“This is an extremely difficult moment, not only for the bereaved family but also for us all as a country,” Weah said in a statement. “We must be united in good times as well as in difficult times.”

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Ivan Cholakov/iStock(WASHINGTON) -- U.S. military personnel spent at least $184,000 on layovers in Scotland at the Trump Turnberry resort in Scotland, located 20 miles from the Prestwick Airport in Glasgow, which has become a major transit point for U.S. Air Force crews, according to the Pentagon.

Senior Democrats on the House Committee on Oversight and Reform investigating whether President Donald Trump has benefited from the overnight stay of military air crews at the resort said the amount is more than had been previously known.

A review of government credit card and travel records showed that U.S. military personnel spent $124,578.96 from Aug. 9, 2017 to July 26, 2019, according to a letter written by James Stewart, the assistant secretary of Defense for Manpower and Reserve Affairs, who is performing the duties of the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness.

"This amounts to an average of $189.04 per overnight stay, which is well within the overseas Per Diem and Meals and Incidental expenses average of $282.92," Stewart wrote in his letter.

An additional $59,729.12 in credit card vouchers could not be associated with Defense Travel Service vouchers that could represent expenditures that were paid through other Defense Department travel processing systems, or were related to official travel that do not require receipts for reimbursement.

The review found that in the previous two years U.S. military personnel had spent $64,380.78 at Trump Turnberry.

The Air Force said last week that since 2015 -- when Prestwick became one of the dozen military and civilian airfields in Europe where U.S. Air Force aircraft can refuel -- aircrews have made 936 refueling stops at Prestwick Airport and 659 of those stops required overnight stays to meet Federal Aviation Administration rest requirements for pilots.

An Air Force review of overnight stays by its aircrews in Scotland found that 6% of the crews that overnighted during refueling stops at Prestwick had stayed at the Trump family owned Turnberry golf resort, according to an Air Force official. That percentage constituted about 40 of the 659 overnight stays.

It was unclear whether the spending amounts disclosed by the Pentagon were a direct match for those 40 overnight stays or involved additional flights and personnel. A Defense Department spokesperson did not immediately return comment.

Committee chairman Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., and subcommittee chairman Rep. James Raskin, D-Md., said in a new letter to the Pentagon that the new figures revealed that "far more taxpayer funds have been spent at the President’s resort than previously known.”

"Unfortunately, the Department’s response has been woefully inadequate," Cummings and Raskin wrote. "To date, the Department has produced only 21 pages of material—half of which appear to be publicly available on government websites. The Department failed to produce any underlying invoices or travel records relating to spending at Trump Turnberry or Prestwick Airport. It is unclear why the Department has taken so long to produce such rudimentary and deficient information."

Both congressmen asked the Pentagon for additional information about how many rooms had been booked by U.S. military personnel at the government rate noting that the dollar amounts provided by the Pentagon suggested that more than 650 rooms had been booked at the resort.

According to Air Force statistics provided to reporters last week, the number of U.S. refueling stops at Prestwick and overnight stays in the Glasgow area has increased year by year since 2015. That year there were 95 refueling stops with 40 overnight stays. In 2016 there were 145 refueling stops with 75 overnight stays; in 2017 there were 180 refueling stops with 116 overnight stays; and in 2018 there were 257 refueling stops with 208 overnight stays in Scotland. Through August of this year, there have been 259 refueling stops with 220 overnight stays.

Air Force officials said the increase in refueling stops is due to the airport's 24 hour-a-day operations and better weather than other airports in the United Kingdom.

The Air Force is now reviewing its overnight lodging guidelines for pilots on layovers in light of the attention raised by a C-17 crew's stay at the Trump Turnberry resort in March.

According to Air Force officials, a local contractor was unable to find closer lodging accommodations for the C-17 crew and found cheaper government rates at the Trump property.

The Trump property nightly rate of $136 was less expensive than the $161 charged by a nearby Marriott property. Both of those rates were below the per diem rate of $166.

On the return flight from Kuwait, the C-17 crew stayed at the nearby Marriott property.

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iStock(NEW YORK) -- A 2001 photograph of Justin Trudeau wearing brownface makeup at a private school dinner party has surfaced online just after the Canadian prime minister launched a reelection campaign in the wake of one of the nation's biggest political scandals.

"I can confirm it is him," Zita Astravas, a spokesperson for the Liberal Party of Canada, told ABC News in a statement on Wednesday. "It was a photo taken in 2001 while he was teaching in Vancouver, at the school's annual dinner which had a costume theme of 'Arabian Nights.' He attended with friends and colleagues dressed as a character from Aladdin."

The photo was first published, along with an article, by Time Magazine.

"I should have known better, but I didn't," Trudeau told reporters later Wednesday night. "I deeply regret that I did that. I should have known better."

"I didn't think it was a racist action at the time," he added, "but now we know better, and this was something that was unacceptable and, yes, racist."

According to Time, which obtained a copy of the 2000-2001 West Point Grey Academy yearbook in which the photo appears, Trudeau, then 29, was an instructor at the school. He taught classes including French until he left after the spring 2001 term.

The photograph shows the prime minister wearing a turban, robes and with his hands, neck and face covered in dark makeup. Others at the event seen in different costumes in different photographs did not appear to have darkened their skin with makeup, Time reported.

Other politicians have had similarly regretful photographs surface recently.

Earlier this year, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam refused to resign after first apologizing for, and then denying he was in, a 1984 yearbook photo depicting one man in blackface and another wearing a Ku Klux Klan hood.

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey apologized earlier this year for wearing blackface while doing a skit while at Auburn University.

"The prime minister, directly and through his senior officials, used various means to exert influence over Ms. Wilson-Raybould," Mario Dion, the ethics commissioner, wrote at the time. "The authority of the prime minister and his office was used to circumvent, undermine and ultimately attempt to discredit the decision of the director of public prosecutions as well as the authority of Ms. Wilson-Raybould."

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Andrew Linscott/iStock(NEW YORK) -- People widely support the conservation of wildlife, but lack an overall understanding of topics such as extinction due to lack of education, a new poll by National Geographic has found.

A "striking majority" of the 12,000 adults polled in 12 countries were not aware that vertebrate populations have decreased by about 60% since 1970 and were also shocked to learn that a quarter of the world's mammals could soon be extinct, according to the survey, which was conducted in collaboration with market research firm Ipsos.

While respondents were "highly aware" of the rapid pace of extinction, they did not know the extent of what could be lost, according to National Geographic.

In addition, people "dramatically overestimate" how much of nature is protected, stating that they believe 35% of the world's sea waters are preserved, when in reality that number lies closer to 7%. That overestimation could result in a perception that the necessity to protect the environment is less urgent, according to the study's authors.

However, regardless of political or cultural background, very few people think extinction is acceptable. An average of just 2% of those polled from each country said that extinction did not concern them.

"We now know that's not only what's scientifically justified, but it's what people across a broad range of countries want,” said National Geographic Society's chief scientist, Jonathan Baillie. "So what's stopping us from being more ambitious?"

Dozens of species go extinct every day, and scientists believe a mass extinction of more than 20,000 plants and animals is imminent, according to National Geographic.

An ambitious proposal to set aside half of the Earth for nature is necessary to prevent a mass extinction and protect biodiversity, Baillie and biologist E.O. Wilson have theorized.

A United Nations report released in May stated that human activity has pushed more than one million species to the brink of extinction and that around 75% of Earth's terrestrial environment has been "severely altered" by humans.

The U.N. report states many of those species are threatened "within decades."

Greenhouse gases have more than doubled since 1980, which has raised global temperatures by at least 0.7 degrees Celsius, according to the report, which argued that climate change may be the largest disrupter of nature in coming decades.

Disney is the parent company of ABC News and National Geographic.

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macky_ch/iStock(TVER, Russia) -- Russian Orthodox priests in the Central Russian city of Tver took to the skies in a small airplane to save citizens from "drunkenness and fornication," reported a Russian local media outlet.

On Sept. 11, which was Sobriety Day -- an unofficial Russian holiday -- the priests carried 70 liters of holy water onto the aircraft.

Once the plane reached an altitude of 200 to 300 meters, the blessings began. Clergymen held a prayer service before pouring the holy water out of the plane’s open door.

Priests tipped the water out from a large chalice in an attempt to heal those suffering from alcoholism and drug addiction. A married couple who claims the husband was miraculously cured of alcoholism was also on board the flight.

Father Alexander, one of the priests said the ritual is designed to stop the use of "alcohol," "drugs" and to "stop fornication."

"Any disease is from a virus, and a virus is a demon. Therefore, any disease is primarily a spiritual disease," the priest explained.

It is one of the latest efforts to promote sobriety in Russia, a country known for its national love of vodka.

World Health Organization statistics show that new anti-alcoholism campaigns have helped cut Russian alcohol consumption — from 15.8 liters of alcohol per person in 2005 to 11.7 liters in 2016.

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lucagavagna/iStock(NEW YORK) -- Half of the world’s population may be malnourished by 2030 if current trends go unchecked, according to a new report.

The report, Growing Better: Ten Critical Transitions to Transform Food and Land Use, finds that without significant changes to the global agricultural industry, the world’s food supply, as well as the environment, are at risk.

Over $700 billion a year is spent globally on agricultural subsidies but we are not getting much value for the money spent, the report found.

The hidden costs of agriculture mean that for every dollar we spend on food, we pay more than an extra dollar on environmental, health and economic costs. That adds up to more than $12 trillion per year and will rise to $16 trillion by 2050 if we do not alter our approaches to food production and land usage.

“We are absolutely paying twice,” report co-author Per Pharo told ABC News. “We’re using public money to pay for something that’s not good for the public.”

If current trends continue that both harm the environment and contribute to inefficient land use, that could mean people will pay more for lower quality food and there could be an issue sufficiently feeding the world’s growing population.

The world’s food supply largely relies on just five countries – the United States, Argentina, Brazil, China and India – for 60% of its calories. Additionally, much of the world’s food supply depends mostly on four crops – rice, wheat, potatoes and maize, a concentration that leaves the food supply vulnerable to risk. Diversity is the best protection against risks, according to Pharo.

"[The world has] 120 days of food reserves," Pharo says. "Which is not even enough to cover the time difference between North and South harvest seasons."

Another issue: Food and land use systems are currently responsible for up to 30% of global greenhouse gas emissions, according to the report. The emissions from the agricultural system alone will heat the environment beyond the level that scientists have warned about, Pharo said.

Ignoring these issues would be like “sleepwalking into a scenario wherein climate change, sea-level rise and extreme-weather events increasingly threaten human life, biodiversity and natural resources are depleted, people increasingly suffer life-threatening, diet-induced diseases, food security is compromised, and…development is seriously impaired,” state the report’s authors.

“Current practices typically fail to price in the hidden costs of climate-related financial, social and environmental risk,” says the report. “A big chunk of money is not deployed in helping the problem,” added Pharo. “You can repurpose that money.”

But the report also finds that change is possible and can increase economic activity.

The report outlines ways in which money can be better spent to reforest land, and promote biodiversity, and how land can be used more efficiently at local levels to produce a greater diversity of food crops.

Diversifying crops would mean a change in diet for many people in the developed world. To remain sustainable, the world will have to look to more diverse sources of protein and sharply reduce meat consumption. Experts say these changes will lead to healthier, more varied diets.

Changes needed to protect the planet, and the food supply can create vast economic opportunities – standing to create $4.5 trillion in new business opportunities each year by 2030, according to the Food and Land Use Coalition.

“This is the closest to a win-win we will get, reaping huge social, economic and environmental benefits,” said Jeremy Oppenheim, principal of the coalition and the report's co-lead author. “This report proves for the first time that it is possible, indeed economically attractive, to feed 9 billion people with nutritious diets within planetary boundaries and to do so in a way that is good for rural communities.”

The report provides examples of how countries have already changed their economic incentives and had positive impacts. Costa Rica, for instance, has reversed deforestation, the first tropical country to have done so, through a combination of reduced cattle subsidies and financial incentives.

Today, more than half of Costa Rica’s land area is forest, compared to a quarter in 1983. In the European Union, the report says, subsidy reform led to a 27% reduction in nitrogen oxide emissions from fertilizer and an increase in yields by 28%.

“There is no system level trade-off between food production and environmental protection,” said Pharo. According to the report, regenerative farming alone could reap benefits of $1.2 trillion per year by 2030.

The report was launched to coincide with the United Nations Climate Action Summit which will be held in New York beginning Sept. 23.

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samxmeg/iStock(KOLTSOVO, Russia) -- A gas explosion shook a Soviet-era biological weapons lab in Siberia that houses samples of Ebola and smallpox on Monday.

At least one employee was injured in the explosion or ensuing fire.

Vector, the State Research Center of Virology and Biotechnology in the town of Koltsovo near Novosibirsk, announced an exploding gas tank caused the fire.

The blast happened during repairs in an inspection room on the fifth floor of six-floor concrete building, according to a statement from Vector.

"No work with biological materials was carried out in the building," the statement said. "One worker suffered injuries."

A spokesperson for Vector told ABC News: "There is no danger to life. There is no biological catastrophe. We are working in regular mode."

Vector is one of two known locations that houses live samples of the smallpox virus. The other is the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.

Founded in 1974, Vector is one of the world's largest research centers. In Soviet times, researchers at the lab studied potential plagues including anthrax and tularaemia to learn more about creating biological weapons. Vector now develops tools for diagnosing and treating infectious diseases, specializing work on vaccines for swine flu, HIV and Ebola.

Vector earlier this year completed trials of an Ebola vaccine that's reportedly ready for implementation.

In 2004, a scientist working at Vector died after accidentally sticking herself with a needle laced with Ebola. Scientists and officials said the accident raised concerns about safety at the research center.

A 2016 World Health Organization inspection said Vector met biosafety and biosecurity standards and did not have any concerns relating to security.

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RoBeDeRo/iStock(LONDON) -- A painting by the illustrious and elusive artist Banksy, depicting Britain's parliament as chimpanzees, will soon go up for auction -- but not without one last dig at the artwork’s subjects.

"Devolved Parliament," showing apes as members of the House of Commons, will be put up for auction on Oct. 3 and displayed in London at Sotheby’s auction house, just a mile away from the Commons chamber, according to a press release from Sotheby’s.

The auction date comes ahead of the rescheduled Brexit day, which was meant to happen on March 29 but was postponed until Oct. 31 as lawmakers continue to squabble over plans for Britain to leave the European Union.

"Regardless of where you sit in the Brexit debate, there’s no doubt that this work is more pertinent now than it has ever been, capturing unprecedented levels of political chaos and confirming Banksy as the satirical polemicist of our time," Alex Branczik, Sotheby’s European head of contemporary art, said in a statement.

The 2009 painting, which stands at 13 feet, is expected to sell for an estimated 1.5 to 2 million euros, a record-breaking number for Banksy.

His last piece auctioned off, "Girl With Balloon," sold for 1,042,000 pounds. The current auction record for the Bristol-born artist is 1.4 million euros for "Keep it Spotless."

The "Girl With Balloon" painting famously self-destructed moments after it was auctioned off, shredding it into pieces.

"Devolved Parliament" was previously on display at the Bristol Museum & Art Gallery on March 29, the original day the U.K. was meant to leave the EU.

Banksy commented on the museum’s decision to put the piece up, writing on Instagram, "I made this ten years ago. Bristol museum have just put it back on display to mark Brexit day. ‘Laugh now, but one day no-one will be in charge.’"

The chimpanzee art will be on display at Sotheby’s from Sept. 28 to Oct. 3 and put up for auction the evening of Oct. 3 at the art dealer company’s Contemporary Art Evening Auction.

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Mumemories/iStock(PARIS) -- Isabelle, Patricia, Céline, Laura…these are a few names of the 104 women murdered since the beginning of the year in France. A collective of women is making sure that everyone in Paris remembers their names.

The below chart from Eurostat shows statistics on the number of women murdered as the result of violence committed by their spouses, intimate partners or family members, in 19 European nations.

A group of nearly 100 women has been covering the streets of Paris at night with the names of those victims. This week, more than 250 collages have already been plastered on Parisian walls with shocking messages in big, black letters describing the killings and naming the victims. The goal? Bringing awareness to the extreme violence that these women faced and push for political action in France.

On Saturday, they targeted the Louvre Pyramid. About 20 women glued slogans and victims’ names onto the famous glass pyramid. They managed to assemble three messages including "Dad killed mum" and snap some pictures, before being stopped by security who immediately took the signs down. The pictures were released on social media the next morning.

Marguerite Stern, a 28-year-old feminist activist, launched this operation on social media two weeks ago. The street protest is now gaining traction and already expanded to 30 French cities including Lyon and Bordeaux but also crossing borders into Belgium and Switzerland.

"In the street, we are supposed to be discreet, quiet. We write big messages that are very visible and I think women are attracted by that as well, to take the street back," Marguerite said. “Now we are receiving messages [from] families who are asking us to pay tribute to their own victims in their families."

French Prime Minister Édouard Philippe called a forum around domestic violence in early September and announced that 5 million euros would be allocated to the creation of temporary accommodation for women fleeing violent homes. But for the collective, these measures are not enough.

“In fact I think the government is trying to make us silent by talking," said Stern. "But at the end to really act, they need to give money.” According to Stern, 1 billion euros is what is needed to combat violence against women.

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omersukrugoksu/iStock(LONDON) -- A 37-year-old breast cancer survivor from Colorado made history Tuesday as the first person to swim the English Channel four times in a row.

"I just can't believe we did it," Sarah Thomas told the BBC when she came ashore in Dover, England. "I'm really just pretty numb."

"There was a lot of people on the beach to meet me and wish me well and it was really nice of them, but I feel just mostly stunned," she said. "I'm pretty tired right now."

Thomas spent around 54 hours in the water swimming from England to France, back to England, back to France and, finally, back to England.

In all, Thomas covered around 130 miles, according to the BBC.

She quickly received congratulations from fellow ultra swimmer Lewis Pugh, who called Thomas a "super-human."

Thomas was diagnosed with breast cancer last November, she told the Financial Times prior to her record-breaking swim. At the time, her doctors doubted that she "would ever return to peak form."

She continued to swim during chemotherapy, but had to put swimming on hold when she underwent radiation.

"It was too painful to swim through my burns," she told the Financial Times. "I blistered and was told it wasn’t safe to swim because of the risk of infection."

She got back in the water after radiation and spent the last week in Dover awaiting perfect conditions for her swim, according to the Financial Times.

Thomas wore only a swimsuit, cap and goggles for her swim, during which she was stung by a jellyfish.

She celebrated after coming ashore with champagne and M&Ms.

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omersukrugoksu/iStock(LONDON) -- Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, are back from summer vacation and Meghan's maternity leave in a big way.

The royal couple is heading to Africa next week and bringing baby Archie with them, marking their first official overseas trip as a family.

The family will arrive in Cape Town, South Africa, on Sept. 23, and depart for the U.K. on Oct. 2.

The Sussexes' South Africa trip is on behalf of the U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office, according to Buckingham Palace. Harry will also visit Malawi and Angola during the family's trip, and will also undertake a "working visit" to Botswana.

Here are five things to watch as Sussex mania descends on South Africa, a region Harry has called "a second home":

Baby Archie sightings

Archie will be one of the youngest royals to travel on an official trip overseas. He was born in May so will be nearly 5 months old as he joins his parents in South Africa.

Harry and Meghan are bringing Archie's nanny with them on the trip.

Buckingham Palace has not revealed when, or if, Archie will join Harry and Meghan at official events, but we're hoping there will be at least a few sightings of the young royal.

Moments tied to Princess Diana

Prince Harry will make a poignant visit to Huambo and the same location where his mother, the late Princess Diana, was famously photographed visiting a de-mining site and visiting with landmine victims.

The area where Harry will visit is now a busy area with schools and shops, a far cry from the scene his mom saw in 1997.

He will be greeted in Huambo by the same official, Gov. Joana Lina, who was the official host for Princess Diana's visit, according to Buckingham Palace.

Harry will also visit the Huambo Orthopaedic Centre, which Diana visited in 1997.

"The Duke is especially proud to continue the legacy left by his mother with her work in Angola as he joins Halo Trust again in an effort to rid the world of landmines," Buckingham Palace said in a statement.

Meghan's focus on empowering women

Fresh off the debut of Meghan's Smart Set fashion collection designed to empower women, expect to see the duchess championing women in South Africa, too.

She is scheduled to host events focused on female entrepreneurs and leaders and women and girls' health and education during the 10-day tour.

Meghan had one of her biggest moments on the couple's last major overseas tour, right after their 2018 wedding, when she declared "feminism is about fairness" during a speech in New Zealand.

A celebration of young people

Meghan, 38, was named in March as vice president of the Queen's Commonwealth Trust, an organization that supports and connects young leaders in the Commonwealth, which includes countries in Africa.

Harry, 35, was named Commonwealth Youth Ambassador last year by Queen Elizabeth.

While in South Africa, the duke and duchess are expected to participate in events focused on young people and issues of concern to them, like employment, mental health and the environment.

On the environment, Harry will reveal a new initiative during the trip, Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy. The initiative is described by Buckingham Palace as a "three-country partnership which he designed and consulted with Governments in Namibia, Botswana and Angola to protect forest and wildlife corridors around the Okavango Delta."

Harry and Meghan's personal attachment to Africa

Africa is where Harry whisked Meghan away a few weeks after the couple's first date in 2017.

"I managed to persuade her to come and join me in Botswana and we camped out with each other under the stars," Harry said in a post-engagement interview last year. "She came and joined me for five days out there, which was absolutely fantastic, so then we were really by ourselves, which I think was crucial to me to make sure we had a chance to get to know each other."

Harry, who established his charity, Sentebale, in the African country of Lesotho in 2006, also included a piece of Botswana in Meghan's engagement ring. The main stone in Meghan's ring is sourced from Botswana, while the diamonds surrounding it are from the jewelry collection of Harry's mother.

Harry has also said in previous interviews that Africa will always have sentimental value to him because Africa is where he and Prince Charles and Prince William went to "get away from it all" after Diana's death in 1997.

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iStock/grynold(CARACAS, Venezuela) -- Venezuela's opposition has declared talks with its strongman president Nicolás Maduro dead after weeks without meetings -- a decision meant to bring renewed international pressure, but that appeared to crack its united front.

One day after the opposition leader, who the legislature has declared is the legitimate president, said talks were off, minority parties in the legislature signed an agreement with top Maduro officials to move forward with new negotiations.

The U.S. welcomed the decision by Juan Guaidó, the president of Venezuela's National Assembly which declared Maduro illegitimate in January. But days after the U.S. touted the opposition's unity, the new rift appears to threaten the Trump administration's road map ahead.

Guaidó's mission to the U.S. downplayed the announcement, denouncing the parties as "fake opposition" who have been supporting Maduro and adding that they, "in no way weaken the legitimate government of Interim President Juan Guaidó."

Norway had been brokering talks held in Barbados to resolve the political crisis and the humanitarian catastrophe that has driven over 4 million Venezuelans from the country, led to hyperinflation and massive shortages of food and medicine, and increased tensions in the region.

But those talks have been dead since early August after the U.S. imposed an economic embargo on Maduro, freezing all Venezuelan assets in America's jurisdiction and allowing the U.S. to impose sanctions on anyone doing business with Maduro.

"The regime is the main obstacle to a political solution. It is imperative that everyone -- inside and outside Venezuela, together -- increase the pressure," Guaidó said on Sunday.

Specifically, the opposition hoped to use the declaration of an end to talks to push the European Union to impose greater sanctions on Maduro and his officials, Guaidó's envoy in Washington, Carlos Vecchio, told ABC News. Maduro and his allies have used European banks to help skirt the stringent U.S. sanctions, while the E.U. has sanctioned only 18 officials so far, according to Vecchio.

"We need to increase the level of pressure in the international arena and also domestically, internally," Vecchio said, adding that the opposition will push for greater demonstrations inside Venezuela in the coming weeks and for new institutional pressure through the National Assembly.

To boost that campaign and rally more international attention and pressure, Guaidó is also considering attending the United Nations General Assembly next week, Vecchio said. It would be a bold journey overseas, only his second since being declared interim leader and one complicated by the difficult secret journey required to exit and re-enter the country.

Maduro announced last Thursday that he would not attend the global meeting in New York, prompting speculation that his grip on power may be too tenuous for him to even leave the country.

But over nine months after this political crisis began, Maduro maintains control of the government and is still recognized by the U.N., although the U.S. and over 50 other countries recognize Guaidó as the legitimate leader. In particular, it's Maduro's enduring sway with the Venezuelan armed forces and its leadership that has kept him in command.

The announcement of a deal with a small group of National Assembly lawmakers could help boost his image as working with the opposition to solve the crisis, according to analysts.

Representatives of several opposition parties signed an agreement with Maduro's communications minister and other officials to reform the country’s electoral board, according to the Associated Press, and begin negotiations over the pro-government Constitutional Assembly, which Maduro created in 2018 to rival the opposition-controlled National Assembly.

Guaidó called the announcement a "maneuver" by Maduro to split the opposition and stall for time, noting previous engagements with him have failed to reach any resolutions, according to the Associated Press. Vecchio's spokesperson told ABC News in an email that Maduro is "set[ting] up a fake negotiation with collaborationist parties to raise a false agreement that does NOT call for new presidential elections."

Before talks disbanded last month, Guaidó's side offered a detailed road map on how to move forward, including creating a transitional government headed by neither man and allowing free elections with international monitors nine months later, Vecchio said.

Maduro rejected that proposal. But now, with diplomacy seemingly dead and both sides digging in, it's unclear what path there is for the opposition and U.S. to remove Maduro.

Vecchio said Monday they are "looking for a peaceful solution," but remain open to "whatever we can do to put more pressure on" Maduro, including a naval blockade and other "military options."

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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iStock/Nikolasimage(AUCKLAND, New Zealand) -- When one New Zealand man was facing redundancy, he brought a dash of color -- and some balloon animals -- to the meeting where he got laid off.

Employers in New Zealand are legally required to offer employees the chance to bring a "support person" to help cushion the blow of losing their job, but the human resources department at Josh Thompson's former advertising agency in Auckland were likely not expecting him to turn up with a professional clown for company.

A picture of the meeting, taken through the FCB New Zealand boardroom window, started circulating online, before the clown-friendly copywriter was identified and shared his story.

After receiving an unexpected email from his employer regarding a discussion of his role, Josh feared the worst and responded in a way that he now admits was a "touch unusual."

"I thought it's either a promotion or worse. I thought it's best to bring in a professional and so I paid $200 and hired a clown," Thompson told Magic Talk radio.

The clown turned into the ideal hire for the occasion, providing support by lightening the mood with balloon animals.

"It was rather noisy him making balloon animals so we had to tell him to be quiet from time to time," Thompson said.

Despite losing his job at the agency, the aspiring comedian is trying to look on the bright side. "I mean I did get fired, but apart from that it was all smooth running," he said.

Josh's clown companion has brightened up offices across the globe, with his humorous tale making headlines worldwide. Thompson has even already landed himself a new job, where he hopefully won't need any jester backup any time soon.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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