Headlines » World http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines The latest Headlines, news and blog posts from ABC News contributors and bloggers. Wed, 27 Aug 2014 04:26:07 +0000 en hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.2.1 Poor Ebola-Weary Liberia Has Rich History: 5 Fascinating Facts http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2014/08/poor-ebola-weary-liberia-has-rich-history-5-fascinating-facts/ http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2014/08/poor-ebola-weary-liberia-has-rich-history-5-fascinating-facts/#comments Mon, 11 Aug 2014 14:55:32 +0000 Calvin Lawrence Jr. http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/?p=524369 GTY liberia flag jtm 140808 16x9 608 Poor Ebola Weary Liberia Has Rich History: 5 Fascinating Facts

  (Photo Credit: Issouf Sanogo/AFP/Getty Images)

No one would mistake Liberia for a model of prosperity, but the Ebola-weary West African nation certainly has a rich history like no other: It was colonized by freed U.S. slaves.

Here are some details about its intriguing origins:

  • The sight of freed slaves so unnerved one particular group of white Americans in the early-1800s that they concocted a plan to resettle them in Africa. It worked, and the American Colonization Society, as the members called themselves, found a partial solution to their “problem” by developing a colonization project that would eventually produce the West African nation of Liberia, according to the U.S. State Department Office of the Historian.

By 1821, the U.S. Navy even helped in the search for land to accommodate what remained of the 88 free black settlers and three society members who had set sail for Sierra Leone the year before in search of territory to claim. “The Navy officer in charge, Lieutenant Robert Stockton, coerced a local ruler to sell a strip of land to the Society,” according to the State Department.

The indigenous Africans initially staged violent resistance against the colony before other U.S. colonization societies bought additional land and most of those settlements combined up to 20,000 people into a single organization that forged a rocky path toward a sovereign state, declaring its independence from the American Colonization Society in 1847, the State Department website says.

  • U.S. President James Monroe committed so many government resources to the project that Liberia’s capital, Monrovia, was named in his honor.

    GTY liberia monrovia jtm 140808 16x9 608 Poor Ebola Weary Liberia Has Rich History: 5 Fascinating Facts

             (Photo Credit: Kuni Takahashi/Getty Images) 

  • Despite helping to establish Liberia, however, the U.S government didn’t recognize the nation until 1862, “because of fears of the impact this might have on the issue of slavery in the United States,” according to the State Department.
  • Liberia’s first president, Joseph Jenkins Roberts, was born and raised in the United States, overseeing a U.S. style of government that excluded indigenous Africans from citizenship until 1904, according to About.com.

    GTY liberia president jtm 140808 16x9 608 Poor Ebola Weary Liberia Has Rich History: 5 Fascinating Facts

                 (Photo Credit: Apic/Getty Images) 

  • With an eye toward home, the founders designed the Liberian flag with red and white stripes and a blue square resembling the U.S. flag, but only one white star that “symbolizes the freedom that the ex-slaves were given and the blue square stands for the African mainland,” according to the Maps of the World website. “The eleven stripes on the flag of Liberia represent the eleven signatories of the Liberian Declaration of Independence.”
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Oscar Pistorius Filing Sets Final Court Showdown http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2014/08/oscar-pistorius-filing-sets-final-court-showdown/ http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2014/08/oscar-pistorius-filing-sets-final-court-showdown/#comments Mon, 04 Aug 2014 15:14:24 +0000 ABC News http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/?p=524208 AP oscar pistorius kab 140714 16x9 608 Oscar Pistorius Filing Sets Final Court Showdown

Alon Skuy/AP Photo


PRETORIA, South Africa – Oscar Pistorius’ legal team filed written final arguments in his murder trial today, setting the stage for one last showdown between his lawyers and the prosecutor later this week.

Prosecutors filed their written arguments last week, arguing that the parlympian sprinter known as the Blade Runner shot his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp to death on Valentine’s Day last year following a loud argument.

Pistorius, 27, has insisted that he fired four times through a closed bathroom door in the overnight incident believing that an intruder was in his house and that he had not meant to kill Steenkamp.

On Thursday, prosecutor Gerrie “the Bull Terrier” Nel will deliver his arguments verbally, while defense lawyer Barry Roux will make his final submissions to Judge Thokozile Masipa and her two assessors on Friday.

The court has prohibited the publication of either side’s arguments before they are delivered at the end of this week, but Nel has already indicated he will argue that Pistorius adjusted his aim after the second bullet missed when he heard a magazine rack move inside the toilet cubicle.

Defense witness Roger Dixon disputed the police ballistics expert’s version of the sequence of shots and Steenkamp’s position when she was first hit, but admitted under cross examination that he is neither a ballistics nor a blood spatter expert.

Pistorius faces weapons charges along with a murder charge. If convicted of the most serious charge, he could be sentenced to at least 25 years in prison.

The judge is expected to indicate on Friday when she will hand down her judgment.



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Woman Takes Six Years of Selfies to Overcome Struggle with Hair-Pulling Disorder http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2014/07/woman-takes-six-years-of-selfies-to-overcome-struggle-with-hair-pulling-disorder/ http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2014/07/woman-takes-six-years-of-selfies-to-overcome-struggle-with-hair-pulling-disorder/#comments Mon, 21 Jul 2014 14:57:01 +0000 ABC News http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/?p=523838  

Selfies are all the rage, but one young woman has had the tenacity to take one of herself every single day for more than six years. However, the reason she’s been so consistent is not one you’d typically expect.

Rebecca Brown, 21, of Essex, England, has taken a picture of herself every day — from age 14 to 21 — putting them together in a video montage all to bravely share her battle with depression and her struggle with trichotillomania disorder, the compulsion to pull out one’s own hair.

Woman With Hair Loss Condition Captures Transformation in Time Lapse Video

She says the video project, which has received more than 5.5 million views on YouTube since it was originally posted on June 8, has immensely helped her deal with overcoming the disorder.

“It’s been pretty scary for me in the last year because I’ve seen myself come out of that darkness,” Brown explained on “GMA LIVE!” today. “Because when I was completely consumed in depression all I could see was black and white. Everything around me was dark, and I honestly didn’t believe there was a light at the end of the tunnel. Whereas now, I’ve seen myself get better. I’ve seen my smile come back. I feel like there is a light.”

Brown says there was no particular trigger that caused her to have trichotillomania disorder.

“For me, I’ve always been depressed but there’s been no pinpoint trauma. It just reached a head,” she explained.

The hair-pulling disorder has even affected celebrities like Katy Perry, Charlize Theron and Justin Timberlake.

At certain points in the video you can see where Brown resorted to shaving her head, wearing wigs to help deal with the battle, but now she’s doing great and hopes her project will help spread awareness of the disease.

Tune in for more viral moments every weekday on ” GMA LIVE! ” at 9 a.m. ET.

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Live Updates: Malaysia Airlines Plane http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2014/07/live-updates-malaysian-airlines-plane/ http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2014/07/live-updates-malaysian-airlines-plane/#comments Thu, 17 Jul 2014 15:55:50 +0000 Colleen Curry http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/?p=523754 A Malaysian Airlines plane has disappeared over Ukraine. This is a breaking news event and ABC News will post live updates to this blog throughout the day as we report and confirm information.

Check back to ABC News to find out the latest on this story.

Get the Latest on the Ukraine Plane Crash at the ABC News Live Blog

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Costa Concordia Floated for Final Voyage — to the Junkyard http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2014/07/costa-concordia-floated-for-final-voyage-to-the-junkyard/ http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2014/07/costa-concordia-floated-for-final-voyage-to-the-junkyard/#comments Mon, 14 Jul 2014 20:23:29 +0000 ABC News http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/?p=523645

After 2.5 years — and nearly $1 billion so far — the giant wreck of the Costa Concordia was lifted off the seabed today and refloated for its final journey to the scrapyard.

“The weather is good. Everyone’s ready off shore,” said Nick Sloane, the engineer and salvage master leading the effort. “So now we just have to go and take advantage of the good weather and lift her off the platforms.”

Click here to see amazing images.

In September, the cruise ship was dragged upright after a 19-hour, first-of-its-kind engineering feat. The Concordia had been resting on six underwater platforms made of steel.

To lift the ship 6 feet today, air had to be pumped into 30 giant metal containers attached to the sides of the vessel.

It was a huge operation, one that had never been attempted.

Related: The Trial of the Captain of the Costa Concordia

In Jan. 13, 2012, 32 people of the 4,200 on board were killed when the cruise ship slammed into a reef near Giglio Island, off the coast of Italy.

On Sunday, an Italian official said a search would begin for the last remaining victim, an Indian waiter who had not yet been found, once the cruise ship was towed away.

Under water,  decay had set in, and the ship poses an environmental danger if  toxic fuel, chemicals as well as waste were spilled into the waters  as the ship is salvaged.

The ship will be towed by tugs starting July 21 for several days to the Italian port of Genoa at a speed of 2 mph where it will be scrapped.

Costa Crociere SpA CEO Michael Tamm estimated that the operation would total $2 billion in the end.

ABC News’ Terry Moran contributed to this story.

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Dramatic Video Shows Young Girls Hurt in Israeli Missile Strike http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2014/07/dramatic-video-shows-young-girls-hurt-in-israeli-missile-strike/ http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2014/07/dramatic-video-shows-young-girls-hurt-in-israeli-missile-strike/#comments Fri, 11 Jul 2014 20:51:19 +0000 Colleen Curry http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/?p=523528

A dramatic video taken in Gaza today shows the aftermath when two young Palestinian sisters were critically wounded when an Israeli missile struck their home.

The girls, ages 7 and 9, were apparently hit mistakenly as the missile was targeting two men in a vehicle across the road, according to the video shot by APTN.

“We were in the house when suddenly we heard the explosion. We didn’t know what happened and the metal was flying into us and struck the two girls. Their father carried them off to the hospital and I still don’t know what has happened to them. The girl, her body was full of holes,” Fawziya Al-Grinawi, mother of the wounded girls, told APTN.

The death toll in Gaza topped 100 today, including more than 20 children during the current crisis. Israel has bombed hundreds of sites in Gaza while dozens of missiles have been fired at Israel, including Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.


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Elephants Shelter Young as Bomb Siren Rings in Israel http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2014/07/elephants-shelter-young-as-bomb-siren-rings-in-israel/ http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2014/07/elephants-shelter-young-as-bomb-siren-rings-in-israel/#comments Fri, 11 Jul 2014 18:11:11 +0000 Colleen Curry http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/?p=523503 A group of elephants were filmed sheltering their young when bomb sirens rang out in Tel Aviv, Israel on Thursday as fighting continues in Israel and Gaza.

The elephants at Ramat gan Safari zoo near Tel Aviv began trumpeting and making other noises as they quickly gathered together when the sirens rang out, placing the young elephants in the middle of the circle with the larger adults on the outside.

The scene was filmed and uploaded by zoo employee Sagit Horowitz.


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Russian Lawmaker Condemns Banknote’s Half-Naked Apollo as Risk to Kids http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2014/07/russian-lawmaker-condemns-banknotes-half-naked-apollo-as-risk-to-kids/ http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2014/07/russian-lawmaker-condemns-banknotes-half-naked-apollo-as-risk-to-kids/#comments Tue, 08 Jul 2014 19:22:42 +0000 Kirit Radia http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/?p=523350 GTY 100 russian ruble sk 140708 16x9 608 Russian Lawmaker Condemns Banknotes Half Naked Apollo as Risk to Kids

                    (Photo Credit: Mark H. Milstein/Bloomberg/Getty Images)

MOSCOW – A Russian lawmaker has reportedly demanded that the country change the design for its 100-ruble note, which features a drawing of the Greek god Apollo depicted naked from the waist down.

In a letter to the Central Bank, Liberal Democratic Party lawmaker Roman Khudyakov wrote that the image showed “intimate parts of the body” and should come with an 18-plus warning like explicit movies.

He said the bill, worth just under $3, could pose a risk to children.

“As bills of that denomination often get into the hands of children as pocket money, I strongly request your help in changing the design of the banknote or otherwise bringing it into accordance with current legislative regulations,” he wrote, according to Izvestia newspaper.

The banknote’s illustration is of the Apollo statue atop the entrance to the famous Bolshoi Theater in Moscow. The statue’s private parts were covered up with a fig leaf during the recent renovation, according to the Moscow Times.

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Kim Jong-Un’s Limp Gets Worldwide Stares http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2014/07/kim-jong-uns-limp-gets-worldwide-stares/ http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2014/07/kim-jong-uns-limp-gets-worldwide-stares/#comments Tue, 08 Jul 2014 13:47:54 +0000 ABC News http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/?p=523320


SEOUL, South Korea – North Korean leader Kim Jong-un limped  onto center stage today to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the death of his grandfather and the nation’s founder, Kim Il-sung. State media broadcasted live footage of the mass memorial, packed with thousands of political and military officials applauding their young leader.

The meeting lasted less than 30 minutes and the camera cut away as he left the stage.

It is yet undetermined what caused Kim’s limp. He recently took a trip to a naval unit to inspect a prized submarine.

New Video Game Pits North Korea’s Kim Jong Un Against US Military

Ladies’ Man: Photos Show Kim Jong-Un Surrounded by Fawning Women

South Korean media closely inspects Kim’s health as his heavy smoking and obesity may lead to health issues.

There are speculations about a scar on Kim’s forehead, rumored to be a plastic surgery mark from an operation to make himself look more like his grandfather who is considered the country’s “eternal president.”

Kim’s father, Kim Jung-il, was also shown walking with a limp in August 2008 after suffering what was thought to be a stroke. He died in December 2011, aged 69.

Kim Il-sung supported a large and incurable tennis-ball sized growth on the back of his neck and forbade the state media to film him from certain angles. He also suffered from heart disease before he died at age 82 in 1994.

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Playable Tetris T-Shirt Is Perfect for Throwback Thursday http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2014/07/playable-tetris-t-shirt-is-perfect-for-throwback-thursday/ http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2014/07/playable-tetris-t-shirt-is-perfect-for-throwback-thursday/#comments Thu, 03 Jul 2014 19:19:41 +0000 ABC News http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/?p=523197

When posting an epic #TBT just isn’t good enough, why not wear one?

In honor of the 30th anniversary of the hugely popular retro game, Marc Kerger of Luxembourg made a completely playable Tetris t-shirt, and it couldn’t be more awesome.

I always wanted a playable t-shirt, well now I made one myself,” he explained on his YouTube page.

Man Creates a Fully Playable Tetris Game Inside a Pumpkin

The video of his vintage-themed shirt is exploding online today, which makes sense because it’s the perfect threads to wear for throwback Thursday.

All it took to create this childhood memory magic was four AA batteries and 128 LED lights.

Game on, Kerger!

To get the scoop on the top stories popping right now, click here.

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