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Pack of Stray Dogs Stand Guard at Animal Lover's Funeral

Patricia Urrutia(NEW YORK) -- A woman who spent her life caring for stray dogs received an unexpected -- and surprising -- tribute from the animals when she died.

At the funeral for Margarita Suárez in Cuernavaca Morelos, Mexico, there was a pack of stray dogs who came inside the funeral home to stand guard.

Suárez's daughter, Patricia Urrutia, told ABC News that they were shocked but delighted by the appearance of the canine celebrants.

Adding to the other-worldliness of the situation was the fact that these stray dogs were not even the same ones that her 71-year-old mother had helped during her lifetime. Suárez lived in Merida Yucatan, but her funeral service was in a town more than 830 miles away, her daughter said.

"They stayed with my mother all day, and then at night they all stayed -- but in the morning when we planned to move my mother for cremation all that remained was one, but then when we arrived at the location to cremate my mother they all came again," Urrutia told ABC News.

She said that the dogs do not normally hang around the funeral home, and that workers there had never seen anything like it before.

"My mom has always been good with all animals and people," Urrutia said. "Always fed the dogs on her block and the 20 stray cats that lived there."

Urrutia posted photos of the scene on her Facebook profile on March 15 and the moving images have been shared across the Internet. As of Monday morning, the post has been shared more than 50,000 times on Facebook and has received more than 192,100 likes.

Urrutia said that the dogs' presence helped her through the difficult day, and it was an unexpected message that she will always remember.

"When I was in a moment of so much pain these dogs that came, they showed me that everything was going to be okay," Urrutia told ABC.

"Because of them we were happy," Urrutia added. "They made a sad situation an incredible one."

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Germanwings Co-Pilot Previously Had Suicidal Thoughts, Prosecutor Says

ABC News / Flight Aware(DUSSELDORF, Germany) — Prosecutors in Germany said Monday that the co-pilot of the downed Germanwings plane had been treated by a psychotherapist because of previous suicidal tendencies.

Dusseldorf prosecutor Christoph Kumpa's update came six days after authorities say Germanwings co-pilot Andreas Lubitz deliberately flew the jetliner into a mountain. Kumpa said that they still do not know the motive of the crash and they have not found a suicide note.

"We have found medical documentation that showed no organic medical illness," Kumpa said.

Few details have been revealed about the psychotherapy in question except that it reportedly occurred before Lubitz received his pilots license, which happened in 2013.

The data and documents that investigators have found, Kumpa said, "don't show any hint of being suicidical [sic] or being aggressive towards other people."

Investigators are focusing on the psychological state of Lubitz, 27, and a 100-person special commission -- dubbed "Alps" -- to investigate his life and collect evidence to identify more than 70 German victims. All told, the plane was carrying 150 people including Lubitz, all of whom died.

Germanwings CEO Olivier Wagner, speaking at a press conference in Marseille, called the crash “The saddest day of my life. The families are always asking me, 'Why had this happened?’ I cannot give them an answer,” Wagner said.

Authorities have said Lubitz hid evidence of an illness from his employers, including a sick note that was found torn up inside his apartment in Dusseldorf dated from the day of the crash.

Frank Woiton, a Germanwings pilot, told German TV station WDR that he saw nothing unusual about Lubitz when he flew with him less than a month ago.

"The impression that I got was that he was a normal guy," Woiton said. "He had plans for the future. He wanted to fly long distance flights for Lufthansa."

A Lufthansa spokesman said the FBI has questioned Lufthansa flight trainers in the U.S. who worked with Lubitz at the Airline Training Center in Arizona. The spokesman would not comment on whether the questioning revolved around trying to reconstruct Lubitz's mental state during his time there.

Philip Bramley, the father of one of the victims in the plane crash, said airlines should take better care of their pilots' welfare.

"I believe the airlines should be more transparent and our finest pilots looked after properly," Bramley said. "We put our lives and our children's lives in their hands."

His 28-year-old son, Paul Bramley, was one of the 150 people killed. Bramley called Lubitz's motive irrelevant while speaking near the site of the crash.

"What is relevant, is that it should never happen again; my son and everyone on that plane should not be forgotten, ever," he said.

In addition to the findings suggesting Lubitz was hiding an illness, a search of his apartment in Dusseldorf yielded no suicide note and the city's prosecutor announced that there was no evidence that political or religious factors were involved in the crash.

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Turkey Detains Five Dutch Citizens Trying to Join ISIS

iStock/Thinkstock(ISTANBUL) -- Turkish military officials say they have detained five Dutch citizens who were attempting to cross the border into Syria to join ISIS.

Nearly 100 Syrian nationals were also caught trying to enter Turkey in recent days, according to the officials.

Thousands of foreigners, including a handful of Americans, have crossed the porous border to Syria to join extremist and rebel groups.

Turkey has come under international criticism for not doing enough to stem the flow of would-be fighters to Syria. However, Turkish officials contend they have stopped tens of thousands of foreigners from entering their country.

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Amanda Knox's Ex Speaks Out After Overturned Conviction

Franco Origlia/Getty Images(ROME) -- Amanda Knox's ex-boyfriend said on Monday he will no longer tolerate being called a murderer after Italy's high court ruled to exonerate him and Knox of murder last week.

Speaking in Italian, Raffaele Sollecito said at a press conference in Rome that he feels like a kidnap victim who after seven years and five months has been freed.

On Friday, Italy's supreme court overturned his and Knox's guilty verdict for the murder of Meredith Kercher.

Sollecito said he doesn't think anyone can imagine what it means to have their life and that of their family's torn to bits. He added that he will never heal from this profound wound.

Sollecito repeated that he never had anything to do with Kercher's murder and that from this moment on, he will never tolerate being called a murderer. If he is, he said he will take the appropriate and necessary actions to stop it.

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Air Canada Hard Landing: Passengers Were 'Lucky,' Officials Say

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (HALIFAX, Nova Scotia) — An Air Canada jet attempting to land at the Halifax international airport Sunday morning touched down about 1,100 feet before the runway, damaging the landing gear, ripping off the nose cone, mangling one wing and the engine and ripping off the other before it skidded to a stop, officials said.

Twenty-five people on board the Air Canada A320 were injured in the hard landing after the jet hit an array antenna on the ground. Considering the significant damage to the plane, it was fortunate that no one was seriously hurt, officials said.

"They touched down 1,100 feet before the runway," Michael Cunningham of the Transportation Safety Board of Canada said. "I'd say they are pretty lucky."

The landing gear came off after the plane hit the runway, according to Cunningham, and the plane then skidded another 1,100 feet on its belly before it came to a stop. The passengers were then evacuated, Cunningham said.

"Didn't hesitate -- just jumped out onto the wing, we started running away from the plane," passenger Dominic Stettler said.

The underside of the plane suffered significant damage, Cunningham said. The nose cone broke off and one of the plane's two engines detached.

"I was really scared," Leon Yu said. "We slid down a thing, and we saw the engine a couple hundred feet from the plane."

Of the 25 passengers and crew members who were hospitalized, all but one had been released as of Sunday afternoon, according to Air Canada.

The TSB will have about 12 to 15 investigators at the scene on Monday.

"It's too early to draw any conclusions about this occurrence," Cunningham said Sunday afternoon.

The black boxes have been recovered and are heading to Ottawa to be analyzed, Cunningham said.

Halifax Stanfield International Airport spokesman Peter Spurway said the pilots were in control of the plane up until the hard landing.

Spurway said there was snow on the runway but it hadn't yet been determined whether that was a factor in the hard landing. The airport also suffered a power interruption around the same time of the incident, but it was unclear whether the two events were related.

"It was safe to land in this weather," said Air Canada Chief Operating Officer Klaus Goersch.

The pilots are 15-year veterans of Air Canada, Goersch added, with "many years" of experience flying the A320.

Goersch said that the plane was checked Saturday, which was its most recent scheduled maintenance check.

The airport was closed to all air traffic for several hours after the crash before reopening.

 

Again, operations are resuming. Expect changes to flight schedules, please check ahead.

— Halifax Airport (@HfxStanfield) March 29, 2015


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Arab League Sets Up Military Force, Backs Saudi Air Strikes in Yemen

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — As their region of the world becomes more unsettled daily, the 22-nation Arab League has announced the formation of a joint military force to deal with security threats faced by any of its members.

At the conclusion of its summit Sunday, the League also issued support for air strikes led by Saudi Arabia against Houthi Shiite rebels in Yemen.

The Arab League said the attacks on Houthi targets should continue until the rebels "withdraw and surrender their weapons."

The air strikes, now in their sixth day, have driven the Houthis from air bases in Yemen, according to Saudi officials.

Yemen's President Abed-Rabbo Mansour Hadi, who fled to Saudi Arabia last week, has accused Iran of stirring up the insurrection by the Houthis, a charge Tehran has denied.

Although a ground invasion of Yemen is still possible by a Saudi Arabia-led coalition, the new Arab League force, which would include 40,000 elite troops, may not be ready in time to join such an effort.

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Tunisia Museum Gunman Killed in Raid

iStock/Thinkstock(TUNIS, Tunisia) — Tunisia's prime minister said Sunday that his military forces have killed one of the gunmen involved in the deadly attack on tourists at the National Bardo Museum two weeks ago.

Khaled Chaieb, also known as Abou Sakhr Lokman, was one of nine militants who died in a raid over the weekend near the border with Algeria.

Prime Minister Habib Essid claimed that Chaieb either led or was among the leaders of the assault on the museum in Tunis that left 21 people dead, most of them foreign nationals.

Two other gunmen were gunned down inside the museum while several others, including Chaieb, were believed to have gotten away.

The Islamic State claimed credit for the museum attack although Tunisian authorities say that the Chaieb belonged to the jihadist group, Okba Ibn Nafaa Brigade.

News of Chaieb's death came during a solidarity protest by thousands against terrorism in Tunisia.

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Talks Coming Down to the Wire to Finalize Iran Nuclear Deal

iStock.Thinkstock(LAUSANNE, Switzerland) — The U.S. and its allies might be close to a deal that would ensure Iran doesn't build nuclear weapons but it remains unclear whether whatever differences that exist can be resolved by Tuesday’s deadline.

Negotiators are in 11th hour talks in Lausanne, Switzerland, to make an agreement happen.

The P5 1 group -- the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council and Germany -- is hoping Iran will agree to enough concessions in exchange for the lifting of crippling economic and political sanctions.

Although German's foreign minister declared that the talks had reached an "endgame," France, which has taken a harder line, expressed doubts that a deal was imminent.

Secretary of State John Kerry said it's time for Iran to make compromises but Tehran appears to be digging in its heels, particularly on the issue of how its nuclear program will move forward and how soon sanctions can be lifted.

Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, an ardent opponent of the negotiations, said Sunday that what appears to be on the table is even worse than he even imagined but without specifying why.

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US And Partners Announce Airstrikes in Syria, Iraq

Ivan Cholakov/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A new round of airstrikes was conducted in Iraq and Syria by U.S. and coalition forces on Saturday.

According to U.S. Central Command, there were 14 airstrikes in Iraq conducted by attack, fighter, bomber and remotely piloted aircraft against ISIS targets. Three airstrikes near Iraq’s second-largest city of Mosul destroyed two tactical units and a building.

Six airstrikes near the Iraqi city of Tikrit destroyed several tactical units and anti-aircraft artillery weapons, according to Centcom.

Coalition aircraft also targeted fighter positions near the western town of Fallujah.

An additional strike was made in Syria near the border town of Kobani, where Centcom says an airstrike destroyed an ISIS tactical unit and vehicle.

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Netanyahu Voices Criticism of Iran Nuclear Talks

Photo by Uriel Sinai/Getty images(JERUSALEM) -- As the clock ticks down in Switzerland on a nuclear talks with Iran, the Israeli leader is again voicing criticism.

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued a strong warning on Sunday against negotiating a nuclear deal with Iran.

Netanyahu said “The Iran-Lausanne-Yeman axis” was very dangerous to humanity and must be stopped.

The comments were made in reference to the Swiss town where the talks are taking place and Yemen, a country where Shi-Houti rebels are said to be backed by Iran.

Netanyahu describes the possible deal as worse than he feared, and claims Iran is trying to conquer the Middle East while pursuing its nuclear ambitions.

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Pope Francis Prays for Germanwings Victims During Palm Sunday Mass

Photo by Franco Origlia/Getty Images(VATICAN CITY) -- As French salvage workers continue to retrieve bodies from the Germanwings crash in France, Pope Francis offered his prayers to the victims of the crash during Palm Sunday celebrations in St. Peter’s Square.

Under a clear blue sky, Pope Francis opened the Christian Holy Week with Palm Sunday in St. Peter’s Square and a payer for those who died in Tuesday’s Germanwing’s plane crash.

Prosecutors say 27-year-old German co-pilot Andreas Lubitz deliberately flew plane into the mountains, killing 149 others.

Among the dead are 16 German high school students whom the pope made special mention of in his prayers.

Holding a simple wooden pastoral staff, the pope stressed humility and service to others, qualities he has tried to demonstrate as pope and encourage among his followers.

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Cities Around The World Mark Earth Hour

Photo by Carsten Koall/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Lights switched off across the world on Saturday as major cities marked World Earth Hour.

Places such as Berlin, Rome, Amman, Jordan, and New York City’s Empire State Building pulled the plug at 8:30 p.m. local time.

“This is not exclusive for the developed countries, or the developing countries so it’s affecting all,” said climate change researchers Hussein Al-Kiswani in Amman, Jordan.

Organizers estimate that more than 7,000 events were held around the globe.

“The event is resembling the fact that we are united together all over the world to fight this phenomenon,” said Al-Kiswani.

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Air Canada Plane Skids Off Halifax Runway; 23 Injured

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (HALIFAX, Nova Scotia) -- Twenty-three passengers and crew members on board an A320 Air Canada flight were hospitalized Sunday when the plane experienced a hard landing at the Halifax international airport.

The plane, incoming from Toronto, skidded off the runway upon landing early Sunday local time, said Halifax Stanfield International Airport spokesman Peter Spurway. He said the pilots were in control of the plane up until the hard landing.

All but one of the injured passengers had been released from the hospital as of Sunday afternoon, according to Air Canada.

The cause has not been determined, an Air Canada spokesman said Sunday afternoon. The Transportation Safety Board of Canada is investigating.

Spurway said there was snow on the runway but it hadn't yet been determined whether that was a factor in the hard landing. The airport also suffered a power interruption around the same time of the incident, but it was unclear whether the two events were related.

"It was safe to land in this weather," an An Air Canada spokesman said.

The pilots are 15-year veterans of Air Canada, the airline spokesman added, with "many years" of experience flying the A320.

He said that the plane was checked Saturday, which was its most recent scheduled maintenance check.

The airport was closed to all air traffic for several hours after the crash before reopening.


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Germanwings Crash Co-Pilot Seemed Like a 'Normal Guy,' Fellow Pilot Says

Photo by Adam Berry/Getty Images(DÜSSELDORF, Germany) -- A German pilot who recently flew with the co-pilot accused by French prosecutors of deliberately crashing a Germanwings plane said he seemed like a "normal guy," and he "had plans for the future."

French prosecutors have said co-pilot Andreas Lubitz deliberately slammed the passenger plane into a mountain on Tuesday. Authorities have since said he hid evidence of an illness from his employers, including a sick note that was found torn up inside his apartment in Dusseldorf dated from the day of the crash.

Frank Woiton, a Germanwings pilot, told German TV station WDR that he saw nothing unusual about Lubitz when he flew with him less than a month ago.

"The impression that I got was that he was a normal guy," Woiton said. "He had plans for the future. He wanted to fly long distance flights for Lufthansa."

German State Prosecutor Christoph Kumpa said on Friday that "a torn-up current sick note ... valid for the day of the incident" had been found inside Lubitz's apartment in Dusseldorf, adding that it "would -- according to preliminary evaluation -- support the assumption that the [pilot] had concealed his illness towards his employer and his occupational environment."

Kumpa said the note found indicated Lubitz, 27, "was declared by a medical doctor unfit to work."

The disclosure of torn medical documents at the co-pilot's home came shortly before Germanwings' parent company, Lufthansa, announced that it would be changing company policy to require two "authorized persons" remain in the cockpit at all times during the flight, in light of the finding that Lubitz apparently stopped the captain from re-entering the cockpit and forced the plane to crash.

In addition to the findings suggesting Lubitz was hiding an illness, a search of his apartment in Dusseldorf yielded no suicide note and the city's prosecutor announced that there was no evidence that political or religious factors were involved in the crash.

The New York Times reported that Lubitz sought treatment for vision problems that may have put his future as a pilot at risk, two officials with knowledge of the investigation told the newspaper.

It's unclear how severe the eye problems were but one official with knowledge of the investigation hadn't ruled out that it was caused or enhanced by psychological factors, the Times reported.

ABC News was unable to independently confirm the report.

Dusseldorf University Hospital said Lubitz was a patient there and his last visit was two weeks before the crash. The hospital denied that the treatment was related to depression, but they have handed over all of his medical records to German investigators.

During a news conference on Thursday, the Lufthansa CEO said that Lubitz had undergone a medical examination that included a psychological evaluation before being hired in 2013 but, unlike physicals, mental evaluations are not required annually.

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Amanda Knox 'Grateful' Conviction Overturned

ABC News(SEATTLE) -- After Italy's highest court decided to overturn Amanda Knox's reconviction in connection with her roommate's slaying, Knox said late Friday she was still processing the court's decision.

"I just wanted to say that I am incredibly grateful for what has happened, for the justice I've received, for the support that I've had from everyone," Knox told reporters. "What comes to mind is my gratitude for that life that has been given to me."

Knox, 27, was initially convicted by an Italian court of killing British student Meredith Kercher in 2007, but that decision was overturned on appeal in October 2011 after she had spent four years in prison.

She was then reconvicted last year and an appeal of the reconviction began this month. There is no possibility of any further appeals after Friday’s ruling.

"Meredith was my friend and she deserved so much in this life," Knox told reporters.

Knox has rebuilt her life in her hometown of Seattle, writing freelance theater reviews for a local paper and working at a bookstore. In February, her family said that she was engaged to Colin Sutherland, a friend whom she has known since middle school.

Her ex-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito faced the same appeal and was also annulled. While he has been present in the Rome court throughout the week, Knox has remained in America.

"I will never go willingly back," she told ABC News in January 2014.


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