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At Least Five Killed, 30 Injured in Afghanistan Attack on British Embassy Vehicle


Photo by Haroon Sabawoon/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images(KABUL, Afghanistan) -- At least five people were killed and 30 injured in an attack on a British Embassy vehicle in Kabul on Thursday.

United Kingdom Foreign Secretary Philip Hammon confirmed the attack, announcing the death of a British national civilian security team member and an Afghan national working for the Embassy. A second British member of the security team was injured in the attack.

"I condemn this appalling attack on innocent civilians supporting our diplomatic activity," Hammond said. "This outrage brings home to us once again the courage and perseverance of the people of Afghanistan and members of the international community who support them, who have lived together through decades of conflict."

BBC News reports that three other Afghans were killed and at least 30 more were injured in the attack.

"We will not allow such inhumanity to deter us from continuing our partnership with the Government of Afghanistan," Hammond vowed. "I have nothing but admiration for the staff of the Embassy, British and Afghan, who work at great personal risk to help build a better future for Afghanistan."

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Special Ops Team Frees Al Qaeda Hostages from Yemeni Cave in Raid


PeterHermesFurian/iStockphoto/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- A team of U.S. special operations forces conducted a joint raid in a remote region of Yemen Tuesday to rescue eight hostages being held in a cave by al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

Elements of the Navy’s elite SEAL Team Six participated in the daring pre-dawn raid in a remote region near the border with Saudi Arabia.

A U.S. official confirmed that about two dozen U.S. special operations forces and a team of Yemeni counterterrorism troops conducted a raid early Tuesday morning near the border with Saudi Arabia that rescued six Yemenis, a Saudi and an Ethiopian. It was unclear how long the hostages had been held by the al Qaeda affiliate.

Another U.S. official told ABC News that elements of the Navy’s elite SEAL Team Six participated in the raid. SEAL Team Six is the elite special operations unit involved in high-risk missions including the raid that killed Osama bin Laden.

The U.S. official said the special operations team was inserted into the remote border region by helicopter then made its way to a cave where the hostages were rescued after a firefight that killed seven al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) fighters. The teams then evacuated the area by helicopter.

On Tuesday, the Yemeni government confirmed the raid in Hadhramaut Province but said only Yemeni counterterrorism forces had participated. The U.S. participation in the rescue was first reported by The New York Times.

Pentagon officials referred questions about the raid to Yemeni authorities on Tuesday.

“I would just tell you we continue to support Yemeni counterterrorism efforts and would refer you to them to talk to any operations,” Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby told reporters at a Pentagon briefing.

For several years, the U.S. military’s elite Joint Special Operations Command has conducted drone strikes against AQAP targets inside Yemen.

This raid could be the first known instance where American forces have conducted a ground raid inside Yemen.

The Yemeni government has authorized the American military drone strikes, though it has painted them as airstrikes conducted by Yemen’s air force.

Yemen has been beset in recent months by sectarian battles, as a Shiite rebel group from northern Yemen known as the Houthi has battled the Yemeni government for more autonomy. The group has taken over parts of the capital of Sanaa and attempted to recapture territory in the southern part of the country controlled by AQAP.

The violence in the capital has led to the occasional downsizing of U.S. embassy personnel in Sanaa.

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Egypt Temporarily Opens Border Crossing into Gaza


iStock/Thinkstock(JERUSALEM) -- Egypt opened the Rafah border crossing into Gaza on Wednesday for the first time in over a month.

More than 3,500 Gazans stranded on the Egyptian side are expected to come home on Wednesday and Thursday.

Egypt closed the border after suspicions that Hamas helped terrorists in Sinai carry out a deadly attack last month that left more than 30 Egyptian security officers dead.  

Palestinian leaders are calling on Egypt to extend the border opening beyond just two days, saying Gazans not only need to come home, they need to go into Egypt for medical and professional reasons.

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Queen Elizabeth Offers Warm Welcome to Guests with Help from Heater


Chris Jackson/Getty Images(LONDON) -- She may possess a vast fortune and masterpieces on her wall, but that doesn't mean she's not frugal when it comes to heating costs.

Queen Elizabeth was presented Wednesday with a lifetime achievement award for her devotion to equestrian sport by Princess Haya of Jordan at Buckingham Palace -- but it was her electric heater insider her ornate fireplace that got some attention.

The small heater has garnered notice in the past.

Last year, The Express newspaper reported on the heater, saying, "It is just the heater you might find in any student bedsitter. But despite her...personal fortune, the 86-year-old monarch is as cost-conscious as any other pensioner."

No word on whether Princess Haya noticed the small heater.

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US Military Launches 17 Airstrikes Against ISIS in Syria, Iraq


iStock/Thinkstock(TAMPA, Fla.) -- The U.S. military continued its attack against Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) targets in Iraq and Syria this week, conducting 17 more airstrikes on Nov. 24-26.

According to U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM), 10 of the strikes were in Syria, near Kobani. They destroyed four staging areas and six fighting positions, and hit a fighting position, a large unit and two tactical units.

In Iraq, the remaining seven airstrikes destroyed a bulldozer, two vehicles, three buildings and a fighting position, and struck a large unit near Mosul; destroyed a tank, a HMMWV and a vehicle, and hit two units near Kirkuk; destroyed a HMMWV and a vehicle near Sinjar; damaged a checkpoint near Ramadi; destroyed a vehicle and damaged another near Bayji.

CENTCOM said all the aircraft used in the attacks managed to exit the areas safely.

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Canada Joins Twitter


iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Canada joined Twitter Wednesday in the most polite way -- quietly and with little fanfare.

Our neighbors to the north, who claimed the @Canada Twitter handle, have amassed a steady following since their launch Wednesday morning, gaining more than 20,000 followers in their first few hours.

 

.@Canada's now on Twitter, eh! pic.twitter.com/OQAAYohuwL

— Canada (@Canada) November 26, 2014

 

Known for Tim Horton's, Rob Ford and hockey, @Canada tweeted the account will be used to show off "everything that makes Canada the best country in the world."

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Will Pope Francis Get Involved with Talks with ISIS?


iStock Editorial/Thinkstock(STRASBOURG, France) -- Pope Francis on Tuesday said he wouldn't say no to the possibility of talks with the militant Islamist group ISIS.

The pope made the comment after a speech to European leaders in Strasbourg, France on how to fight religious fundamentalism.

Francis called persecution against religious minorities around the world deplorable. But he said the only way to counteract the rise of fundamentalism in Europe is to encourage openness and inclusivity.

The pope added that Europe's roots in different faiths are an antidote to extremism and that the thousands of migrants arriving in Europe each month must receive better treatment.

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UK Couple Arrested on Suspicion of Terror Offenses


iStock/Thinkstock(LONDON) -- Police arrested a couple from Walsall, U.K. on Tuesday night on terror charges.

According to the West Midlands Police, the pair was detained as they disembarked a flight from Istanbul at Heathrow International Airport. The couple was identified only as a 20-year-old man and a 19-year-old woman.

Police say the flight was never at risk, and that the arrest was planned ahead of time. Detectives are also searching a pair of addresses in Walsall.

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WATCH: Water Buffalo Attacks Biker, Pedestrians and Cars in China


iStock/Thinkstock(BEIJING) -- A water buffalo tore through a small southwestern Chinese town in a mad rampage Sunday, chasing down pedestrians and injuring at least 14 bystanders.

In surveillance video footage released by state media, the water buffalo is seen wandering in the center of town in Jingyan County located in China’s Sichuan province.

In one shot, the buffalo is shown setting its sights on resident Liang Cuirong who was riding past on her bicycle. The animal chased Liang, knocked her off the bike and trampled her repeatedly.

The buffalo also reportedly chased another resident before damaging cars and chasing down more passersby.

It took four police officers and 10 rounds to take down the buffalo and end the 40-minute-long bovine panic.

“We took aim at its head,” Huang Tao, one of the police officers who brought down the buffalo, told state media. “Shot it until it fell down.”

Water buffalos are used in the region to till soil. It remains unknown how this particular animal ended up in the middle of Jingyan but authorities are investigating.

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Dozens Arrested at Pro-Democracy Protests in Hong Kong


Photo by Lucas Schifres/Getty Images(MONG KOK, Hong Kong) -- Dozens of people were arrested on Tuesday in Hong Kong after police cracked down on pro-democracy protesters.

According to a press release from the Hong Kong government, police assisted bailiffs in executing an injunction order after protesters had confronted officers and tried to obstruct roads. The government says that 86 people were arrested for crimes including unlawful assembly, assaulting police, possession of an offensive weapon and obstructing police.

Among the weapons found at the protests include an axe, an iron hammer and a crowbar. Nine police officers were injured in the operation.

The government is urging people not to assemble unlawfully, block roads or charge at police. Additionally, non-protesters should avoid the areas where protests have occurred to "avoid unnecessary injuries."

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British Govt. Fighting to Stop Prince CharlesÂ’ Secret Letters from Publication


Thomas Niedermueller/Getty Images(LONDON) -- When Prince Charles made rare public comments to criticize the lack of Shakespeare teaching in state school curricula, the British government was not too happy.

Now, it appears Prince Charles subsequently sent a letter to Britain's education minister of the time to apologize for not giving prior notice of his views and also to detail his perspectives on education policy, according to an ongoing case involving the government and a British journalist who filed a freedom of information request in 2005 to access the prince's correspondences.

If the letters from Prince Charles to seven government offices are published, it could be a problem for the heir because it might jeopardize the throne's traditional political neutrality, according to former Attorney General Dominic Grieve. As attorney general, Grieve blocked an earlier court decision to reveal the letters, dubbed the "black spider memos" because of the prince's small writing.

The government has put up a tough fight for nine years against Guardian journalist Rob Evans to stop publication of the letters.

This week, hearings on the matter at the United Kingdom's Supreme Court could be the government's last fight.

"My request was driven by a wish for transparency," said Evans to ABC News. "The monarchy should be neutral. So, are they really?"

At the core of the case is whether public interest is sufficient to warrant publication of confidential letters, and who has the final word on what the public interest is.

"Confidentiality should be the starting point," said the Guardian's lawyer, Dinah Rose. "But an Upper Tribunal ruled that the public interest from a public figure was sufficient to overrule it."

"Advocacy letters are very different to personal letters," said Rose, who added Charles "sees himself as performing a public function."

Evans sought disclosure of a number of written communications between the prince and the following government departments between 2004 and 2005: Business, Innovation and Skills; Health; Children, School and Families; Environment, Food and Rural Affairs; Culture, Media and Sport; Northern Ireland and Cabinet Office.

When Evans' request was denied by the information commissioner, the journalist appealed to the Britain's Upper Tribunal. In Sept. 2012, the tribunal ruled that the Prince's communications should be disclosed to the extent that they fell into a category defined as "advocacy correspondence," according to legal documents seen by ABC News.

However, Grieve, who as attorney general was a member of government and had an advisory role, vetoed the court's decision. He said the public could interpret the letters to be disagreeing with government policy, which would be seriously damaging to Charles' role as a likely future monarch, according to legal documents.

The overruling of an independent and impartial court by a government minister is extremely rare in the U.K., and this week's hearing will determine whether he acted lawfully and on reasonable grounds.

The case addresses the question of whether public interest is best guarded by the judiciary or the executive branch of British government.

According to Rose, "Parliament has given little consideration" to the veto power given to an executive.

"The Upper Tribunal is much better equipped than a minister to make a decision," said Rose, adding a minister only gives "an opinion based on cabinet consultations."

The constitutional power to veto a court decision was given to the attorney general to protect the public interest where real and significant issues arise, said government lawyer James Eadie, who said it had followed a "carefully considered, deliberate decision" from parliament.

Prince Charles is known for his strong opinions on a range of topics from education to farming and health. Last week, The Guardian ran a long piece on how Charles would reset the sovereign's role by making heartfelt public interventions when he becomes king.

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State Department Says US Has 2 'Narrow Missions' in Afghanistan Next Year


iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- State Department Press Office Director Jeff Rathke says that after 2014, the United States will work on two "narrow missions" in Afghanistan.

Rathke said, "The United States and NATO will transition to a non-combat mission of training, advising and assisting the Afghan National Security Forces -- that's the first. And second, the United States will continue to maintain a counter-terrorism capability in Afghanistan."

Most Western combat troops are set to leave Afghanistan by the end of this year.

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France Suspends Delivery of Warship to Russia


iStock/Thinkstock(PARIS) -- As the Ukraine situation continues to fester, France has decided to suspend the delivery of a warship to Russia.

Until further notice, the first of two warships will remain in a French port and will not be handed over to the Russians.

A statement from President Hollande's office stops short of cancelling the deal. At stake is thousands of jobs and a contract worth more than $1.25 billion.

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Two Minneapolis Men Charged with Trying to Help ISIS


Digital Vision/Thinkstock(MINNEAPOLIS) -- The FBI has arrested a Minneapolis college student and charged another man -- who is still overseas -- for allegedly being part of a conspiracy to help ISIS, authorities said.

Abdullah Yusuf, 18, of Inver Grove Heights, Minnesota, was arrested Tuesday as part of a broader FBI investigation in Minnesota targeting “numerous individuals” there who have tried to join ISIS or had successfully made their way to war-torn Syria and Iraq, where the terrorist group is wreaking havoc and radicalizing others around the world through online propaganda.

According to federal authorities, Yusuf knew another Minnesota man who went to Syria in March -- and two months later Yusuf tried to go there himself.

This past spring, Yusuf obtained a passport and bought an airline ticket to Turkey, where he would find his way into Syria, according to federal prosecutors.

On May 28, after his father dropped him off at school, Yusuf made his way to the airport, but the FBI caught up to him there and told him he couldn’t leave for Turkey, authorities said.

Charges against 20-year-old Abdi Nur were also announced on Tuesday. According to charging documents, he left for Turkey in May. He was supposed to return to the United States in June, but he never came back.

“More than 16,000 recruits from over 90 countries traveled to Syria to become foreign terrorist fighters with alarming consequences,” said the head of the Justice Department National Security Division, John Carlin. "This is a global crisis and we will continue our efforts to prevent Americans from joining the fight and to hold accountable those who provide material support to foreign terrorist organizations.”


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Italy's First Ebola Patient Arrives in Rome


iStock/Thinkstock(ROME) -- Italy's first Ebola patient arrived in Rome on Tuesday after contracting the virus in Sierra Leone.

The 50-year-old doctor got the virus while working at a clinic run in the African country by the non-profit organization Emergency.

The doctor was flown to Rome in a sealed unit aboard a military plane. Italian authorities say he doesn't have a fever yet.

So far, 5,500 people, mostly in West Africa, have died from Ebola this year.

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