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Hemera/Thinkstock(FARINDOLA, Italy) — Emergency rescuers were able to experience some joy in their search and recovery efforts after the avalanche that struck last week near a hotel in central Italy. The rescuers broke down a wall to retrieve three puppies buried alive for at least five days in an avalanche in central Italy.

The Abruzzo shepherd puppies, all born in December, were found buried alive in the hotel’s boiler room. The puppies are in good health.

The search for avalanche survivors, now in its sixth day, continues as emergency personnel work to locate 23 people still trapped in the hotel. Eleven people so far have been rescued, with five deceased recovered.


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ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Sen. John McCain praised President Donald Trump's cabinet picks and revealed he will vote in favor of Rex Tillerson, Trump's pick to lead the State Department, despite concerns about the nominee's relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

"I will be voting in favor of his nomination," McCain said of Tillerson in an interview Sunday with ABC News' George Stephanopoulos on This Week.

"Listen, this wasn't an easy call. But I also believe that when there's doubt the president, the incoming president, gets the benefit of the doubt, and that's the way I've treated every president that I've had the obligation to vote for or against as a member of the United States Senate."

Sen. John McCain and his fellow Republican foreign policy hawk Sen. Lindsey Graham released a joint statement Sunday supporting Tillerson's nomination.

"After careful consideration, and much discussion with Mr. Tillerson, we have decided to support his nomination to be secretary of state. Though we still have concerns about his past dealings with the Russian government and President Vladimir Putin, we believe that Mr. Tillerson can be an effective advocate for U.S. interests," the statement said.

But, another prominent Republican senator has still apparently not made up his mind on Tillerson.

Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, a key member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee who sharply questioned Tillerson on Russia's involvement in Syria during the confirmation hearing, has not decided whether to vote for Tillerson, according to Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker of Tennessee, who spoke to Rubio on Friday.

Rubio has met with Tillerson privately since the hearing, the senator's office said. He's also met with Vice President Mike Pence on the subject, according to Corker.

Wihtout Rubio's vote, Tillerson's nomination would not move out of committee. Republican leadership could still hold a full Senate vote and confirm him, especially now that he has McCain and Graham's public support, but it would be an embarrassing bruise for Trump administration.

McCain also praised some of Trump's other Cabinet picks on This Week, saying he has the "utmost confidence" in Trump's national security team, in particular.

"I have the utmost confidence in Gen. Mattis, Gen. Flynn, Gen. Kelly, Dan Coats. I couldn't have picked a better team," he said.

But, the Arizona senator did not have the same praise for the president himself.

Asked by Stephanopoulos if he has the "utmost confidence" in the commander-in-chief, McCain, who chairs the Senate Armed Services Committee, replied, "I don't know because he has made so many comments that are contradictory."

"I think the fact that he's appointed and nominated these outstanding individuals is bound to be an encouraging sign," McCain added. "I trust them, and I believe in them, and I've worked with them over many years.

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iStock/Thinkstock(BANJUL, Gambia) -- More than $11 million is missing from the Gambia's state coffers after the country's longtime leader flew into exile, an adviser to the new president, Adama Barrow, said according to BBC.

The Gambia's leader of 22 years, Yahya Jammeh, had refused to leave the country, but agreed to exit after talks with regional leaders, BBC reports. Jammeh cited "irregularities" in the vote after initially conceding the election to Barrow in a huge upset.

Adviser Mai Ahmad Fatty said to reporters the Gambia's coffers were "virtually empty" ahead of Barrow's arrival to the country, adding that it was "confirmed by technicians in the ministry of finance and the Central Bank of the Gambia," according to BBC.

Jammeh was criticized by human rights groups for reportedly restricting freedom of the press, calling for anti-gay violence, and for claiming he could cure HIV/AIDS and infertility. Barrow said he would investigate the allegations.

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RONEN ZVULUN/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- President Donald Trump invited Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Washington next month, the prime minister's office said Sunday, making the Israeli one of the first foreign leaders with whom Trump will have met after taking office.

During a phone call on Sunday, one of Trump's first with a foreign leader since assuming the presidency Friday, Trump and Netanyahu discussed "the nuclear deal with Iran, the peace process with the Palestinians and other issues," Netanyahu's office said in a statement.

Trump also invited the Israeli prime minister to visit Washington in February, with a final date to be determined in the coming days, the statement said.

The call was the third Trump has held with a foreign leader since Friday, according to the White House. He previously spoke with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said Saturday.

British Prime Minister Theresa May is scheduled to meet with Trump in the Oval Office on Friday -- which would be Trump's first meeting with a foreign leader -- and Pena Nieto is set to meet with Trump at the end of the month.

Netanyahu and former President Barack Obama long had a frosty relationship, but Netanyahu has signaled he looked forward to working with Obama's successor. His office characterized their conversation as "warm."

"There are many issues between us including the Israeli-Palestinian issue, the situation in Syria and the Iranian threat," Netanyahu tweeted Sunday, before the call. "Stopping the Iranian threat, and the threat reflected in the bad nuclear agreement with Iran, continues to be a supreme goal of Israel."

Trump has said he would move the United States' embassy to Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, which Israel considers its capital, a move Palestinians and Israel's other Arab neighbors have warned could prove destructive to the peace process.

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iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The United States will not send a delegation to Syria peace talks in Kazakhstan, citing "Our presidential inauguration and the immediate demands of the transition," the State Department announced Saturday. However, the United States ambassador to Kazakhstan will be an observer to the talks being sponsored by Russia, Turkey and Iran.

"The U.S. Government this week received an invitation from the Government of Kazakhstan to attend the January 23 talks in Astana," said Mark Toner, the acting State Department spokesman. "We welcome and appreciate Kazakhstan’s invitation to participate as an observer.

"Given our presidential inauguration and the immediate demands of the transition, a delegation from Washington will not be attending the Astana conference," Toner said. "The United States will be represented by our Ambassador to Kazakhstan."

Toner added, "The United States is committed to a political resolution to the Syrian crisis through a Syrian-owned process, which can bring about a more representative, peaceful, and united Syria."

Scheduled to begin on Monday, the talks in Kazakhstan's capital of Astana will bring together representatives from the Syrian government and rebels groups. Russia, Turkey and Iran arranged the talks following a ceasefire in the Syrian civil war enabled by the defeat of rebel forces in the northern city of Aleppo. Russian airstrikes and Iranian advisers supported the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the fight over the city.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee has yet to schedule a vote on Rex Tillerson's nomination to become the next Secretary of State that would lead to a full confirmation vote by the Senate.

For now, Thomas Shannon, a career diplomat and the previous under secretary for political and military affairs, is serving as acting secretary of state.

Last week, then Secretary of State John Kerry had urged the incoming Trump administration to attend the peace talks.

"My hope is the next administration will decide to go," he said. "I think it would be good for them to go."

Kerry told reporters traveling with him in Paris that he hoped the Astana talks would not be a substitute for stalled United Nations-led peace talks being held in Geneva, Switzerland, but would spur their resumption.

Reflecting the complexity of the Syrian Civil War, there is disagreement among the participants in the Astana talks about whether the United States should have participated.

While Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov had expressed hope that the U.S. would participate in the talks, Iran opposed any American participation.

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ALFREDO ESTRELLA/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Mexican drug lord Juan "El Chapo" Guzman is now in one of the most secure prisons in the U.S. after he was extradited to the U.S. late Thursday.

Guzman, who is a leader of Mexico's Sinaloa drug cartel, is accused of running a "criminal enterprise responsible for importing into the United States and distributing massive amounts of illegal narcotics and for conspiring to murder people who posed a threat to the narcotics enterprise," according to a statement from the U.S. Department of Justice.

Officials allege Guzman committed crimes involving drug trafficking spanning over three decades. Robert Capers, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York said Friday that Guzman led a "life of crime, violence, death and destruction" and continued to grow his drug empire during his time in prison.

Guzman has escaped from prison twice; once in 2001 and a second time in 2015. He was recaptured in January 2016 and is now behind bars at New York City's Metropolitan Correctional Center, which has housed mobster John Gotti and associates of Osama Bin Laden.

On Friday he pleaded not guilty to the 17-count indictment and is expected back in court next month.


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iStock/Thinkstock(LACOLLE, Canada) -- A number of Canadians travelling to the massive women's rights rally in Washington were turned away at the border according to BBC News. Some say they were questioned before being allowed into the country.

Sasha Dyck, who was heading to Washington D.C., told the BBC that US officials stopped him and seven others who were crossing between Quebec and New York state. Dyck alleges he was fingerprinted, photographed, and had his phones confiscated and was asked they be unlocked and was then told to go "back to Canada."

BBC reports Joseph Decunha from Montreal he was turned away at the Lacolle crossing point after he expressed he, his partner, and his friend "were quite vehemently anti-(Trump)."

US Customs and Border Protection told BBC News it was not at liberty to discuss individual cases.

Hundreds of Canadians travelled into the United States to participate in rallies while thousands of others are taking part in companion rallies across Canadian cities.

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Sean Gallup / Getty Images(KOBLENZ, Germany) -- Leader of the French National Front Marine Le Pen told right-wing politicians in Germany that patriotism is the future of European politics according to a BBC News report.

In attendance were Dutch politician Geert Wilders of the anti-immigration Freedom Party (PVV), Frauke Petry of the anti-immigration Alternative for Germany (AfD), Harald Vilimsky of the Freedom Party of Austria and Matteo Salvini of Italy's anti-EU Northern League.

BBC News reports the meeting between right-wing politicians was met by hundreds of protesters.

Le Pen dubbed 2017 the "year of the awakening," a time during which she predicts France, Germany, and the Netherlands will reject the political establishment and elect nationalist and anti-immigrant policies.

Each of those three countries are facing upcoming elections this year. Le Pen is a presidential candidate in France, where current president Francois Hollande will not seek re-election.

She said Britain's vote to leave the European Union in 2016 will have a domino effect across Europe, adding that there will be a "return of nation-states."

Geert Wilders was quoted opening the meeting with the statement, "Yesterday, a new America. Today... a new Europe.

The meeting comes a day after the inauguration of Donald Trump as president of the United States.

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ALAIN JOCARD/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) --  Less than 24 hours after President Donald Trump was sworn into office, tens of thousands of people gathered in the U.S. capital for the Women’s March on Washington.

Outside of Washington, D.C., so-called sister marches are taking place in every state across the nation and in dozens of other countries around the world.

Some 673 sister marches are planned worldwide. Total attendance could surpass 2.5 million, based on online RSVP estimates, according to the Women’s March on Washington website. The marches spanned all 50 U.S. states, several U.S. territories and at least 60 countries across all seven continents.

“It was clear from week one this was going to be a global movement,” said Evvie Harmon, co-founder and global coordinator of the Women’s March on Washington. “It’s like the women of the world were sitting on a powder keg and Donald Trump lit the match.”

Organizers said the sister marches are solidarity events inspired by the Women’s March on Washington and planned by volunteers around the globe. These marches are taking place “as part of a united proactive international stance on women’s equality worldwide,” according to a press release from Women’s March Global.

Sister Marches Across U.S. Cities

Organizers of the Women’s March on Washington urged people around the globe to join or host a sister march if they can’t make it to the U.S. capital. One of the largest is taking place in New York City, where participants will end the march at Trump Tower in Midtown Manhattan.

In Georgia, thousands are expected to participate in the women’s march in downtown Atlanta this afternoon, according to ABC affiliate WSB-TV.

In Massachusetts, organizers anticipated as many as 80,000 participants for the sister march in Boston. Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a harsh critic of Trump, is expected to be among the attendees, according to ABC affiliate WCVB.

Leah Charney of Colorado said she’ll be participating along with her family and friends in a sister march planned in Denver.

"For me, it’s about showing up and being counted and being visible," Charney told ABC affiliate KMGH on Friday night while working on her sign for the rally.

The event’s organizers told KMGH the Denver rally isn’t just about women’s rights, but also about supporting all human rights, minorities and other marginalized communities.

Ramona Brant of Charlotte, North Carolina, traveled to Washington, D.C., for the women’s march. But a sister march is also taking place in her hometown Saturday morning.

“We want to be respected and honored in our position in corporate, as mothers and we don’t want to be disrespected by any man anywhere at any time,” Brant told ABC affiliate WSOC.

In Chicago, as many as 75,000 were expected to participate in the march. The organizers said they’ve been in “constant contact” with the Chicago Police Department as well as city officials to ensure a peaceful demonstration.

"It's about more than the election of the president; it's about the mindset which led to his election." organizer Jessica Scheller told ABC affiliate WLS.

Sister Marches Around the Globe

Meanwhile, sister marches took place in South America, Africa, Europe, Asia, Australia and even Antarctica, according to organizers.

In Kenya, organizers of the march in Nairobi cited Trump’s election as a threat to human and civil rights.

"The recent elections in the United States have shown how real the threat is to our collective rights and liberties,” the organizers stated on the event’s Facebook page. “We march together for the protection of our rights, our safety, our families, our health and the health of our planet—recognizing that our vibrant and diverse communities are the strength of our society.”

 In Germany, marchers descended on Berlin, saying they “will not rest until women have parity and equity at all levels of leadership in society,” according to the event’s Facebook page.

Gloria Steinem, who addressed the Women’s March on Washington, relayed a message to Americans from the marchers in Germany: “We in Berlin know that walls don’t work.”

 In Czech Republic, hundreds gathered in freezing temperatures for the march in Prague, waving portraits of Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin and carrying banners that read, "This is just the beginning," "Kindness" and "Love."

"We are worried about the way some politicians talk, especially during the American elections," organizer Johanna Nejedlova told The Associated Press.

In Australia, thousands of people marched in solidarity in Sydney, according to the AP. Organizers stated on the event’s Facebook page that they are marching “to raise our voices in defense of women’s rights and against hatred and bigotry.”

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Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Donald Trump was officially sworn in as the 45th president of the United States at the Capitol Friday, and leaders from around the world offered well wishes and congratulations to America's new commander in chief.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tweeted his congratulations to his "friend."

Congrats to my friend President Trump. Look fwd to working closely with you to make the alliance between Israel&USA stronger than ever 🇮🇱🇺🇸

— Benjamin Netanyahu (@netanyahu) January 20, 2017

The head of the U.K. Independence Party and leader of the Brexit movement, Nigel Farage, had kind words for Trump's inaugural address, tweeting, "A very strong speech by @POTUS. He means it."

A very strong speech by @POTUS. He means it.

— Nigel Farage (@Nigel_Farage) January 20, 2017

However, not everyone was in a congratulatory mood.

Former Mexican President Vicente Fox took to Twitter to criticize America's new president.

"Speaking of allegiance, Trump? Speaking of greatness? Speaking of success? America was already great and succesful [sic], then you happened!" Fox tweeted.

Speaking of allegiance, Trump? Speaking of greatness? Speaking of success? America was already great and succesful, then you happened!

— Vicente Fox Quesada (@VicenteFoxQue) January 20, 2017

Fox, who has sparred with Trump on Twitter before, also tweeted, "Let America build bridges and railways in their land. The World will continue to go on building bridges and much more all over the globe."

Pope Francis sent the 45th president of the United States a message of "cordial good wishes" on the day of his inauguration.

"I pray that your decisions will be guided by the rich spiritual and ethical values that have shaped the history of the American people and your nation’s commitment to the advancement of human dignity and freedom worldwide," the pope wrote.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe issued a statement extending his "heartfelt congratulations" to President Trump on being sworn in to office.

“Please accept my best wishes for your great success, as well as for health and happiness of you and your family," the statement said.

He also noted that he's looking forward to meeting with Trump "at the earliest possible occasion."

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also offered his congratulations to President Trump in a statement.

“We look forward to working with President Trump, the U.S. Administration, the 115th Congress, and officials at the state and local levels to restore prosperity to the middle class on both sides of the border, and to create a safer and more peaceful world," Trudeau said.

Narendra Modi, the prime minister of India, sent his best wishes to President Trump on Twitter.

 

Congratulations @realDonaldTrump on assuming office as US President. Best wishes in leading USA to greater achievements in the coming years.

— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) January 20, 2017

 

"Best wishes in leading USA to greater achievements in the coming years," he wrote.

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iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The world's eyes are on Washington Friday as Donald Trump is sworn into office as the 45th president of the United States.

From Buenos Aires to Berlin, Trump's likeness can be seen on the front page of newspapers from every corner of the globe.

Some express fear, others express hope. But all will be looking to see how the incoming administration will wield U.S. influence across the world.

Argentina


In the Argentine capital, the Buenos Aires Herald goes big with a large profile shot of Trump and the headline: "Good luck America."

"What was once laughed off and thought of as unthinkable by the overwhelming majority of politicians, pundits, journalists and citizens will become a reality," the Herald's front page reads.

"Take a deep breath, this is really happening."

Austria

Austria's Neue Vorarlberger Tageszeitung newspaper led with a simple headline: "Change of Power."

Canada

Our northern neighbor's Toronto Star engaged in a bit of wordplay, headlining its Friday edition with "Pomp and Acrimony" beneath a photo of a proud Donald and Melania Trump at the Lincoln Memorial on Thursday.

In taking the oath, journalist Daniel Dale wrote, Trump would be "completing this astonishing triumph over the 'haters and losers' who doubted him," and "his devotees ... described as racists and fools by pundits they distrust ... had prevailed, and the country felt Thursday like it was theirs again."

Colombia

Colombian newspaper El Espectador took a more fatalistic tone, using the headline "God Save America" over an image of a grinning Trump pointing at the camera.

An overlaid paragraph reads, in part, "Donald Trump becomes president of the United States today with 37% popularity, the lowest in national history."

France


France's Libération newspaper ran a rather comical photo of Trump disheveled by windy conditions -- his hair and tie billowing behind him.

"Let's go!" the simple headline reads, with a small paragraph stating: "The 45th president of the United States takes the oath Friday in Washington."

Israel

The Jerusalem Post played it straight with a headline that reads: "Donald Trump to become 45th US president today."

Mexico

Vanguardia, a newspaper published in Saltillo, Mexico, features a caricature of a bomb with President Trump's hair, and a headline that reads: "despite everything, an era of fear arrives."

A sub-headline reads, "Trump assumes the presidency of the U.S.: Mexico and the world in uncertainty for new geopolitics."

South Africa


South Africa's Cape Times in Cape Town features a photo of Trump with the headline: "Duck, it's Donald."

Spain

The front page of Madrid's El País newspaper reads, "Trump today assumes the power before a world on alert," and, "worry and uncertainty dominate the oath of office of the 45th president of the United States, a man made on the stages."

A sub-headline reads: "The number one enemy of Mexico."

United Kingdom

Across the pond, The Guardian newspaper features a quote-based headline -- "We have no idea what this guy's gonna do" -- and calls President Trump, "the most disruptive political candidate in modern times."

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Joaquin Guzman Loera, the Mexican drug lord also known as "El Chapo" who was recaptured last year after escaping from prison, made his first appearance in federal court in Brooklyn, New York, this afternoon.

Guzman, a leader of the Sinaloa drug cartel based in Mexico, was extradited from Mexico to the United States late Thursday.

Acting U.S. Attorney General Sally Yates in a statement this morning called Guzman "the alleged leader of a multibillion dollar, multinational criminal enterprise that funneled drugs onto our streets and violence and misery into our communities."

Guzman, who appeared in court on a 17-count indictment filed in the Eastern District of New York, pleaded not guilty to all of the charges and waived his right for all of them to be read aloud in court.

The drug kingpin, who does not speak English, had a translator and two federal public defenders with him.

He responded, "Si, senor," to questions from U.S. Magistrate Judge James Orenstein, such as on whether he understood the charges against him. He was without visible shackles or cuffs on his hands or feet, wore navy blue scrubs and sneakers and appeared clean-shaven.

Guzman's next hearing was set for Feb. 3 before U.S. Judge Brian Cogan.

The indictment, whose allegations cover the period from January 1989 to December 2014, accuses Guzman of running a "criminal enterprise responsible for importing into the United States and distributing massive amounts of illegal narcotics and for conspiring to murder people who posed a threat to the narcotics enterprise," according to a Department of Justice statement.

The indictment claims that since the late 1980s, Guzman was one of the leaders of the Mexican Federation, an organized crime syndicate, and that during the late 1980s and 1990s members of the federation were hired by Colombian sources of supply to transport drugs through Mexico into the U.S. Guzman is accused of forming a partnership in the early 2000s that led to the federation's transforming into the Sinaloa Cartel, which the indictment says became the largest drug-trafficking organization in the world, with thousands of members.

Also among the allegations are that Guzman used firearms in relation to his drug trafficking and that his enterprise engaged in money laundering connected to the bulk smuggling out of the U.S. to Mexico more than $14 billion in cash proceeds from narcotics sales throughout the U.S. and Canada.

As part of the investigation, nearly 200,000 kilograms of cocaine linked to the Sinaloa Cartel have been seized, and the indictment seeks forfeiture of more than $14 billion in drug proceeds and illicit profits, the U.S. Justice Department announced.

The Justice Department in its statement alleged Guzman employed "hit men" to carry out violence, including murder, to collect drug debts.

Yates' statement this morning said the U.S. was grateful to Mexico's government for helping secure Guzman's extradition. "The Mexican people have suffered greatly" at his hands, she said. "Mexican law enforcement officials have died in the pursuit of him. We will honor their sacrifice and will honor Mexico’s commitment to combat narco-trafficking by pursuing justice in this case.”

Yates was joined in Friday's announcement by officials from U.S. Attorney offices in New York and Florida, the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, the Drug Enforcement Administration, Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations, the FBI, the U.S. Marshals Service and the New York Police Department.

Robert Capers, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, called Guzman's extradition a "milestone," saying that federal prosecutors from around the U.S. spent well over a decade investigating the suspect's alleged criminal activities.

Guzman led a "life of crime, violence, death and destruction" and continued to grow his empire during the times he has been in prison, Capers said at a press conference this morning.

Capers likened Guzman's decades of alleged criminal activity to a small cancerous tumor that metastasizes, adding that the alleged drug lord helped to perpetrate an epidemic of illegal drug use in the U.S. in which cities like New York and Miami were "ground zero."

After Guzman was extradited to the U.S. on charges filed in Texas and California, the Mexican government approved the U.S.'s request to proceed with prosecution on charges filed in the Eastern District of New York. The charges in the indictment will be prosecuted jointly by the U.S. Attorney’s Offices in Brooklyn and Miami and the Justice Department's Criminal Division.

All together, Guzman will face charges in six indictments from around the U.S., the Justice Department said. Officials said Friday that New York and Florida prosecutors brought the most "forceful punch" to prosecute Guzman and that several narcotics seizures occurred in the Brooklyn district.

Guzman was captured in Guatemala in 1993 and was extradited and sentenced to 20 years in prison in Mexico for murder and drug trafficking. Eight years later, in 2001, after bribing Mexican prison guards, he escaped from a federal maximum-security prison. He was recaptured in Mexico in February 2014 and escaped again in July 2015. When guards realized he was missing from his cell, they found a ventilated tunnel, which Guzman was able to access through an exit near the bathtub in his cell. Guzman was captured in Guatemala in 1993 and was extradited and sentenced to 20 years in prison in Mexico for murder and drug trafficking. Eight years later, in 2001, after bribing Mexican prison guards, he escaped from a federal maximum-security prison.

He was recaptured in Mexico in February 2014 and escaped again in July 2015. When guards realized he was missing from his cell, they found a ventilated tunnel, which Guzman was able to access through an exit near the bathtub in his cell. The tunnel extended for about a mile underground and featured an adapted motorcycle on rails. Officials believe the motorcycle was used to transport the tools used to construct the tunnel.

Guzman was caught again in Jan. 2016.

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Al-Furqan Media/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Even though President Obama leaves office Friday with the leaders of ISIS and al-Qaeda still alive and operational, efforts underway by the U.S. military's Joint Special Operations Command and the CIA may give Trump an early opportunity to take out at least one of the terrorist leaders, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, leader of ISIS, in Iraq.

A senior national security official in the Obama administration told ABC News that President Obama often hesitated to authorize air strikes when there was a chance of significant "collateral damage" -- or civilians being killed.

The official said Trump may operate under a different standard.

As ABC News has reported, al-Baghdadi has been assessed by senior military intelligence analysts for the past few months of being hunkered down in Iraq's second-largest city, Mosul, occupied by ISIS since June 2014 and the scene of his only appearance ever on video, delivering a sermon that summer from a mosque's pulpit against the West and proclaiming himself "Caliph," the leader of all Muslims.

Even with Iraqi government special forces units retaking eastern Mosul since the fall in a slow campaign backed by the United States, al-Baghdadi is believed not to have fled to the de facto ISIS capital of Raqqa in Syria, counterterrorism officials told ABC News this week.

Killing the No. 1 "high-value target" on the U.S. kill list has been a top priority for Obama but accomplishing that in a densely-populated city of an estimated one million or more civilians was a challenge that seems to have eluded the outgoing president.

Trump may be less hesitant than Obama to launch a strike in Mosul if intelligence operatives pinpoint al-Baghdadi's lair, in the view of many hopeful counterterrorism officials, who say they are eager to exterminate a terrorist who oversaw the butchering of tens of thousands including American and western hostages beheaded on video.

Still, a currently-serving career intelligence official suggested Trump may be constrained by long-held legal restrictions on armed conflict, which limit foreseeable civilian deaths.

"Lawyers are lawyers," the official said.

Seamus Hughes, a former National Counter-Terrorism Center official and adviser to former Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.), agreed but said the Obama National Security Council inside the White House had a complex process for approving strikes against terrorist commanders despite its record of eliminating many top leaders.

"Trump is probably more likely to make decisions quicker when it comes to military actions, whereas the Obama NSC has been much more deliberative," said Hughes, now the deputy director of the Program on Extremism.

In a number of major special operations aimed at killing top leaders of terrorist groups or raids to free American hostages of terrorists, some career officials have said Obama's team waited too long and missed opportunities.

The White House has consistently denied such charges.

Al-Qaeda remains a threat to the U.S. as well, and its leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, who succeeded Osama Bin Laden after Obama sent Navy SEALs and Army Nightstalker special operations aviators to kill him inside Pakistan in 2011, has long been suspected by the CIA of living not in a remote mountain hideout but in a populated urban area. His move to an urban area may have occurred after a 2006 drone strike in Bajaur, Pakistan narrowly missed killing al-Zawahiri, as ABC News reported exclusively at the time.

Top intelligence officials have said privately that al-Zawahiri is believed to have received help from current or retired Pakistani military intelligence officers.

Al-Zawahiri has issued dozens of video and audio speeches since then, including as recently as this week.

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iStock/Thinkstock(MOSCOW) — At a newly opened nightclub in the heart of Moscow, revelers celebrated on the eve of Donald Trump's inauguration.

On Friday, Trump will be sworn in as the 45th president of the United States, and many Russians hope his presidency will usher in a new era of improved relations between the two countries.

“We just like to celebrate anything, our holidays, foreign holidays, the beginning of improvement of Russia-U.S. relations, any reason is good to celebrate,” Irina Baikalova told ABC News as she sipped on a cocktail at Arbat 13 nightclub in Moscow.

A crowd of Russian and foreign clubbers watched as Willi Tokarev, a famed Russian-American singer-songwriter, performed his new song, “Trumplissimo America!”

"Trump, Trump — it is unbelievable. Trump, Trump, he's a superman, Trump, Trump — symbol of America. Trump, Trump, he's really president," Tokarev sang.

Tokarev told ABC News he composed the song and wrote the lyrics after he says he was asked to by mutual friends whom he shares with Trump. “You cannot imagine how much people love Trump, both in the States and here,” Tokarev said.

The cult of Trump is growing across Russia.

The tiny town of Tula, about 120 miles outside of Moscow, appears especially taken with Trumpmania. There, a guesthouse has been named for the incoming American president and features a restaurant with a Trump-centered menu. There's even a Trump band, which performed last night at Arbat 13 in Moscow.

Also in Tula, you can find Trump-branded sugar cubes. There’s talk of presenting them to the new U.S. president to “sweeten our relations with the United States," according to Sergei Selaev, the general manager of Tula Produkt, the plant that manufactures them.

“We will probably send it to Trump after today’s inauguration, when he is the commander-in-chief,” Selaev said. There is a growing demand for their limited-edition Trump sugar cubes from all over Russia but also from abroad, he added.

Across from the U.S. embassy in downtown Moscow, the official Russian Army supply store put up a poster with Trump's picture, offering Inauguration Day discounts of 10 percent to all American citizens and U.S. embassy employees.

Then there the Trump commemorative coin, valued at a whopping $10,000 and emblazoned with his likeness and the words "In Trump we trust." Only 45 coins exist — 25 silver coins, five gold and 15 that are silver and gold..

The coins were made by Art-Grani, a Russian metal-working company based 650 miles outside of Moscow. Sales manager Kristina Glinina told ABC News over the phone that it is not the first time they have produced such expensive coins. “The first one was of our President Vladimir Putin in 2014, and it sold well,” she said.

She added: "We see our mission as immortalizing in metal the bright events of history and modernity, not only in our country but of the whole world, today’s event is it!"
 
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Hemera/Thinkstock(FARINDOLA, Italy) -- Ten people were found alive Friday in the rubble of an Italian hotel that collapsed after being buried by an avalanche, according to local media reports.

A spokesman for the local fire department told reporters that 10 people were rescued from the Hotel Rigopiano on the Gran Sasso mountain, including two children.

Two of those rescued are the wife and son of a man who had called for help when the avalanche hit. The family was reunited Friday at the hospital and are said to be in good condition.

The avalanche at Hotel Rigopiano, about 30 miles from the coastal city of Pescara, occurred after a series of earthquakes shook central Italy on Wednesday.

Authorities believed about 30 people were inside when the avalanche struck.

The snow pushed through the windows of the four-star hotel, shattering glass, blocking rooms and stopping rescuers from getting inside.

Rescue teams were initially blocked by fallen trees and heavy snow, but finally reached the hotel by helicopter and by foot.

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