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US Ambassador Mark Lippert Attacked in South Korea

oztasbc/iStock/Thinkstock(SEOUL, South Korea) -- The U.S Ambassador to South Korea was attacked in the country's capital on Wednesday while giving a speech, officials say.

Photos from South Korea's official news agency show Ambassador Mark Lippert with blood on his hand and holding his face. He was attacked by what the Yonhap news agency described was "an armed man" who shouted, "No to war training!" before attacking him.

Lippert was attacked with a 10-inch fruit knife, police told ABC News.

He was assaulted Thursday morning local time and is being treated at a local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, according to the State Department.

His assailant was arrested, according to Robert Ogburn, an official at the U.S. embassy in Seoul, who said the U.S. strongly condemned the "senseless act of violence."

President Obama called him to tell him that "he and his wife Robyn are in his thoughts and prayers, and to wish him the very best for a speedy recovery,” according to National Security Council spokesperson Bernadette Meehan.

Lippert previously held positions at the Department of Defense from May 2012 until September 2014, according to the embassy website.

 Thoughts are w/@mwlippert & his family after today's senseless attack. Grateful to people of #Korea for their care for him & well wishes.

— John Kerry (@JohnKerry) March 5, 2015



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Prince William Visits Elephant Sanctuary Just Minutes From Circus

Ingram Publishing/Thinkstock(XISHUANGBANNA, China) -- Prince William visited an elephant sanctuary while on a historic trip to China on Wednesday in hopes of raising awareness about the endangered animals.

“It is appalling that elephants and many others may be extinct in the wild in our lifetimes, and that we seem to be hurtling towards that tragic outcome,” the prince said in a speech.

The sanctuary is located in Xishuangbanna, a fast-developing area in southwestern China, where elephants are part of the culture.

Just a few miles from the sanctuary is a local circus, where patrons line up to ride and get picked up by elephants that have had their tusks either cut or removed for safety.

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US General Says Airstrikes Have Killed 8,500 ISIS Fighters

Juan Bernal/iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Gen. Lloyd Austin of US Central Command and Christine Wormuth, the Pentagon’s top policy chief, were on the Hill Tuesday to talk about the authorization of use of military force against ISIS.

Austin noted that airstrikes have killed 8,500 fighters and that U.S. overhead intelligence indicated that Iraq was planning an attack on Tikrit.

Austin told the House Armed Services Committee that “we are making significant progress” against ISIS, as ISIS’s advances have been halted.  

The general said that U.S. airstrikes have killed an estimated 8,500 ISIS fighters, destroyed hundreds of vehicles and reduced their ability to gain revenue from oil facilities.

But Austin said that the focus shouldn’t be on the numbers but how the airstrikes have affected ISIS’s behavior – no more large convoys and no longer able to take over large areas of territory:

“The fact is that he can no longer do what he did at the outset, which is to seize and to hold new territory. He has assumed a defense crouch in Iraq. And although he has greater freedom of movement in Syria, he's largely in a defensive there, as well.”

He stressed that the Iraqi government has to become inclusive: “If we don't get things right there first before expanding our efforts in Syria, then we risk making matters worse in both countries.” He warned, “They must control the activities of Shia militia. They must guard against any kind of atrocities going forward of those elements.”

Iran is believed to be helping with Iraq’s offensive on Tikrit, and Austin emphasized that there’s no coordination between the U.S. and Iran on the ground in Iraq, which also means that “absolute knowledge of what their intent is, is not always there.”

“Our policy is that we don't coordinate with Iranian forces on the ground in Iraq,” said Wormuth. “We are not communicating with those forces, we are not coordinating with those forces. So that is our policy.”

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At Least 17 Dead After Explosion at Ukraine Coal Mine

JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP/Getty Images(DONETSK, Ukraine) -- Dozens of miners were trapped, and at least 17 died, after an explosion at a coal mine in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine on Wednesday, officials said.

A rescue operation is underway.

“Rescue teams are battling poisonous gases as they are trying to track down 32 trapped or missing miners," Vladimir Goryachev, deputy head of mine safety services, told ABC News. "They reached 700 meters, and miners are trapped almost 1,300 meters [more than 4,200 feet] below the ground. ... We had no communication with trapped miners since the blast occurred.”

Of 47 miners in the section of the mine where the blast occurred, 14 managed to escape, Goryachev said.

The Zasyadko coal mine was the site of one of Ukraine’s deadliest mining disasters, a 2007 accident in which more than 100 people died. Since the fall of the Soviet Union, about 250 miners are believed to have died in accidents and explosions there.

Donetsk has been shelled in the last nine months in fighting between Ukrainian government forces and pro-Russian rebels, but an emergency ministry official told ABC News that there was no fighting in the area since an internationally-sponsored cease-fire agreement came into effect in recent weeks.

“It was not due to artillery shelling, it was most likely a gas-air explosion,” rescue services official Yuliana Bedilo said.

The conflict in eastern Ukraine has, to date, killed more than 6,000 people.

The rebel-held cities of Donetsk and Lugansk are located in the coal-rich region of Donbass. The local economy is mainly coal mining or black metallurgy. A local soccer club is called Shaktar, a word for a miner in Ukrainian.

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Former British Marine Killed in Syria Fighting Against ISIS

iStock/Thinkstock(ISTANBUL) -- A former British marine was killed in Syria earlier this week while fighting alongside the Kurds against ISIS, according to Kurdish military officials.

Konstandinos Erik Scurfield  was killed in a battle in northeast Syria. He was among a handful of known foreigners that took up arms alongside Kurdish fighters.

At least one other foreigner, a former Australian soldier, was killed last month while fighting with the Kurds.

In a statement Wednesday, Scurfield's family said they are "devastated" to confirm his death.

"His flame might have burned briefly but it burned brightly with love, courage, conviction and honour and we are very proud of him," his family said. "We would like to request that we be allowed to grieve in peace as a family without intrusion at this difficult time."

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'Spocking' Money Legal but 'Inappropriate,' Bank of Canada Says

@The_CDR/Twitter(TORONTO) -- Canadian Star Trek fans have been paying tribute to the late Leonard Nimoy through "Spocking," or drawing in the character’s sharp eyebrows, bowl-shaped hair and pointy ears on look-a-like former Prime Minister Sir Wilfred Laurier, who’s featured on the $5 bill.

There's now good news and bad news for these "Spockers."

The good news? "Spocking" isn't illegal, the Bank of Canada confirmed in a statement emailed to ABC News on Wednesday.

The bad news? Your "Spocked" bills won't live long and prosper. Those drawn-in Spock features could also prevent your money from being accepted in a transaction, interfere with security features and reduce a bill's lifespan, the Bank of Canada said.

"It is not illegal to write or make other markings on bank notes because neither the Bank of Canada Act nor the Criminal Code deals with mutilation or defacement of bank notes," the bank said.

But "the Bank of Canada feels that writing and markings on bank notes are inappropriate as they are a symbol of our country and a source of national pride," the bank said.

“Spocking” has apparently been going on for years, though now more than ever after Nimoy's recent death. The Canadian Design Resource (CDR) took to Twitter to spur users to "Spock" their $5 bills to honor actor Nimoy, who was born in Boston. The $5 Canadian note converts to about four U.S. dollars.

In response to the Bank of Canada's statement, the CDR told ABC News they have the following message for the bank:

"Hey Bank of Canada, this is OK," CDR spokesman Todd Falkowsky said. "Don't be scared. I am sure that Sir Wilfrid Laurier would get it."

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India Woman Lands Dozens of Proposals After Marriage Ad Goes Viral

Monkey Business Images/Thinkstock(NEW DELHI) -- Indhuja Pillai may not sound like traditional marriage material, and that's just how she wanted it.

"I wear glasses and look dorky in them," she wrote in an online ad at "Detest masala & drama, not a TV fan. I don't read. Friendly but I don't prefer friendship. NOT a womanly woman. Definitely not marriage material. Won't grow long hair, ever."

Nevertheless, the ad Pillai placed to protest her parents' much-more-flattering "groom-wanted" ad has received almost half a million views, and even generated marriage proposals, she said. It has resonated far beyond India, where she lives.

"At first, it was for fun and to shun people away," she added. "I'm not actually looking for a relationship. I'm just 24 and I don't think it's the age to be married."

She said she got the proposals despite her description of the type of man she's after.

"Extra points to the one who hates kids," she wrote. "Points for a great voice and an impressive personality. Should be able to hold a conversation for [at least] 30 minutes."

According to Pillai, being married at a young age is considered a cultural norm in India. But after her parents' ad, she'd had enough.

"They posted a profile and it said that I was a software engineer," said Pillai. "I am not a software engineer and it made me look like any other woman who was waiting to get married."

"The basic details in the profile were wrong," she added. "The fact I'm a tomboyish woman wasn’t mentioned and you can't be in a relationship based on lies. It got me angry."

In her own ad, Pillai lists her occupation as "catalyst in a start-up."

Pallai said that she's pleased that her stand against marital pressure has inspired other girls and women who can relate.

"From the responses I received, they say they've gotten the courage to fight back for more time to wait for marriage," she said.

Pillai added that her parents are responding well and are enjoying the attention she's received.

"They wanted to find the perfect guy for me," she said. "They like that the responses are positive."

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Microsoft Co-Founder's Submarine Finds Sunken WWII Warship

Kevin Winter/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen and a team of researchers used his submarine to uncover a Japanese battleship that sunk during World War II.

The battleship, called Musashi, was found in the Sibuyan Sea in the Philippines on Monday after the team used historical records and a hypsometric bathymetric survey of the ocean floor, according to a statement released by Allen.

"The Musashi is truly an engineering marvel and, as an engineer at heart, I have a deep appreciation for the technology and effort that went into its construction," Allen said in the statement. "I am honored to play a part in finding this key vessel in naval history and honoring the memory of the incredible bravery of the men who served aboard her."

The battleship was officially launched on Nov. 1, 1942 and disappeared on Oct. 24, 1944 when it was shot down by 19 torpeadoes and 17 bombs during the Battle of Leyte Gulf, according to the release.

The Musashi reportedly had 2,399 people on board and about half are believed to have died when it was shot down.

Allen, who Forbes estimates is worth $17.5 billion, uses his submarine for exploratory missions including a 2012 search for a sunken British naval ship.

"Since my youth, I have been fascinated with World War II history, inspired by my father’s service in the U.S. Army," Allen said in the release.

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Turkish Airlines Jet Skids Off Runway, Passengers Escape to Safety

iStock Editorial/Thinkstock(KATHMANDU, Nepal) — A Turkish Airlines jet skidded off the runway while landing Wednesday, according to officials.

Thick fog made landing difficult, but there were no serious injuries in the incident.

The plane, Flight TK726, was carrying 238 people on board and coming from Istanbul when the accident happened.

Passengers slid to safety on emergency slides.


Evacuation of #TurkishAirlines Flight #TK726 in Kathmandu.

A video posted by Peter Lübeck (@peterlubeck) on Mar 3, 2015 at 10:35pm PST


The airline released a statement following the incident, stating that one passenger was slightly injured and taken to a hospital for treatment.

“The technical examination will determine the cause of the incident,” the statement reads.



Tribhuvan International Airport remained closed Wednesday morning after the accident.

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World's Tallest Burger: A Finland Cafe Says This Hamburger Is a Record Setter

Stiina Kokkonen(LAPINJARVI, Finland) — A café in Finland claims it broke the record this week for the world’s tallest burger.

For the price of $2,200, customers were invited to take a bite from a 16-foot-tall hamburger tower.

The owner of Mehiläis Pesä restaurant, in the small southern town of Lapinjärvi, Finland, told ABC News he decided to build the 220-pound monster on Monday “just for fun.”

“It’s also a way for us to advertise local food,” said Jarmo Lehtomäki.

Ingredients used to build the pyramid were all locally sourced, with lettuce and bread produced less than a mile away, Lehtomäki said.

Lehtomäki hired a new chef, and building the giant burger was his first task. It took him one hour and 40 minutes.

The chef and his team used a metal rod to keep the 250 beef burgers upright.

While the restaurant was open for customers during the construction, only a few people dared to taste the burger (though nobody actually was charged $2,200). Once it was over, most of the burgers were cold and dry, said the café owner, making them inedible.

The restaurant gave the food away to a local dog shelter owner with 23 dogs.

ABC News reached out to Guinness World Records, which had not yet confirmed the record.

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Woodpecker Takes Weasel On the Ride of Its Life

Martin Le-May(LONDON) -- A photograph of a weasel riding on the back of a woodpecker that seems almost too incredible to be true is not Photoshopped, according to the British man who snapped the now-viral photo.

Martin Le-May says he was out for a walk on Monday with his wife, Ann, in a London park when they heard a “distressed squawking.”

The couple trained their binoculars on the bird in distress and saw it was “unnaturally hopping” and flapping its wings.

"Just after I switched from my binoculars to my camera the bird flew across us and slightly in our direction,” Le-May told ABC News by email. "It was obvious it had a small mammal on its back and this was a struggle for life.”

The mammal on the back of the woodpecker was a weasel. The Le-Mays watched as the woodpecker landed right in front of them and fought for its life.

"I feared the worst,” Le-May wrote. “I guess though our presence, maybe 25 meters away, momentarily distracted the weasel.”

“The woodpecker seized the opportunity and flew up and away into some bushes away to our left," he wrote. “Quickly the bird gathered its self-respect and flew up into the trees and away from our sight.”

As for the weasel that caused all the drama, Le-May says it disappeared into the long grass of the park, “hungry.”

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Netanyahu Speech, Politically Strong, Draws Shrugs From Israelis at Home


(JERUSALEM) -- At long last, Israelis gathered around TV sets Tuesday night to watch Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu address Congress. And I gathered around the big screens at a Jerusalem sports bar with at least four guys, plus the bar staff.

Coming out of the gates, we had one TV in English and one in Hebrew, but the election commission required all Israeli channels run on a five-minute delay, allowing editors to yank any overt campaigning for Israel's general election March 17. It all made the dual-screen experience very distracting.


Israeli channels all running on 5 min delay. Distracting watching side by side. #NetanyahuSpeech

— Molly Hunter (@mollymhunter) March 3, 2015

Canvassing central Jerusalem before the speech, Joseph, an American Jew, and an Israeli friend stopped into Mike's Place in Jerusalem to catch the main event.

"We saw it in the news; it's very important," Joseph told ABC News. "It's a historic time for Israel. We had to watch."

In a speech Tuesday to a joint session of Congress, Prime Minister Netanyahu blasted an emerging deal with Iran as "a bad deal, a very bad deal." He added "we're better off without it," but fell short of actually laying out an alternative plan.

Shay Mamo, an entrepreneur from Tel Aviv, agreed the speech was "a big deal," but added the controversy had piqued his interest.

"I'm watching because it's a scandal," Mamo said. "I'm watching because Obama is against it. I'm watching because it split the American political world."

Mamo continued, "He has the opportunity to say something new. If he were to give a speech here, it's just another speech."

But very little was said that the prime minister had not previously said, and Israelis largely saw Tuesday's speech as an election stunt two weeks before the country's hotly contested general election.

"It's Bibi doing his Bibi thing," quipped Elon, 23, of Kfar Abomin. "It's a power move. His signature play, a show."

"To be fair, it's a reasonable thing to do," going to Washington to speak, Elon said. "But not in the way he did it. And not now."

Analysts say his strong performance could earn Netanyahu a bump in the polls, where he lags ever so slightly behind his biggest challenger, Isaac Herzog. And by all accounts, he turned in a win Tuesday night. Political analysts, and my viewing mates alike, thought Netanyahu hit it out of the political park. But Israelis like Ami Azoulay, who owns a convenience store in central Jerusalem, just shrugged.

"Sure people will watch out of curiosity. But for what? Israelis care about the situation in Iran," he said, "but he's going to go and come back, and it will be just like he never left."


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Rosetta Spacecraft Takes Shadow Selfie on Comet

ESA/Rosetta/MPS for OSIRIS Team MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/SSO/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA(NEW YORK) -- The Rosetta spacecraft was able to snap the most detailed image ever of comet-67P -- getting so close that the spacecraft cast a shadow that can be seen in a photo sent back to Earth.

A photo snapped on Valentine's Day released Tuesday by the European Space Agency was taken less than four miles from the surface of the icy comet and packs a resolution of about four and one-third inches per pixel.

At the bottom of the image is a fuzzy rectangular shadow cast by Rosetta, which was made possible by the sun being aligned directly behind the spacecraft, according to the ESA.

The shadow is blurry because the sun was not a point source, meaning that if a person were to stand on the frigid comet and look toward the sun, the boxy spacecraft would only block part of the giant star.


Does this count as a #selfie? Imaged my own shadow on surface of #67P during 6km flyby!

— ESA Rosetta Mission (@ESA_Rosetta) March 3, 2015


The comet is expected to reach perihelion -- its closest point to the sun -- on August 13.

The spacecraft made history in November when it sent its Philae lander to the surface of 67P, a comet that is whizzing through space at speeds as fast as 80,000 miles per hour.

Scientists are studying Rosetta's environment to learn more about the rubber-duck shaped comet, which could yield new insights about the origins of comets, stars and planets. It has been conducting a series of flybys from various distances to collect information for analysis.

Working nearly 300 million miles from Earth, a one-way signal from Rosetta takes around 26 minutes and 46 seconds to reach Earth, according to a Twitter account the ESA set up for the mission.

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Benjamin Netanyahu: Why He's a Secret Millennial

Uriel Sinai/Getty images(WASHINGTON) -- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed a joint session of Congress Tuesday in what many analysts coined the “most important speech” of his life.

So naturally, Bibi brought along his millennial game to help make his case.

“Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei spews the oldest hatred, the oldest hatred of anti-Semitism with the newest technology,” Netanyahu said. “He tweets that Israel must be annihilated -- he tweets.”

Indeed, Ayatollah Khamenei’s Twitter account did tweet out back in November a step-by-step guide to the elimination of Israel.


Why should & how can #Israel be eliminated? Ayatollah Khamenei's answer to 9 key questions. #HandsOffAlAqsa

— (@khamenei_ir) November 9, 2014


But how can you find that tweet? Well, just take Netanyahu’s advice he offered to Congress later in his speech about how they might find details about the potential nuclear deal forming with Iran.

“You don't need intelligence agencies and secret information to know this,” Netanyahu said. “You can Google it.”

Google and Twitter, the basic daily diet on the Web for any millennial.

But Netanyahu didn’t stop there.

“In this deadly Game of Thrones, there's no place for America or for Israel, no peace for Christians, Jews or Muslims who don't share the Islamist medieval creed, no rights for women, no freedom for anyone,” Netanyahu said as he argued that Iran and ISIS were “competing for the crown of militant Islam.”

And any fan of the HBO hit show might know that “when you play the Game of Thrones, you win or you die. There is no middle ground,” as one character famously says.

As you might expect, that particular quote struck a chord on, where else, Twitter.

— darth™ (@darth) March 3, 2015



Game of Thrones reference from #Netanyahu and uh ok

— Olivier Knox (@OKnox) March 3, 2015



I'm sorry, did Netanyahu just name-check Game of Thrones?

— Joanna Weiss (@JoannaWeiss) March 3, 2015


Those in Israel are already familiar with Netanyahu’s foray into appeasing to the younger generations. In early February he released a comedic campaign commercial in which he starred as the “Bibisitter.”

You can find that video on YouTube, which, as you might expect, Netanyahu also referenced once in his speech.

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Thousands Gather for Boris Nemtsov's Funeral

Gleb Schelkunov/Kommersant Photo via Getty Images(MOSCOW) -- Thousands of mourners lined up in Moscow Tuesday to honor the slain Russian opposition leader, Boris Nemtsov.

A vocal critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, Nemstov was gunned down while crossing a bridge with his girlfriend near the Kremlin on Friday night.

Alex Navalny, another opposition leader, was banned from attending the funeral along with several EU politicians.

In line to pay their respects, several mourners doubted the criminal investigation would result in justice.

"His death represented that there are no limits for those who want to destroy any other opinion in the country except the Kremlin's," one mourner told ABC News.

No arrests have been made and no motive has been established.

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