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iStock/Thinkstock(SEOUL, South Korea) -- Hospital records from a young North Korean soldier who defected earlier this month offer telling details about health problems in the closed country.

The soldier had both parasitic infections and a dangerous hepatitis infection -- conditions that speak to the poor sanitation and rough conditions those in the hermit nation experience on a day-to-day basis.

The most shocking details, perhaps, are the reports of large parasitic worms, some measuring 11 inches, recovered from the 24-year-old’s intestines.

“An estimated five million people in North Korea have intestinal roundworms, that’s 20 percent of the population,” said Dr. Peter Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor.

Doctors found the parasites -- likely Ascaris roundworms -- when repairing intestinal damage from multiple bullet wounds the soldier sustained during his escape. The eggs of these worms are frequently found in the soil, especially in developing countries that use human waste as an inexpensive fertilizer. Once inside the body, these eggs hatch to form larvae, eventually developing into large, mature worms that infect the small intestine. They can reach lengths of more than 13 inches.

But despite the size of these creatures, Ascaris roundworm infections may not be accompanied by noticeable symptoms. However, Hotez said they can lead to malnutrition in those infected. In children, this can lead to developmental delays and short stature.

"Instead of feeding the kid, you’re feeding the worms," said Hotez. "They rob children of nutrition."

Multiple large worms in an infected person, however, can also cause intestinal blockages, and these worms can travel to the nearby liver, gallbladder, or pancreas and cause damage and inflammation to these organs as well, Hotez said.

While dramatic in appearance, roundworm infections are easy to treat, generally requiring only a single dose of anti-parasitic medication.

Likewise, another parasitic worm infection the soldier reportedly had, Toxocara, is also fairly easily treated. Toxocara is a parasite similar to Ascaris, though it is normally found in the intestines of dogs and cats; the worms do not usually grow as large in the intestines of humans. The larvae of these parasites often migrate to other organs in the body –- often the liver, brain, lungs and eyes –- causing damage to the affected organs.

But even more problematic than these parasitic infections are reports that the soldier was also infected with hepatitis B, a viral infection of the liver that can lead to life-threatening cirrhosis if untreated.

The soldier is just the latest case report of health problems among hundreds of other refugees and defectors from North Korea. Past reports have shown that many who have successfully fled suffer from these maladies, as well as tuberculosis, a common and frequently difficult to treat lung infection.

Studies comparing North Korean defectors to other refugee populations found they were more likely to be underweight -- and another estimated that about one-third of North Korean children under the age of 5 is malnourished. Dental and vision problems, such as cataracts, are also frequently reported.

Though the reclusive nature of the country limits what is known about its active and ongoing health problems, Hotez said these health issues are common to other places in the world that face devastating economic conditions.

“These are not unique to North Korea,” he said. “These are all infections that are extremely common in the poorest parts of Asia. Toxocara is found in poor neighborhoods in the United States, as well.”

Worm eradication programs were successfully implemented in South Korea following the Korean War, Hotez added, and pharmaceutical companies have been willing to donate global supply of anti-parasitic drugs to countries in need.

Other conditions afflicting North Koreans, such as hepatitis B, are completely preventable through vaccination programs.

But North Korea's tense political and economic relations with other countries makes assessing, and attempting to eradicate, these conditions in the country complicated.

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iStock/Thinkstock(SEOUL, South Korea) -- The North Korean soldier who was captured on video defecting to the South is enjoying watching South Korean music videos and the American movie "Transformers 3," his doctor says.

The 24-year-old defector, identified only by his last name, Oh, was shot at least five times by North Korean guards before he made it past the demarcation line on Nov. 13. But Oh is "not going to die," Lee Cook-jong, the lead surgeon who operated on the defected soldier, said at a press conference Wednesday.

The United Nations Command in control of the border between the two Koreas released dramatic video footage that shows Oh speeding south in a Jeep, before getting out and running from North Korean soldiers who open fire on him. Oh was later dragged to freedom by South Korean soldiers after being shot.

Oh has been in the North Korean military for eight years, at times working as a vehicle driver. After being rescued, he was immediately transported to Ajou Hospital in Suwon, south of Seoul, where he underwent two critical surgeries. He has since fully regained consciousness and confessed that he defected to the south on his own will, Lee said.

An emergency surgery took place just 30 minutes after Oh arrived at the hospital. The second surgery followed two days later, when surgeons removed five bullets from his body. Lee explained that Oh will be able to leave the intensive care unit as early as this weekend, but it could take over a month until the patient is ready for in-depth interviews, he said.

The medical team discovered parasitic worms in the man's intestines. He is also under examination for signs of post-traumatic stress disorder and is suffering from tuberculosis as well as chronic hepatitis, according to Lee.

Lee told reporters Oh is still shy and reticent. Hospital staff do not allow Oh to watch news programming in fear of triggering PTSD. Instead, they have played three K-pop music videos for Oh, including a song called "Gee" by the girl group Girls' Generation, which Oh liked, according to Lee.

Oh has also been watching Korean TV, particularly the movie channel, including the third installment of "Transformers." He likes watching the American crime drama series "CSI" as well as films starring American actors Jim Carrey and Morgan Freeman, Lee said.



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Masfiqur Sohan/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Secretary of State Rex Tillerson described the violence against the Rohingya Muslim minority in Myanmar's Rakhine state as ethnic cleansing for the first time on Wednesday.
 
Tillerson did not use the term during his brief visit to Myanmar's capital, Naypyidaw, on Nov. 15, deciding only after visiting and analyzing the situation to describe the situation that way.

What does declaring the violence ethnic cleansing do in effect?

In reality, the new descriptor does not immediately accomplish much. Ethnic cleansing is a term that is not legally defined by U.S. or international law. A declaration does not trigger any sort of obligation or consequence.

For now, State Department officials said they are looking into targeted sanctions against individuals who may have carried out violence if the specific allegations can be confirmed. Some sanctions placed on Burma in 1998 due to anti-democratic activities of a military junta were lifted in 2016.

State officials said they expect the determination to "increase pressure" on the civilian government and military in Myanmar to reach an agreement on repatriating the 600,000 or so Rohingya who have fled as refugees into neighboring Bangladesh.

Who is perpetrating the ethnic cleansing?

Though ethnic cleansing has been declared, the perpetrator has not been defined as the Myanmar military. State Department officials said there are a number of "potential sources" of conflict, including both military forces and vigilante groups.

What will happen to the victims of the violence?


The State Department is focusing on returning the Rohingya who have fled to Bangladesh as refugees back to their homes. Even still, officials acknowledge that repatriating even a few hundred Rohingya per day would mean the process could last for years -- a huge logistical challenge at this point. The department will focus on voluntary repatriation, meaning they realize many Rohingya might not want to return to their former homes.

Last week, Tillerson announced an additional $47 million in humanitarian assistance for those affected, bringing the total amount spent to aid the victims since August of last year to $87 million.

Why aren't broader sanctions being imposed?


Broader sanctions remain a challenge, as State Department officials are wary of hindering the fragile civilian government in Myanmar, which has shared power with the military as laid out in the Burmese Constitution about 18 months ago. Transition of power to the fledgling civilian government is a delicate process and could benefit all the persecuted civilian groups in Myanmar -- if it can be accomplished.

What is Aung San Suu Kyi doing about the crisis?

The State Department had little to say about the role of the de facto civilian leader and Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi, who many have criticized for not doing enough to stem the violence. State Department officials look to Suu Kyi's leadership but did not lay out a specific goal or role for her to play.

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A U.S. Navy aircraft with 11 passengers and crew crashed into the Philippine Sea on Wednesday on its return to the USS Ronald Reagan, according to the Navy's 7th Fleet. Eight of the 11 have been rescued and are in good condition, the Navy said.

Search and rescue efforts continue for the other three people onboard the aircraft when it went down.

The crash, which took place about 500 nautical miles (575 miles) southeast of Okinawa, Japan, happened at 2:45 p.m. local time, which is 12:45 a.m. ET.

The USS Ronald Reagan is conducting search and rescue operations, the Navy said.

The cause of the crash is unknown.

The Navy said the C2-A aircraft was conducting "a routine transport flight carrying passengers and cargo from Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni to USS Ronald Reagan."

The USS Ronald Reagan is currently operating in the Philippine Sea. The ship was taking part in Annual Exercise 2017 (AE17), a bilateral field-training exercise with the Japanese Navy conducted in waters off Japan from Nov. 16 to Nov. 26.

It is one of three carriers currently operating in the area, along with the USS Nimitz and USS Theodore Roosevelt. They took part in a military exercise a little over a week ago as a show of strength toward North Korea.

The accident is the latest in a series of disasters in 2017 for the 7th Fleet, which is stationed in Japan. In January, the USS Antietam ran aground off the coast of Japan, damaging its propellers and spilling oil into the water. The USS Lake Champlain collided with South Korean fishing boat on May 9.

Seven U.S. sailors were killed when the USS Fitzgerald collided with a Philippine-flagged container ship in the middle of the night off the coast of Yokosuka on June 17.

And the deadliest accident came on Aug. 21, when 10 U.S. sailors were killed when the USS John S. McCain collided with commercial vessel Alnic MC in waters east of Singapore, according to the Navy.

The commander of the 7th Fleet was removed of his command in late August following the USS John S. McCain accident. Vice Adm. Joseph Aucoin was relieved of duty due to a "loss of confidence in his ability to command," according to the Navy.

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The United Nations Command in control of the border between the two Koreas released dramatic video footage on Tuesday of what happened when a North Korean solider defected to the South earlier this month.

The video shows the defector speeding south in a Jeep, before getting out, pursued by North Korean soldiers who open fire on the man, and later dragged to freedom by South Korean soldiers after being shot at least five times.

The surveillance video also showed one of the North Korean guards step across the demarcation line, a violation of the ceasefire agreement, while chasing and shooting after the defector as he ran for freedom.

The 24-year-old defector, identified only by his last name, Oh, is shown driving a four-wheel military jeep along a road on the northern side of the border toward the South. It approaches a white building, a checkpoint under North Korean control, then passes by the building at full speed after turning on its headlights.

A North Korean guard is seen running after the vehicle as it drives across a bridge and then passes a memorial to North Korean founder Kim Il Sung. This memorial is a well-known tourist spot for visitors to the Joint Security Area (JSA) inside the demilitarized zone.

The jeep appears to run into a ditch just a few feet away from a white demarcation line officially separating the two Koreas. After failed attempts to free the vehicle, the defector jumps out and sprints for his life toward the South. But North Korean armed guards who had hurried to the jeep fire shots behind the defector. The dramatic moment is shown in the video when he succeeds in running past the demarcation line then falls on the side of a concrete wall controlled by the South Korean side.

The United Nations Command also released infrared video images of how the allied soldiers carefully crawled toward the defector lying on a pile of fallen leaves, and drag him to safety.

"After thoroughly reviewing the investigation results, I assess the actions taken by the UNC Security Battalion were in a manner that is consistent with the Armistice Agreement, namely -- to respect the Demilitarized Zone and to take actions that deter a resumption of hostilities," Gen. Vincent K. Brooks, the UNC commander, said in a statement. "The armistice agreement was challenged, but it remains in place."

Violation of the armistice agreement


Analysis of the video shows that North Korea violated the armistice agreement by firing weapons across the military demarcation line (MDL) and actually crossing the line temporarily, according to Chad Carroll, Director of Public Affairs for the UNC.

Signed in 1953 by the U.N., North Korea and China, the Armistice Agreement put an end to the Korean War that stretched on for three years. The agreement states, "Neither side shall execute any hostile act within, from, or against the demilitarized zone. No person, military or civilian, shall be permitted to cross the military demarcation line unless specifically authorized to do so by the Military Armistice Commission."

Although North Korea has announced its withdrawal from the agreement repeatedly since then, the U.N. has continuously argued that it is still in effect. The open fire across the demilitarized zone and crossing of the MDL shown in the video is therefore taken as a provocative violation of the ceasefire designed to ensure peace in the peninsula.

The North Korean Army was notified of these violations on Wednesday through communication channels in Panmunjom, a village just north of the border. The UNC personnel have also requested a meeting to discuss the investigation results and measures to prevent further transgressions.

North Korea is yet to comment on the defected soldier or the violation of the agreement.

Medical condition

Despite being shot at least five times, the soldier is "not going to die," Lee Cook-jong, the lead surgeon who operated on the defected soldier, told press on Wednesday.

Oh regained consciousness and confessed that he defected to the south on his own will. The 24-year-old has been in the military for eight years, at times working as a vehicle driver. Hospital staff played three K-pop music videos to Oh, which he liked, said Lee. Lately he has been watching Korean TV, especially the movie channel, including the Hollywood action film "Transporter 3." Lee told reporters that they do not play the news for the patient in fear of a post-traumatic stress syndrome, and added that Oh is still shy and reticent.


Immediately after the rescue, the North Korean soldier was quickly transported to Ajou Hospital in Suwon, south of Seoul. He has fully regained consciousness after withstanding two critical surgeries. An emergency surgery took place on Nov. 13, just 30 minutes after he arrived at the hospital. The second surgery followed two days later, when surgeons removed five bullets from his body. Lee explained that Oh will be able to leave the intensive care unit as early as this weekend. It could take over a month until the patient is ready for in-depth interviews.

After the first surgery, there were reports that parasitic worms were found in the young man's small intestines, demonstrating poor hygiene in North Korea. The medical team discovered that the patient is suffering from a chronic hepatitis. The defector is also under examination for signs of post-traumatic stress

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Argentine Navy(BUENOS AIRES, Argentina) -- The search for a missing Argentine submarine is entering the "critical" stage, the country's navy said Tuesday.

The ARA San Juan, which is carrying 44 crew members on board, was last heard from last Wednesday. Searchers continued Tuesday to search an area of over 186,000 square miles in the Atlantic Ocean off Argentina where it is thought the San Juan vanished.

Assuming the ship surface before its last-known communication last Wednesday, tomorrow would mark its seventh day underwater and oxygen will soon be running out, an Argentine navy spokesperson said Tuesday.

Weather conditions have been rough in the region, hampering the search. Conditions are expected to improve Wednesday and be excellent for searching. But the window of good weather is narrow: Conditions will again worsen on Thursday.

Four thousand people from seven countries are working around the clock on the search efforts, the navy said.

The submarine went missing while traveling from a base in Ushia, Argentina, on South America’s southern tip, to its home base of Mar del Plata, farther north. It was last heard from about 275 miles off the San Jorge Gulf in southern Argentina, according to the navy.

In Mar del Plata, relatives of the missing sailors congregated and waited for updates on Monday.
Twice, Argentine navy officials have dashed hopes some sign of life may had come from the vessel -- once on Saturday, and then again on Tuesday.

A brother of a machinist on the submarine suddenly interrupted an interview with ABC News Tuesday to say he had to tend to the wife of the machinist, Fernando Mendoza.

"I have to run," said the brother, Carlos Mendoza, on Monday. "My sister-in-law just fainted in her room in the base."

Marcela Tagliapetra, a relative of another sailor aboard the submarine, said she felt despair.

“We are waiting for good news so we can have something to celebrate,” she told ABC News Monday. “We are going to get it. We are sure that we are going to get it.”

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iStock/Thinkstock(LONDON) -- Mobile gangs using mostly stolen mopeds and scooters have been terrorizing London, committing robberies and attacks on people walking along city streets, police say.

London’s Metropolitan police say that up to 50,000 crimes have been committed a year by mobs on these vehicles; about 1,500 mopeds or scooters are stolen and 2,500 thefts carried out on them every month.

The two-wheeled vehicles are agile and enable criminals to easily smash and grab items from victims. Many times, they mount sidewalks to grab items from pedestrians, then make quick getaways.

Police say the crimes are two-fold: Scooters are stolen and then used to commit crimes. The vehicles are often stolen from areas of Outer London and used to commit robberies in the affluent Central London neighborhoods.

The dangers posed by these gangs coming in close contact with the public has made it difficult for the police to chase them.”

The police said they are employing new tactics to defeat this latest crime wave. They include using remote control spikes, DNA-tagging sprays and slimmer police motorcycles.


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Getty Images/Chris Jackson(LONDON) -- Meghan Markle has arrived in London to spend time with Prince Harry after finishing shooting on her television show "Suits."

The actress, 36, was spotted shopping in London’s Chelsea neighborhood on Tuesday.

Markle has joined Harry in his two-bedroom home at Nottingham Cottage located just behind Prince William and Princess Kate's apartment in Kensington Palace.

Now that Markle has completed her acting commitment to the TV series, it is expected she will move in with Harry full-time and leave Toronto, the city that has been her home base.

The couple is expected to spend the Thanksgiving holiday together as they begin the next chapter of their relationship.

Markle's arrival ahead of the holidays has sparked speculation that an engagement announcement is imminent.

In September, Markle made her first official appearance alongside Prince Harry attending the wheelchair tennis match at the Invictus Games, the Paralympic competition for wounded service members that was founded by Harry in 2014. Several days later, Markle’s mother joined the couple in a luxury box for the the Invictus Games closing ceremony in Toronto.

Royal watchers point to the inclusion of Markle’s mother at such a high-profile event as a sign that an engagement was no longer a matter of if but when.

Markle first publicly declared her love for Harry when she appeared on the October issue of Vanity Fair magazine.

"I can tell you that at the end of the day, I think it's really simple," Markle told the magazine. "We're two people who are really happy and in love."

ABC News' royal contributor Victoria Murphy said the article "shows the strength" of Harry's and Markle's relationship.

"She would have had permission from Kensington Palace to give the [Vanity Fair] interview," Murphy said. "It definitely shows the strength of their relationship and her confidence in their love."

In August, the couple traveled to Africa together on a three-week holiday to celebrate Markle's 36th birthday in Botswana before a romantic visit to Victoria Falls.

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(BANGALORE, India) -- iStock/ThinkstockThe Indian Army said this week that 58 of its personnel had crammed onto a single, moving motorcycle in an attempt to break the world record.

The stunt took place in the suburb of Bangalore, India, and the men were dressed in the colors of the Indian flag.

The riders, who are members of a team called the Tornadoes, performed the feat at the Yelahanka Air Force Station, according to Indian network NDTV.

They have performed worldwide for decades, and in 2010 put 56 men on a moving motorcycle, according to NDTV.

Their attempt on Sunday turned out to be a success.

 

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Sean Gallup/Getty Images(BERLIN) -- Months after being hailed by media as the new leader of the free world, German Chancellor Angela Merkel is facing the greatest political crisis of her 12 years in office. The breakdown of coalition talks leaves the country in a state of uncertainty, which many fear could provide an opening for the far right.

Weeks of preliminary discussions about building a coalition of several political parties in Germany collapsed on Sunday night. The breakdown came after the head of the free-market liberal FDP left the talks, citing a lack of trust among the parties.

"We believed we were on a path where we could have reached an agreement," Merkel said addressing the press with her trademark cool composure.

She said she regretted the breakdown of the talks and pledged to lead the country through "a difficult time."

The parties involved — Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU), its Bavarian sister party the Christian Social Union (CSU), the Green Party and the Free Democrats (FDP) — had high hopes for what they referred to as the Jamaica coalition, named for the parties’ colors, which match the Jamaican flag’s.

The failure signals a rocky path ahead for Merkel while raising the possibility that new elections will be held in 2018, in which the far right could make further gains.

What went wrong?

Considering their disparate policy positions, the coalition had formidable challenges to find common ground. The parties diverge significantly on energy and immigration policy and missed several self-imposed deadlines to reach agreements during discussions.

"It is better not to govern than to govern falsely," the head of the FDP, Christian Lindner, told reporters after leaving the negotiating table shortly before midnight on Sunday. In a statement released by his party, he cited irreconcilable differences and a lack of trust among the parties.

Lindner has already come under fire for what some critics are calling an ego-driven decision. Green Party lawmaker Reinhard Butikofer tweeted that Lindner "has chosen his own brand of populist agitation over political responsibility."

The options for Merkel now

Merkel's conservative block can choose to continue talks with the Greens to form a minority coalition, which she would lead.

Alternatively, Merkel could also attempt to court the second-biggest party, the SPD, to form a second consecutive grand coalition. However, the SPD is still reeling from unexpected losses in September's federal elections, and its acting head, Martin Schultz, reiterated on Sunday night that the party's role in the parliament will most certainly be in the opposition.

If coalition negotiations fail, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier may set in motion a complicated process to dissolve the current parliament and call fresh elections in 2018, with Merkel acting as interim chancellor.

Concerns about new elections


During a press conference after meeting with Merkel on Monday morning, Steinmeier seemed to downplay the possibility of holding new elections. Instead, he reminded parties of their responsibility to form a government, saying he expected "all parties to be ready to enter discussions." He called on his party, the SPD, to take one for Team Germany, as well as the CDU, CSU, Greens and FDP.

But there was one party that Steinmeier did not include in his call to action: the far-right populist Alternative for Germany (AfD) party. AfD is the first far-right party to enter government since the Nazi era, and all the other parties have pledged not to govern with it.

To the shock of many, AfD won 12.6 percent of the vote in September, making it the third-largest party in the new parliament. It won 27 percent of the vote in Saxony, making it the most popular party in the state.

Many are concerned that voters may be more skeptical of the establishment after these failed coalition negotiations, which could result in more votes for AfD.

Merkel told German broadcaster ARD on Monday that she was very "skeptical" about ruling with a minority government and said she would stand as a candidate again in 2018 if elections take place.

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iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- A U.S. airstrike inside Somalia killed "more than 100" al-Shabaab militants on Tuesday, the U.S. military said.

The strike occurred at approximately 10:30 a.m. local time 125 miles northwest of the country's capital of Mogadishu.

"Al-Shabaab has pledged allegiance to al-Qaeda and is dedicated to providing safe haven for terrorist attacks throughout the world," U.S. Africa Command said in a press release on Tuesday. "Al-Shabaab has publicly committed to planning and conducting attacks against the U.S. and our partners in the region. U.S. forces will continue to use all authorized and appropriate measures to protect Americans and to disable terrorist threats."

The strike is the 29th by the U.S. inside Somalia this year. Seven of those strikes occurred in the last thirteen days alone, a noticeable uptick in the pace of attacks against mainly al-Shabaab and some ISIS militants.

"So there's no particular rhythm to it, except that as [targets] become available and as we're able to process them and vet them, we strike," Joint Staff Director Lt. Gen. Kenneth McKenzie told reporters last week. "... I do not believe necessarily there's a ramp up. It's the density of targets is such that now there's some opportunities to do those strikes."

McKenzie said he was not comfortable drawing a link between the increased number of targets in Somalia with the desertion of ISIS fighters from Raqqa, Syria, which was reclaimed by the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces last month.

"We strike targets as they become available," McKenzie said. "Some of those targets had been -- we'd been working them for a long time. I'm not prepared to say it's linked to the fall of Raqqa. I'm just not prepared to make that linkage."

According to the Pentagon, there are approximately 500 U.S. troops in Somalia, up from 50 in the beginning of the year.

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Jack Taylor/Stringer/Getty Images(HARARE, Zimbabwe) -- Robert Mugabe has resigned as the leader of Zimbabwe after more than 30 years in power, according to a statement read by the speaker of the country's parliament. The announcement was met with widespread cheers from lawmakers.

Mugabe's reported resignation comes amid heightened political tensions in the country.

Mugabe, 93, was placed under house arrest by the military several days ago.

Zimbabwe's military is believed to have taken charge of the country earlier this month.

The first signs of a military takeover emerged November 14th as armored vehicles were deployed near the capital, one week after Mugabe fired his deputy and longtime ally, Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa, and accused him of scheming to take power, including through witchcraft.

The U.S. Embassy in Zimbabwe issued an advisory that same night, urging all employees to stay home the following day and warning American citizens in the southern African nation to shelter in place "as a result of the ongoing political uncertainty."

Zimbabwe's army addressed the country on state-run media on November 15th, vehemently denying speculation this was a coup d'etat and assuring citizens the president and his family are "safe and sound."

Two days after that, on November 17th, Mugabe made his first public appearance since the alleged house arrest. He delivered a speech at a university graduation ceremony in the country's capital, Harare.

Mugabe's resignation marks a major turning point in Zimbabwe's history. He became the country's first prime minister in 1980 following the end of British colonial rule over the country, which was formerly known as Rhodesia. Mugabe then became president in 1987 and had ruled the country since then.

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Additional remains of U.S. soldier Sergeant La David Johnson were found on November 12 at the site in Niger where his body was recovered, a U.S. official confirmed to ABC News.

Johnson and three other U.S. Army soldiers were killed when their convoy of U.S. and Nigerien forces was ambushed leaving the village of Tongo Tongo on October 4.

Johnson's family has been notified of the new discovery, the official said.

Last month, Johnson’s widow told ABC News she was prevented from viewing her husband’s remains before he was laid to rest in his home state of Florida on Oct. 21.

"Why couldn't I see my husband? Every time I asked to see my husband, they wouldn't let me," Myeshia Johnson said in an October 23 interview with Good Morning America. “They told me that he’s in a severe wrap - like I won’t be able to see him. I need to see him so I will know that that is my husband.”

She added, "They won't show me a finger, a hand. I know my husband's body from head to toe, and they won't let me see anything. I don't know what's in that box. It could be empty for all I know, but I need to see my husband. I haven't seen him since he came home."

A joint team of U.S. Africa Command and Niger military investigators visited the site of the ambush on November 12 as part of its investigation, which the U.S. Army expects to conclude in January.

"As part of its mission, the AFRICOM investigation team interviewed local villagers; conducted a physical examination of multiple areas of interest related to the attack; and retraced actions leading up to, during and after this ambush," U.S. Africa Command said in a press release.

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JOSEPH EID/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK ) -- Syrian President Bashar Assad met with his Russian President Vladimir Putin in the southern Russian city of Sochi on Monday evening as a part of a "working visit," the Kremlin said in a statement.

Assad reportedly thanked Putin for "the efforts that Russia made to save our country," according to an English translation of the statement.

"Two years ago, when I met with President Putin in Moscow, the fighting was just beginning. During these two years, the successes that have been achieved thanks to the assistance of the Air and Space Forces of the Russian Federation and the Syrian army are evident," Assad said, according to a readout of the meeting. "Now no one can deny these successes in the fight against terrorism. And thanks to your actions, as well as the actions of the Syrian army, our allies, many Syrians were able to return to their homes."

"We count on Russia's support to ensure that external actors do not interfere in the political process and that from the outside they only support the process that the Syrians themselves will lead," he added.

Putin also introduced Assad to senior officials of the country's Defense Ministry and the general staff, people who he said "played a decisive role in saving Syria," according to the Kremlin's statement.

"Much has been done to stabilize the situation in Syria. I hope that in the very near future we will put the final point in the fight against terrorism in Syria, although it is clear that the centers will still exist, they will still emerge," Putin said. "So there are still problems with terrorism in the world, and in the Middle East, and in Syria in particular."

"But the main task is already close to completion, and it will be possible to say in the very near future that we have solved it," he added.

Putin said he planned to follow up the meeting with telephone calls to President Donald Trump, and to Middle Eastern leaders including the Emir of Qatar.

The two leaders last met on Oct. 20, 2015 in Moscow after Russia launched a military operation against Syrian insurgents and ISIS.

The conflict in Syria began in 2011 after the government cracked down violently on mostly peaceful protests against Assad's rule. The protests developed into an armed uprising and a civil war that has killed hundreds of thousands of people and displaced millions.

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Argentine Navy(NEW YORK) -- Argentina’s navy said late Monday that noises heard by two ships off the coast of Argentina were not from a submarine missing since last week, dashing the hopes of relatives of the 44 crew members on board.

Argentine ships looking for the ARA San Juan, an Argentine vessel last heard from on Wednesday, had picked up fairly persistent noises that were believed to have originated in an area about 225 miles east of Argentina’s Valdes Peninsula, in water believed with be about 650 feet deep, naval spokesman Enrique Balbi told reporters in Buenos Aires earlier Monday.

Balbi said searchers focused on that area as the navy worked to determine if the sounds came from the sub.

It was the second time on Monday that Argentine navy officials dashed hopes some sign of life may had come from the vessel.

The navy said Saturday it was investigating whether seven satellite signals heard that day were from the submarine, but on Monday it said it had been determined that the signals were not from the vessel.

The navy also said Monday the commander of the missing sub had reported that it was having trouble with its batteries and was experiencing an “electrical fault.”

The commander reported the issues in a satellite communication Wednesday morning, according to information from the U.S.-based satellite communications company Iridium, naval officials said.

Wednesday was the last day the San Juan made contact, officials said.

Searchers continued Monday to search an area of over 186,000 square miles in the Atlantic Ocean off Argentina where it is thought the San Juan vanished.

The submarine went missing while traveling from a base in Ushia, Argentina, on South America’s southern tip, to its home base of Mar del Plata, farther north. It was last heard from about 275 miles off the San Jorge Gulf in southern Argentina, according to the navy.

High winds and waves reaching 20 to 26 feet high hampered search efforts over the weekend and were expected to continue to pose a problem until at least Tuesday, Argentine officials said.

The Argentine navy released video showing intense waves slamming against a ship participating in the search on Sunday.

In Mar del Plata, relatives of the missing sailors congregated and waited for updates.

The false hope from Saturday’s satellite signals and the ensuing letdown on Monday have been emotionally wrenching for some family members.

A brother of a machinist on the submarine suddenly interrupted an interview with ABC News on Monday to say he had to tend to the wife of the machinist, Fernando Mendoza.

"I have to run," said the brother, Carlos Mendoza. "My sister-in-law just fainted in her room in the base."

Marcela Tagliapetra, a relative of another sailor aboard the submarine, said she felt despair.

“We are waiting for good news so we can have something to celebrate,” she told ABC News. “We are going to get it. We are sure that we are going to get it.”

Among those aboard the missing vessel is Argentina’s first female submarine officer, Eliana Maria Krawczyk.

Several nations have sent airplanes and ships to help Argentina with the search, including the U.S., which has provided several planes and unmanned underwater vehicles for the effort.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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