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Aurelien Meunier/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The commander of U.S. military forces in the Middle East has expressed reservations about America possibly working with Russia in Syria to help Syrian refugees return to their war-torn nation, a proposal that emerged from last week's summit between presidents Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin in Helsinki.

Given Russia’s continuing support for the Assad regime, General Joseph Votel, the commander of U.S. Central Command, said he would prefer to see confidence-building measures from Russia before the U.S. possibly entered into such an arrangement.

“I would want to make sure that this isn’t something that we stepped into lightly,” Votel told reporters from ABC News and the Wall Street Journal, who are accompanying him on a trip to the region.

The idea of a joint U.S.-Russian military effort to facilitate the return of Syrian refugees had emerged as one of the topics discussed by Trump and Putin during their private one-on-one meeting in Helsinki last week.

Since Syria erupted into civil war in 2011, almost 1.7 million Syrians have fled into neighboring countries and Europe.

Votel said he has not received any guidance from the White House about the Helsinki talks and had only seen press reports about the proposed joint plan to return Syrian refugees.

“You don’t just go do things,” Votel said. “I have not asked for that. I am not recommending that. And that would be a pretty big step at this point.”

A spokesperson for the National Security Council who asked not to be identified said there were no agreements made except that both governments would continue discussions.

Cooperation between the two militaries to help return the Syrian refugees is not possible under current law. Since 2014, the U.S. military has been prohibited from cooperating with their Russian counterparts in any capacity after Congress passed legislation prompted by Russia’s annexation of Crimea.

However, both militaries engage in daily contact over a hotline for the “deconfliction” of the crowded airspace over Syria where American and Russian military aircraft operate.

“I think if we went beyond that, I think there would have to be some level of trust, confidence-building that would need to take place before we would feel confident that we were moving in the right direction,” Votel said. “I think it's a different step when you go to coordination or synchronization or some level of mutual support or alliance between each other.”

Votel cited Russia’s continuing support for the Assad regime in Syria following chemical attacks on civilians and false claims of Russian troop reductions as reasons to be hesitant about possible future cooperation.

“I've watched some of the things that Russia has done,” said Votel. “It does give me some pause here.”

“These are not things that give me great confidence that just by stepping over into the next level of coordination that things are going to be fine,” he added.

“It's Russia. Let’s not forget that,” he continued. “So there would have to be a lot, I think, beyond just people saying we can do it. That would help me build confidence we can do it. I wouldn’t want to step right in.”

Few details have emerged from U.S. officials about what the two presidents discussed in their one-on-one meeting in Helsinki. Instead, Russian officials have made vague references to “verbal agreements” made by the two leaders to deal with hot-button issues around the world, including Syria.

But on Friday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo confirmed that the presidents discussed the return of refugees to Syria.

“There was a discussion between President Trump and President Putin about the resolution in Syria and how we might get the refugees back,” Pompeo told reporters following a visit to the United Nations in New York. “The president shared with me the conversations that they’d had. It is important to the world that at the right time, through a voluntary mechanism, these refugees are able to return to their country.”

Neither Defense Secretary James Mattis nor General Joseph Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, have reacted publicly to the proposal.

For now, the deconfliction contacts are a “professional military exchange, and we can handle that," said Votel.

“I am not suggesting we should be doing anything more with Russia than we’re doing right now,” he added. “I’ve not asked for that. I don’t see anything that we ought to be doing militarily right now beyond what we are currently doing.”

“Furthermore, moving beyond deconfliction to actual cooperation between the two militaries, even for a humanitarian mission, would require a change in the legal prohibition as well as new authorities,” Votel said.

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Alex Wong/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- A former national security adviser to President Barack Obama said Donald Trump's "national security team needs to know everything" about the lengthy one-on-one meeting he had with Vladimir Putin, calling the meeting a "historic mistake" and saying it would have been for any U.S. president.

"We need to know everything, and the president's national security team needs to know everything," Susan Rice, who also served as ambassador to the United Nations during Obama's first term, said Sunday on This Week. "It was a historic mistake to allow the president of the United States -- not just Donald Trump, but any president, frankly -- to sit for two hours without any note takers, without any aides present with one of the most adversarial leaders of the world relative to the United States."

Trump and Putin met in Helsinki on Monday during a summit that led to multiple walk-backs by the White House in the days following. Trump and Putin met, with only their translators present, for more than two hours. Trump's own director of national intelligence, Dan Coats, said during the Aspen Security Forum on Thursday that he didn't "know what happened in that meeting."

"I think as time goes by and the president has already mentioned some things that happened in that meeting, I think we will learn more," Coats told moderator Andrea Mitchell of NBC News. "If he had asked me how that ought to be conducted, I would have suggested a different way. But that's not my role. That's not my job."

"Very predictably," Rice told ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos on This Week, "the Russians are feeding their line of what happened. We are hearing no rebuttal or comment from the United States. Russia is dictating the public perception, the global public perception of what transpired in that meeting, and we have no basis for countering it. It's a very, very uncomfortable and, indeed, dangerous situation for the United States to be in."

The two presidents also held a joint press conference on Monday. Trump appeared to accept what he called Putin's "strong" and "powerful" denials of Russian government election interference over the conclusions of every U.S. intelligence agency.

During the press conference, Trump said, "My people came to me -- Dan Coats came to me and some others -- they said they think it's Russia. I have President Putin. He just said it's not Russia. I will say this: I don't see any reason why it would be."

On Tuesday, Trump said he needed to "clarify" one word he said during the press conference.

"In a key sentence in my remarks, I said the word 'would' instead of 'wouldn't,'" Trump told the cameras during a meeting with members of Congress in the Roosevelt Room. "The sentence should have been: I don't see any reason why I wouldn't -- or why it wouldn't be Russia. So just to repeat it, I said the word 'would' instead of 'wouldn't.'"

Asked by Stephanopoulos whether Rice thinks Trump is "compromised by Russia," she said she doesn't "know what his motivations are."

"I think that's a legitimate question," she said, adding that it has been "reinforced" by "that tragic display by sycophancy in Helsinki where the president called into question yet again, standing next to Vladimir Putin -- a dictator -- the integrity of our intelligence community," she said.

Rice said she's "not opposed to the notion of engaging the Russians," but said that a second summit between the two leaders doesn't "make sense."

"There are things to discuss with the Russians, but we should have come into that meeting very well-prepared, pressing our grave concern about Russian interference in our elections," she said. "There's no inherent problem with two leaders, even from hostile countries, engaging in dialogue. I support that. But you must come prepared. You must come to advance the United States' agenda, not to lie prostrate for the Russian agenda."

Stephanopoulos asked Rice about an interview Trump did with CNBC on Friday in which he said, "Obama was a patsy for Russia. He was a total patsy."

"That kind of language is ridiculous. It's offensive, and it doesn't frankly reflect well on President Trump,” Rice said. "Any American president should stand up for the United States of America -- in the present and historically -- when meeting with Vladimir Putin."

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Photo by Nadine Rupp/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The New York Times’ recent coverage of gay and transgender rights has been censored in Qatar, stoking dual concerns about press freedoms and human rights in the tiny Arab nation as it prepares to host millions of visitors for the 2022 World Cup.

In several pictures shared with ABC News, entire articles published from April to July were excised from the Doha edition of the New York Times International Edition, leaving in their places large swaths of empty newspaper and a small note explaining that the offending pieces had been “exceptionally removed.”

Among the nine pieces that appear to have been fully censored, all of which can be viewed below, eight of them pertained to issues affecting the LGBT community, suggesting that the Qatari government or, at least, those loathe to run afoul of it, are attempting to suppress discourse around sex and gender.

According to Minky Worden, the director of global initiatives for Human Rights Watch, that censorship could put Qatar in violation of its agreement with FIFA, soccer’s international governing body, to uphold certain minimum human rights standards — including press freedom and zero tolerance for discrimination based on sexual orientation — as a condition of hosting the upcoming World Cup.

“As the next host of the World Cup, Qatar should be responsible for implementing FIFA’s human rights policies as an example to the participating countries,” wrote Worden, whose May 29 column in the Times arguing that anti-gay laws “clash with FIFA statutes” was among those censored, in a formal complaint filed earlier this month through FIFA’s human rights reporting mechanism. “The censorship of the media has also been noticed by the LGBTQ community as a sign that they are not welcome in Qatar.”

Following publication of this report, the Government Communications Office for the State of Qatar issued a statement pledging to investigate the matter.

The New York Times International is printed by a local distributer in Doha. The government will examine the issues around the local distributor and take corrective action if needed,” the statement reads. “Qatar is a welcoming and hospitable country. We view the 2022 World Cup as a precious opportunity to bridge cultural divides and to serve as a unique platform for bringing people together. We look forward to people from all over the globe converging on Qatari soil – of different ethnicities, languages, religions, and cultures – uniting through a shared passion for football.”

In FIFA’s formal response to Worden’s complaint, a copy of which can be read here, FIFA human rights manager Andreas Graf tells Worden the governing body is already investigating claims of censorship but notes that “Qatar as a host country is not subject to FIFA’s Statutes, nor is it bound by FIFA’s Human Rights Policy and related FIFA regulations.”

In response to questions from ABC News, FIFA issued a statement affirming its commitment to press freedom as a "cornerstone of FIFA’s human rights efforts" and noting that FIFA has "launched an assessment of the processes" that led to the censorship.

"FIFA is aware and closely following up on the two recent opinion pieces discussing LGBTI issues linked to the FIFA World Cup that were not printed in the Doha edition of the New York Times," a FIFA spokesperson said. "As part of our ongoing activities in Qatar, we have already in early June 2018 launched an assessment of the processes that led to that. We will decide on appropriate further measures based on the results of this assessment and the engagement with our Qatari counterparts."

The censorship also raises interesting questions for the New York Times, Worden said, which began publishing in Qatar in 2007, about the balance between profits and principles: Would pushing back against the censorship jeopardize the Times’ ability to continue publish in a region where critical coverage is already scarce? Or does quietly acquiescing to the censorship send a troubling message that authoritarian governments can bully even the world’s most powerful publication into silence?

“If you let the Qataris pick and choose what will be printed, don’t be surprised if you have an ever narrower field of what can be published,” Worden said. “The Times has taken of strong stance on press freedom around the world, but this could set a troubling precedent.”

In response to questions from ABC News, the Times acknowledged that about a dozen pieces have been “altered or exceptionally removed” since April due to references to alcohol, sexuality, and even (in an advertisement) a Delacroix artwork. The decision to censor, the Times said, was made not by the Times but by either the government or the independent printing and distribution vendor in the region, and in those cases the Times requires the publisher to include a citation referencing the uncensored title of the piece and a reference to its availability online.

It is a decision, a spokesperson said, the Times “fundamentally disagree[s] with.”

"While we understand that our publishing partners are sometimes faced with local pressures, we deeply regret and object to any censorship of our journalism and are in regular discussions with our distributors about this practice,” a spokesperson for The New York Times told ABC News.

The fully censored stories cover a range of topics around a common theme, including a discussion of L.G.B.T. rights in Africa, criticism of the U.S. military’s transgender ban and, most recently, a retrospective on a 1973 fire that killed 32 people at a New Orleans gay bar, which referenced a recent ABC News documentary about the event.

Homosexuality is illegal in Qatar, and the government closely monitors and regulates printed publications under the terms of its 1979 “Press and Publications Law,” which permits the government to revoke a publication’s license if its policies are perceived to be “not in the national interest.”

It is unclear precisely when the censorship started and exactly who might be responsible for it. According to Justin Martin, a local subscriber and professor of journalism at Northwestern University’s Qatar campus, this development is a relatively recent one.

“For years, they’ve been censoring ‘sensitive’ images, like Kim Kardashian’s neckline, though more recently they started deleting words (usually ‘sex’), and very recently whole articles,” Martin told ABC News. “I’ve never seen this kind of censorship before.”

Sherif Mansour, who has served as the Middle East and North Africa program coordinator at the Committee to Protect Journalists for the last five years, told ABC News that he wasn’t surprised to learn Qatar could be stepping up its censorship of foreign journalists.

He called Qatar’s press laws “draconian” and noted that it has one of several governments across the region that enforces “redlines” on the media, topics that cannot be discussed without risk of arrest or imprisonment. The policy has resulted in what he calls “self-censorship,” in which publishers or printers preemptively remove potentially controversial content rather than risk drawing the ire of a watchful government.

The consequences of censorship, Mansour said, can be serious and far-reaching.

“Any form of censorship is limiting not just exposure for citizens in Qatar to different perspective, but it’s also limiting their ability to influence their own government on different issues,” Mansour said. “And that is precisely what is so dangerous about censorship. People start censoring themselves based on what the government thinks.”

Worden echoed that sentiment.

“This violates the right of people in Qatar,” she said. “No one there has the right to know about LGBT rights?”

For one local reader, these empty spaces speak volumes.

“For years, I grabbed my New York Times early in the morning, and I flipped through to see what was in it,” Martin said. “Now I flip through it to see what’s not.”

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PeterHermesFurian/iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The Department of Defense announced $200 million in security cooperation funds to be sent to Ukraine less than one week after President Donald Trump met with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The funds are to be used for "additional training, equipment and advisory efforts to build the defensive capacity of Ukraine's forces," the DOD says. That funds are part of a long-standing relationship between the U.S. and Ukraine, including more than $1 billion in assistance over the last four years.

The U.S. has condemned Russia's aggressive action in occupying the Crimean peninsula.

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Ildo Frazao/iStock/Thinkstock(TANARU, Brazil) -- Rare video released from a government agency in Brazil shows footage of a lone survivor of an Amazonian tribe who has been living alone for 22 years.

The Guaporé Ethno-Environmental Protection Front has been monitoring the man and, without ever speaking to him, has been helping to ensure that he is protected from all external threats, according to Fundação Nacional do Índio, or FUNAI, a Brazilian government agency that protects the interests and culture of natives to the country.

The video, taken from afar, shows a shaky image of the man hacking at a tree with an ax in Tanaru, an indigenous territory surrounded by private farms and deforested clearings in the Brazilian state of Rondonia.

The man appears to be nearly naked in photos released by the agency. He appears to wear a mustache in a close-up frame of his face, a third of which is hidden behind some leaves.

Another image shows a hut where the tribe apparently lived, with a thatched roof made with local vegetation.

In the 1980s, the establishment of farms and illegal logging in Rondonia led to repeated attacks on the indigenous people living there, according to FUNAI.

The man in the video is thought to be the only survivor after farmers attacked a group of six in 1995, FUNAI said. The agency has been monitoring the man since 1996, but attempts to contact him -- the last of which was made in 2005 -- were not successful, the agency said.

He has made it clear that he does not want to be contacted, the BBC reported, adding that the agency has a policy of avoiding contact with isolated groups.

A Brazilian law allows protection actions to be carried out on land outside the boundaries of indigenous lands when isolated indigenous peoples roam them, FUNAI said. The people who assist him leave only a few tools and seeds for him to plant in places he passes often, FUNAI said.

The video was shot to prove that he is alive in order to renew the restriction order, according to the BBC.

In 2012, FUNAI registered crops of maize, potatoes, bananas and papayas planted by indigenous people, who live off the food and animals they hunt.

The man is in his 50s but not much else is known about him, the BBC reported. In Brazil, he has been dubbed "the hole Indian" or the "Indian of the hole" because he usually leaves behind large holes or ditches, possibly to trap animals.

The man's existence proves that, even when alone in the middle of the Amazon, it's possible to survive and resist allying with society, according to FUNAI.

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hansslegers/iStock/Thinkstock(HANOI, Vietnam) --  Vietnam has convicted an American who was beaten and detained by police during a protest last month and expelled him from the country.

But after he was held for 40 days in custody, it was welcome news for Will Nguyen, his family, and the U.S., which had pushed Vietnamese officials for his release.

"WILL IS COMING HOME!!!" happily declared a Facebook group called "Free Will Nguyen" and run by his family after a Vietnamese court made the decision Friday. The group also sent a tweet of gratitude, saying, "Infinite and immeasurable thanks to come from us. We could not have achieved this without any of you and are quite literally, eternally grateful."

The Trump administration was quick to celebrate as well, with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tweeting, "I'm tremendously pleased that American citizen William Nguyen will return home to his family from #Vietnam." Pompeo visited Vietnam in early July and called for "a speedy resolution to his case" in meetings with senior Vietnamese leaders, according to the State Department.

But the Nguyen family had continually pressed the U.S. government to do more to secure his immediate release, with his sister Victoria Nguyen telling ABC News last week they were frustrated that officials were "almost avoiding talking about it and being dismissive of my concerns or issues I've raised."

A 32-year old graduate student originally from Houston, Texas, Will was charged with "disrupting the peace" after he was arrested June 10 in Ho Chi Minh City. A Yale University graduate, he had finished his master's degree at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy in Singapore on a full scholarship when, during a break before graduation, he visited Vietnam for a few days, as he and his family have almost annually for years.

While there, protests erupted in major cities across the country against a newly-proposed economic policy that would grant special land leases or economic zones to foreign companies, in particular, the Chinese. Despite prevailing anti-Chinese sentiment in many parts of the country, Vietnam has growing economic ties to the major power to its north -- something the U.S. has been competing with.

Will joined the protests in Ho Chi Minh City, according to his sister, because he is proudly Vietnamese-American and considered it "a civic duty ... to support the Vietnamese people and their freedom of assembly."

He even tweeted photos from his personal Twitter account of the protests, saying, "This is #democracy in #Vietnam."

But Vietnam is a communist country with one-party rule, and although it has modernized and reformed over the past couple decades to allow for some more economic freedoms and human rights, protests are often met with violent crackdowns and prolonged detentions.

Will was one of about 150 people arrested during the protests, with reports of detainees tortured or beaten with sticks while in government custody, according to human rights groups. Like many of the others, they said, he was beaten by police before being detained, although there have been no reports that he was harmed after his arrest.

In one video of the incident, Will is first seen on the ground being punched and then dragged through the streets while squirming. He is visibly wounded, blood covering the left side of his head and some of his face, and someone tries to put an orange bag over his head.

He's seen moments later in another video standing in the back of a police pick-up truck, appearing disoriented and waving to someone in the distance, gashes now visible on the left side of his head. Then, the truck drives off and out of the camera's eye as an officer is seen grappling with Will in the back.

He was first seen again in a confession video released by Vietnamese police days later, where he apologizes for holding up traffic and causing trouble for his family and promises not to participate in any anti-government protests. Consular officials from the U.S. embassy were able to visit him on three different occasions to ensure he was being treated well.

Nguyen's family maintains that even if his participation in a protest was prohibited, his brutal treatment by Vietnamese authorities is outrageous. It's unclear if they will demand a response by the U.S., but Victoria Nguyen told ABC News last week there should be human rights sanctions on the country's government: "He was beaten and dragged... There hasn't been any accountability."

The Nguyen family has not yet responded to request for comment.

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Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images(BERLIN) -- Speaking to reporters at her annual summer press conference, German Chancellor Angela Merkel opined on U.S. President Donald Trump, Russian President Vladimir Putin, and other newsworthy topics.

Merkel addressed President Trump's comments earlier in the week that the European Union was a foe of the United States. "We have to get over it," Merkel said, "because we see the U.S. as a very important partner."

She did acknowledge President Trump's aggression towards Germany, dryly telling reporters that she has "taken note of it." She also criticized President Trump's trade policies, especially the tariffs he has imposed.

"We see these tariffs as real danger for the prosperity of many all over the world," Merkel said. She went on to cite the multilateral work that pulled the global economy out of financial crisis in 2007 and 2008."

Merkel did, though, offer some support for one of President Trump's recent moves. Merkel said she was glad that Trump invited Vladimir Putin to Washington this fall, saying "such discussions are always good for everyone."

Merkel noted that no Russian president has visited the U.S. since 2005, something she says "shouldn't be the norm."

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iStock/Thinkstock(LUEBECK, Germany) -- A man armed with a knife attacked passengers on a bus in northern Germany on Friday before being taken into custody, authorities said.

An unknown number of passengers suffered injuries, including one seriously, during the knife attack on the crowded bus in Luebeck, Germany, at about 1:47 p.m., authorities said. No one died, they said.



The suspect "was overpowered" and taken into custody, police in Germany's Schleswig-Holstein state said in a statement. Investigators were trying to determine his motive, which police said remained unclear.

The police said many witnesses had already left the scene before they could speak with them. The bus had been fully occupied, police said.

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Samir Hussein/Samir Hussein/WireImage(LONDON) -- Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan have been working at a whirlwind pace since marrying on May 19.

They just completed their first foreign tour to Ireland on behalf of Queen Elizabeth.

Kensington Palace recently announced that Meghan and Harry will tour Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and Tonga in October, a trip that will include a visit to Harry's fourth Invictus Games in Sydney.

Next spring, they are scheduled to make their first tour to the United States at the request of the U.K. Foreign Office and the British government.

While plans have yet to be finalized, the tour will take Harry and Meghan to locations on both the East Coast and West Coast, including Meghan's home state of California.

"We know they want to meet with CEOs and especially female tech entrepreneurs out in Silicon Valley to raise awareness of the Royal Foundation and see if they can really start working more closely with them," Jennifer Peros, editor-in-chief of Us Weekly, told Good Morning America.

The magazine also reported that Meghan plans to return home to the U.S. later this summer to spend time with her mother, Doria Ragland, a Los Angeles-based social worker and yoga instructor. She is not expected to see her father, Thomas Markle, after he sold staged photographs and participated in several tell-all interviews.

“Many sources are telling us that Meghan has no plans to go visit her father when she comes here later this summer or on the official tour," Peros said.

Harry visited the U.S. in 2016 when the Invictus Games were held that year in Orlando. More recently, he surprised Chicago high school students with Michelle Obama last October at the Inaugural Summit of the Obama Foundation.

Kensington Palace has not yet formalized an itinerary for Meghan and Harry's U.S. trip.

A stop in Chicago could be possible. Meghan, 36, graduated from Northwestern University in nearby Evanston, Illinois, and former President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama, Chicago residents before they entered the White House, have been staunch supporters of the work of the Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

The Obamas have been at Harry’s side supporting wounded and injured service members during the Invictus Games, a Paralympic-style sporting event for injured service members, founded by Harry. Michelle Obama joined with former second lady Jill Biden during their time in office to launch Joining Forces, a national initiative to mobilize the U.S. population to support service members and their families.

Given the warm relationship, the Obamas were invited to Kensington Palace by Prince William, Princess Kate and Prince Harry for an informal dinner in April 2016, where William and Kate's oldest child, Prince George, stole the show.

William and Kate, both 36, have also taken their first vacation as a family of five in Mustique ahead of George's fifth birthday on Sunday. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were joined by their children -- Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis -- as well as Kate's sister, Pippa Middleton Matthews, and her husband, James Matthews; and Kate's parents, James and Carole Middleton.

William and Kate, as well as the Middletons, have been visiting Mustique for many years. It’s a favorite place for them due to its privacy and ability for their children to enjoy a holiday away from the prying eyes of the paparazzi.

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Chesnot/Getty Images(PARIS) -- Police questioned an aide to French President Emmanuel Macron on Friday after he was apparently caught on video impersonating a police officer while hitting and stomping a Paris demonstrator earlier this year.

The video, published Wednesday night by French newspaper Le Monde, was taken May 1 during a demonstration and seems to show Alexandre Benalla wearing a police armband and a helmet, but otherwise in civilian clothes.

Benalla, a member of the Elysee Palace security staff, appears to be dragging a woman and then hitting a young man, as real French police officers watch on and do not intervene.

He had initially been suspended for two weeks without pay, but he will now be fired, the Elysee Palace announced on Friday.

Macron’s political opponents had initially criticized the president for what they considered an insufficient punishment and argued that the Elysee Palace tried to cover up the event.

“There should not be a double standard in how you treat an aide to the president and any ordinary citizen,” the leader of the Socialist Party, Olivier Faure, said on French TV.

The French public prosecutor has opened a preliminary inquiry into potential charges against Benalla.

He could be charged for violence by a public official, pretending to be a member of the police and illegally using police insignia.

Prime Minister Edouard Philippe, speaking to Congress members on Thursday, said the incident was “particularly shocking.”

“The case is now in the hands of justice,” he added, referring to the preliminary investigation launched by prosecutors.

Macron has not yet officially reacted to the scandal.

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iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- A U.S. citizen, believed to have been fighting for ISIS, was captured in northern Syria this summer, according to a U.S. defense official.

Ibraheem Musaibli, who is now at a holding facility, was detained by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) -- the U.S.-led coalition's partner force fighting ISIS in Syria, the official said.

The New York Times
, which was first to report about Musaibli's capture, said he is 28 years old and from Dearborn, Michigan.

Musaibli, along with an Indiana woman whose husband joined ISIS and who is also detained, may be brought to the U.S. for prosecution, the Times reported.

The official confirmed to ABC News that the woman's name is Samantha Elhassani.

Musaibli is only the second U.S. citizen known to have been captured fighting for ISIS in Syria.

Last September, the Pentagon confirmed that a U.S. citizen had been detained after surrendering to the SDF. At first, the administration attempted to move him to Saudi Arabian custody but was blocked by a U.S. federal court after the ACLU sued on his behalf.

Now, the Pentagon has announced its intention to drop him back off in Syria in the same town where he was originally detained. The ACLU has sued to block this as well, and his case is awaiting a decision in federal court.

While in custody, he has never been charged with a crime.

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iStock/Thinkstock(LONDON) -- Among the most quirky of Britain’s historic traditions, the practice of counting swans, or "swan-upping," has a long history dating back hundreds of years.

The tradition is named after the officials who carry out the duties, swan uppers. The monarch claims ownership of all mute swans -- the species often represented in fairy tales and art -- in the U.K., as part of a tradition of royal entitlements thought to date back to 1186.

Swans, mostly their young cygnets, were considered a delicacy and served at banquets and feasts.

Each year, stocks of wild swans were rounded up and counted to ensure numbers and a healthy population. This usually took place in late July when the cygnets are typically born, but are not yet able to fly.

The tradition involves swan uppers catching swans with their bare hands, as they row down the various rivers in England where the birds most frequently gather.

The uppers wear formal dress and travel in traditional wooden boats known as skiffs. Uppers who count for the Crown fly the Queen’s flag.

The birds are caught, then weighed and checked for diseases. The data is stored for conservation efforts.

Swans in the U.K. are owned either by the Crown, by the Ilchester family or by two livery companies who have rights to own swans.

Uppers representing each will carry the appropriate flags on their skiffs and, alongside the royal Uppers, will sail 79 miles of the Thames over a week to count the swan population.

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ABC News(SEOUL, South Korea) -- South Korea's court has ordered the government and a shipping company to pay compensation to the families of victims of the Sewol ferry that sank in 2014, killing 304 on board, mostly high school students. It is the first time the state was held responsible for the tragedy that took a toll on the nation for years.

"The court acknowledges the liability in compensating the plaintiffs, since the negligence by the state and Cheonghaejin Marine Co. has resulted in the occurrence of the accident," the court announced on Thursday.

Each victim is to receive $177,000 in compensation. An additional $35,000 will go to parents of students who died, and a smaller portion will go to siblings and grandparents.

On April 16, 2014, the Sewol ferry sank on its way from Incheon to Jeju Island. There were 476 people on the ferry at the time, including 325 students from Danwon High School. Five of the passengers were never found.

An investigation later determined that the boat was over capacity.

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iStock/Thinkstock(JERUSALEM) - Israel adopted a contentious law on Thursday that defines the country as the nation-state of the Jewish people, a move critics described as racist and a step toward an apartheid state.

The bill, which is backed by the right-wing government, states that Israel is “the national home of the Jewish people” and that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. It also downgrades the Arabic language from an official language to one with “special status” and encourages the establishment of Jewish settlements. “The state views the development of Jewish settlement as a national value and will act to encourage and promote its establishment,” one clause of the law reads.

After the bill was passed, some Arab members of parliament yelled “apartheid” as they tore up paper versions of the law.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the new law marked a “pivotal moment in the annals of Zionism and the state of Israel.”

“Israel is the nation state of the Jewish people, that respects the individual rights of all its citizens,” he told the Knesset, Israel’s parliament, after the vote. “This is our state — the Jewish state.”

The law passed by a vote of 62-55 with two abstentions in the 120-member parliament after hours of heated debate and months of political dispute.

The law is largely symbolic, but opponents say it harms the Arab minority, which makes up about 20 percent of Israel’s population of about 9 million people. Some Arab lawmakers called the bill racist.

Adalah, the Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, said the law has “apartheid characteristics.”

“This law guarantees the ethnic-religious character of Israel as exclusively Jewish and entrenches the privileges enjoyed by Jewish citizens, while simultaneously anchoring discrimination against Palestinian citizens and legitimizing exclusion, racism, and systemic inequality,” the group said in a statement.

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ABC News(CHIANG MAI, Thailand) -- Chanin "Titan" Vibulrungruang said he was surprised the entire world was waiting to see him.

"Was it a good surprise?" ABC News asked the boy, following his recent extraction from a flooded cave in Thailand along with his soccer teammates and coach.

"A lot of people are supporting and encouraging," he said.

Titan and his father sat down with ABC News to discuss Titan's recent experience. He said his coach didn't carry him out of the cave but that he held onto his back while swimming out.

"At first," Titan's father said, "I was really happy and surprised because he is now finally safe." He said he was at the cave searching for his son "every day since the first day" Titan was missing.

Parents of other missing boys waited together and supported each other, he added.

"Everyone felt less worried after the first five days because all of the staff and volunteers were working really hard to find them," he said. "Also the staff said they found some evidence leading to the presence of the kids inside the cave, so we felt relieved, unlike the very first days that all the parents were worried."

Titan said he "thought about my parents" and felt that they "would be waiting in front of the cave."

Titan has returned home and said he's feeling healthier. He's enjoying some of his favorite foods again, including red curry with pork, and spending more time with his family. And he's going to get to watch some soccer soon.

"I'm excited," he said, "that they are going to take our team to see the actual teams."

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