• iStock/Thinkstock(LONDON) -- British royalty rubbed shoulders with fashion royalty Tuesday at London Fashion Week.Queen Elizabeth II made her first ever appearance at London Fashion Week and sat front row next to Vogue’s Anna Wintour at designer Richard Quinn’s runway show.The 91-year-old monarch sparkled in a blue tweed dress and jacket while viewing the emerging designer’s bold printed looks on the runway. She chatted with Wintour, who didn't remove her signature sunglasses.Quinn, who started his own label in 2016, is the inaugural recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Award for British Design, established to recognize emerging British fashion talent.The award, initiated in recognition of the role the fashion industry plays in society and diplomacy, will be awarded annually to an emerging British fashion designer of womenswear, menswear or accessories that shows exceptional talent and originality, while demonstrating value to the community and/or strong sustainable policies, according to a statement issued by Buckingham Palace.The British Fashion Council selected Quinn for his creative talent and for his work establishing a print studio, which offers high-quality and accessible services to students and fellow up-and-coming designers."From the tweed of the Hebrides to Nottingham lace, and of course Carnaby Street, our fashion industry has been renowned for outstanding craftsmanship for many years, and continues to produce world-class textiles and cutting-edge, practical designs," the queen said. "As a tribute to the industry, and as my legacy to all those who have contributed to British fashion, I would like to present this award for new, young talent."The award was the idea of the queen’s personal advisor, Angela Kelly, who accompanied her and has coordinated her wardrobe for over 26 years.Caroline Rush, the chief executive of the British Fashion Council, acknowledged Queen Elizabeth's role as a fashion icon and her groundbreaking effect on the industry when she ascended the throne."Your Majesty, it is a true honor to have you here and to have your support for British fashion," Rush said today. "Throughout your reign you have embraced fashion, using its power of diplomacy to communicate understanding between cultures and nations."Earlier in the day, the monarch visited showrooms to meet designers.
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  • iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The Syrian government and its allied forces pounded a besieged rebel-held Damascus suburb on Tuesday, killing dozens of civilians -- the enclave’s deadliest day in three years.Airstrikes and shelling have killed at least 210 civilians, including 54 children, since Sunday night, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a U.K.-based monitoring group, said. On Tuesday, at least 66 civilians were killed.On Monday alone, at least 127 civilians lost their lives, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.“Every day people die and we’re used to it,” Nour Adam, 22, a media activist in Eastern Ghouta who asked that his real last name be withheld out of concern for the safety of family members in government territory, told ABC News via Skype. “But people think we are numbers. Actually, we are humans.”During the interview the sound of an explosion could be heard in the background.The recent surge in violence in Eastern Ghouta, which has been besieged by the Syrian government since 2013, is part of President Bashar al-Assad’s campaign to seize Syria’s last remaining opposition-held territories.“The Syrian government is attacking all areas with all kinds of weapons -- known and unknown weapons,” Siraj Mahmoud, head of media for the White Helmets civil defense rescue force, which operates in rebel-held areas in Syria, told ABC News.“Warplanes don’t leave the sky at all. Today, we can’t say that we have any safe areas left in Eastern Ghouta,” Mahmoud, who works under a pseudonym, added.The Syrian foreign ministry said that militants in Eastern Ghouta fired shells at Damascus on Tuesday, killing six civilians, according to the state news agency SANA.An estimated 400,000 people are trapped in Eastern Ghouta with little access to food, water, fuel, electricity and health care. Many of them have left their homes and moved into underground shelters, where they spend their days and nights in hiding due to the intensity of the strikes.Save the Children said on Tuesday that 4,100 families now live in underground basements and shelters. More than half are without water, sanitation or ventilation systems, according to local aid workers.“The bombing has been relentless, and children are dying by the hour,” said Sonia Khush, Save the Children’s Syria response director, in a statement. “These families have nowhere left to run – they are boxed in and being pounded day and night.”The aid agency said that in some parts of Eastern Ghouta, the destruction is worse than it was at the height of the Syrian government’s offensive against Aleppo in 2016, “yet with only a tiny fraction of the global attention and outrage.”The United Nations warned on Tuesday that the humanitarian situation in Eastern Ghouta is “spiraling out of control” and that lack of access to the besieged enclave has kept aid away, leading to severe food shortages and a sharp rise in food prices. Malnutrition rates have now reached unprecedented levels, the U.N. said.“I am deeply alarmed by the extreme escalation in hostilities in East Ghouta,” Panos Moumtzis, U.N. regional humanitarian coordinator for the Syria crisis, said in a statement.Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
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  • ABCNews.com(MOSCOW) -- Russian police have reportedly arrested a man who has claimed to be a worker at a so-called troll factory in St. Petersburg, Russia, hours after he gave interviews to foreign journalists and lifted the lid on a secretive organization the U.S. Department of Justice last week accused of trying to undermine the 2016 presidential election.The Justice Department Friday indicted 13 Russians it accused of running a campaign through the alleged trolling operation to undermine the U.S. election, using social media posts and fake news websites. The indictment named the company behind the alleged operation as the Internet Research Agency.Since the indictment, Marat Mindiyarov, a 43-year-old former teacher who said he worked for the operation from 2014 to early 2015, has been giving interviews to multiple foreign news outlets, including The Associated Press and The Washington Post, describing its inner workings.He was then detained Sunday by police who accused him and a friend of making a false report about a bomb near his village outside St. Petersburg, he told The Moscow Times.Mindiyarov has since been released, Russian radio station Echo of Moscow reported.Mindiyarov, like most of the workers, was not named in the U.S. indictment brought as part of U.S. special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election. The indictment Friday named people accused of overseeing the alleged trolling effort or playing a key role in the operation to undermine the election.It also named the Internet Research Agency’s alleged owner, Yegenvy Prigozhin, a man nicknamed “Putin’s Chef” because of his close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin.Mindiyarov has said he was a lower-level employee, posting hundreds of comments on social media expressing Kremlin viewpoints.Mindiyarov knew the operation’s “Facebook Department” had hired hundreds of Russians who spoke English well to take part in a campaign to influence U.S. public opinion, he told reporters."Your first feeling, when you were there, was that you were at some factory that turned a lie into a conveyor belt,” Mindiyarov told The Washington Post Saturday. “The volumes were enormous; there were a huge number of people, from 300 to 400, and they all wrote an absolute lie. It was like in the world of [novelist George] Orwell, the place where you have to say that white is black, and black is white.”He is among a number of former employees at the “troll factory,” as well as undercover journalists, who have come forward in the past two years to explain what they say are the internal workings of its operation to media organizations, including ABC News.The Kremlin has denied having any connection to the “troll factory,” with Putin’s spokesman telling reporters Monday that Mueller had failed to provide sufficient evidence of a campaign to meddle in the U.S. election.Echo of Moscow, the Russian radio station, reported that police had detained Mindiyarov and a friend it named as Igor at an apartment Sunday, accusing Igor of having used his phone to make false reports about bombs near their village.But, writing on his Facebook page Monday, Mindiyarov said he “is not afraid even after the events of the last night and today.”Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
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  • ABCNews.com(TEHRAN, Iran) -- Time is ticking as Iranian rescue teams search the Zagros Mountains trying to locate the wreckage of a missing Aseman Airliner that crashed there on Sunday morning with 66 people on board.The missing plane was an ATR 72-500 twin-engine turboprop. It left the capital city of Tehran to Yasuj, a southwestern city at 4:30 a.m. GMT on Sunday, but went off the radar 50 minutes into its journey around the city of Semirom in Isfahan Province.Relatives of those on board have been desperately waiting all day on Sunday, but are losing hope as reports say all 66 passengers are feared dead. Those on board include 60 passengers, two flight attendants, two security guards, and the pilot and co-pilot.According to the statement of Iran Emergency Center, the heavy winds and snow did not allow a rescue team's helicopter to approach the possible location of the crash on the first day.The rescue operation was resumed Monday in better weather, but the plane wreckage had yet to be tracked down.To accelerate the operation, Iran has reached out to other countries for help.“We have asked China and European countries to immediately inform us of any image they might capture with their satellites,” Mojtaba Saradeghi, deputy head of Iran's Civil Aviation Organization, told the Iranian Student News Agency on Monday.Family and friends have posted desperate pleas for news on the missing on social media, including one from a women who listed four co-workers killed in the accident and the statement, translated as, "Do you know we have filled your desks at the office with flowers? We shared your memories, and cried."Russia has also sent information on the possible location of the crash to Tehran via diplomatic channels, according to Spotnik, the Russian news agency.The Iranian airliner's fleet is very old as it has been prevented from updating for years due to severe sanctions from the West. The Islamic Republic was not allowed to purchase new Western planes and spare parts for about two decades.In 2015, the country signed a nuclear deal with six world powers (Germany, United Kingdom, France, Russia, China and the United States), based on which Iran agreed to curb its nuclear-related activities in return for the easing of some sanctions against the country.One of the top priorities of Iran was removing sanctions on its aviation industry. While easing these sanctions has led to a major deal between Iran and Boeing for the purchase of airplanes over the coming years, the body of the fleet of the country is still worn out.The recent crash has led to discussions on social networks about where the West and Iranian aviation stands two years after the lifting of the sanctions on the industry.Pouyan Tabasinejad, policy chair of the Iranian Canadian Congress, was among those to criticize Canadian Sen. Linda Frum on Twitter after she slammed Boeing for selling Iran new aircraft.However, some of those who used to blame the West for the high number of casualties in airplane crashes in Iran are now pointing their fingers at Tehran’s mismanagement for not upgrading its fleet in the past two years after the lifting of the former restrictions.Capt. Houshang Shahbazi became a national hero to Iranians in December 2011 after he managed to safely land a 40-year-old Boeing 727 while the gear in the nose was jammed and the front wheel did not open. He saved the life of 120 passengers on board.Before the nuclear deal, Shahbazi was a vocal critic of the Western sanctions on Iran’s civil aviation industry. But in an interview with ABC News about the recent incident, he said time to blame the West for such incidents is over. Instead, he criticized Iranian aviation officials for not being swift enough in updating the fleet.“It is not a humanitarian crisis. This crash is the result of a political crisis,” he said, putting the blame on where political parties choose to invest the resources of the country. “Two years has
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  • iStock/Thinkstock(KARO, Indonesia) --  A volcano on Indonesia’s Sumatra island sent columns of ash shooting into the sky on Monday, prompting a "code red" warning to airlines by an Australian agency monitoring volcanic ash.Villages in the Karo region near the volcano were covered in layers of grey ash, which settled on trees and the tops of buildings, motorcycles and cars. Villagers were forced to wear masks.Mount Sinabung has been erupting intermittently since 2010 after being dormant for centuries. Thousands have been displaced in the surrounding area, and continued seismic activity has kept the alert level at its highest point since June 2015. Mount Sinabung is one of three currently active volcanoes in Indonesia, which is located on the Pacific "Ring of Fire," an area of concentrated seismic activity due to the presence of tectonic fault lines in the region.Last year, the eruption of Mount Agung in Bali forced the cancellation of several flights, grounding thousands of tourists and sparking an evacuation order for 100,000 residents. Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
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  • ABC News(LESBOS, Greece) --  In her temporary home, a fraction of a tent, Aziza Hommada holds up a transparent plastic bag with pita bread. The plastic has little holes in it and the bread is in pieces.“Look,” she says. “The rats come into the tent and eat our bread. I have to throw this out.”Hommada, 37, is five months pregnant and lives with her six children in the Moria camp, the largest refugee camp on the Greek island of Lesbos.The words “Welcome to prison” are spray-painted at the entrance and barbed wire surrounds the camp, which used to be a detention center for rejected asylum seekers. Tents and containers are packed tightly together, with narrow, muddy passageways between them. Trash spills out of overflowing garbage bins and piles up on the ground. At night, bonfires light up the faces of children and adults who try to stay warm.As Europe experienced an unprecedented influx of refugees and migrants in 2015, the camp was originally a temporary solution that could house up to 2,000 people. When ABC News visited the camp in mid-January, it was home to more than 5,300 people, according to the director of the camp. ABC News was granted rare permission to access a small area of the Moria camp, and also visited other parts where journalists were not allowed.Like most people in the camp, Hommada and her children share their living space. A piece of fabric splits Hommada’s tent in two. She lives with her children in one half while some of her relatives occupy the other.She washes laundry by hand using water from a room right next to her tent. The floor there is brown from dirty water and on one recent evening two rats peeked out of a corner.The family escaped from airstrikes and fighting between ISIS and the Syrian government in their village in Deir Ezzor, Syria. The family became separated when Hommada's husband left to pick up his sister from another village, she says. She has not heard from her husband or been able to find out what happened to him. She arrived in Lesbos with her children about two weeks ago. Even though the family is now safe from airstrikes, Hommada feels scared in the camp, especially at night. “I don’t sleep from the fear,” says Hommada. “If anyone walks by our tent at night I sense it immediately and feel frightened.”International organizations operating on the island say lack of security and hygiene are two major issues in the Moria camp. The UN warned earlier this month that women and children are at risk of sexual violence in the camp and called for more police. It described the bathrooms there as “no-go zones” for women and children after dark if they are not accompanied. Even showering during the day can be dangerous, the UN said.  In his office inside the Moria camp, Giannis Balpakakis, the camp's director, who is appointed by the Greek government to run it, lets out a sigh.“The only problem is that there are a lot of people and it is difficult for us,” he says when asked why the camp is crowded and dirty. “If you have an apartment with one kitchen and two bedrooms and this apartment is for two people and in the same apartment you put 10 people you will have a problem. This is the problem.”New containers were recently added in the camp, increasing the capacity from 2,000 to 3,000, he says, but it’s still not enough. People keep arriving to the island and the camp is crowded, he says -- so crowded that staff members clean the bathrooms and toilets only to find them dirty again one hour later.“We may make mistakes, we may not be able to get to everything, but we are trying really hard,” he says. “All of us here are striving for the betterment of the people. I’m not saying that it’s the best, but we earnestly try. Everyone talks countless hours on the phone, to get everything in order, to strive, but I say to you honestly the problems that we hav
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