• iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The FBI is conducting painstaking DNA tests on a batch of human remains which could be those of American hostages killed in ISIS captivity, after agents and U.S. commandos recently unearthed them from liberated areas in Syria, ABC News has learned.It may be months before testing at the FBI Laboratory in Quantico, Va., determines whether any are those of Americans or other westerners executed by ISIS or killed while held hostage, officials and family members said.The successful recovery of human remains gives hope to American families eager to lay their loved ones to rest at home -- even as they are urging the U.S. government to bring to justice two captured ISIS guards who helped U.S. authorities pinpoint the Syrian grave sites where remains were recovered.Several officials told ABC News that a decision still has not been made on what to do with the pair of Londoners captured by allied Kurdish YPG fighters in January, Alexanda Kotey and El Shafee Elsheikh, who according to the U.S. Department of State were half of the British terror quartet their captives called "the Beatles."Two weeks ago, the parents of murdered American hostages Kayla Mueller, Steven Sotloff, James Foley and Abdul-Rahman (Peter) Kassig were flown to Washington to meet with the FBI, federal prosecutors and top Trump administration officials to express their views on what should be done with the prisoners.While President Trump has said that he wants to send more terrorists to the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, the family members urged officials at the meeting to try the captured ISIS fighters in federal court.The families reminded officials, according to sources present at the meeting, of an Obama Presidential Policy Directive issued four months after Kayla Mueller's death in 2015 (which has not been rescinded) emphasizing the prosecution of hostage-takers."The United States shall diligently seek to ensure that hostage-takers of U.S. nationals are arrested, prosecuted, and punished through a due process criminal justice system in the United States or abroad for crimes related to the hostage-taking," the directive states.The U.K., which revoked the citizenship of all four "Beatles" including Mohammed Emwazi, the ISIS executioner dubbed "Jihadi John" by the media, has also objected to the men facing anything but a civilian trial, several sources said. Emwazi was killed in a CIA drone strike in Raqqa, Syria, in 2016 and Aine Davis, the fourth alleged “Beatle,” was captured in Turkey."The Brits are not in support of the death penalty and Guantanamo but that was not a threat or demand to not help," one counterterrorism official said.In a joint op-ed published in The New York Times earlier this month, the four families urged Trump not to try them in the military court at Guantanamo and not to seek their execution."Either path would make them martyrs in the eyes of their fanatic, misled comrades in arms — the worst outcome," they wrote. "Instead, they should be tried in our fair and open legal system, or in a court of international justice, and then spend the rest of their lives in prison. That is what our children would have wanted."The U.S. government has rarely ignored the wishes of families of terrorism victims about how perpetrators should be held accountable.Information obtained during Kotey and Elsheikh's interrogations and in material discovered in their possession at the time of their capture helped locate sites in Syria where FBI agents with cadaver dogs started excavating graves under escort by U.S. Special Forces in late February.“Information was obtained leading them to a few of the people,” a counterterrorism official told ABC News at the time.At least four U.S. hostages died in ISIS hands. Journalist James Foley, journalist Steven Sotloff and aid worker Abdul-Rahman (Peter) Kassig were shown being beheaded by “Jihadi John” in ISIS propaganda videos. Aid worker Kayla Mueller wa
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  • iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- President Donald Trump said on Tuesday that he is inclined to pull U.S. troops out of Syria soon.“I want to get out. I want to bring our troops back home. I want to start rebuilding our nation,” Trump said in a response to a reporter's question during a press conference with Baltic leaders.The president said the U.S. will be making a decision “very quickly in coordination with others in the area as to what we'll do” and suggested that if others, like Saudi Arabia, want the U.S. to maintain a presence, perhaps they should pay for it.“Saudi Arabia is very interested in our decision and I said, well, you know, you want us to say maybe you will have to pay but a lot of people, you know, we do a lot of things in this country. We do them for, we do them for a lot of reasons. But it is very costly for our country and it helps other countries a hell of a lot more than it helps us. So we're going to be making a decision,” Trump said.The president's remarks come after he suggested last week in surprise comments that the U.S. would soon pull out of Syria.“We will not rest until ISIS is gone," he said before his opening remarks at Tuesday's press conference.
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  • ABC News(LOS RAMONES, Mexico) -- At least one person was killed and others wounded when a bus from Texas rolled over en route to Monterrey, Mexico Tuesday afternoon, Mexican authorities confirmed.The vehicle, which left from Houston, was being run by tourist passenger Bus Pegasso and crashed along Highway Reynosa-Monterrey in Los Ramones.The small municipality is located in the state of Nuevos Leon -- some seven hours away from Houston and one hour from its destination of Monterrey.Around twenty people were rushed to nearby hospitals, according to authorities. The nationalities of the passengers was not immediately clear.This is a breaking news story. Please check back for updates.
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  • University of Edinburgh(SKYE, Scotland) -- On the Isle of Skye in Scotland, scientists with the University of Edinburgh's School of Geoscience discovered 170 million-year-old dinosaur footprints that reveal insight into how different dinosaurs may have evolved."Anytime we find a new dinosaur, it's really exciting, but beyond that, these [discoveries of footprints] are really important because they are some of the few dinosaur fossils from the middle part of the Jurassic period from anywhere in the world," said Dr. Stephen Brusatte, who led the field work on the study with the university.The discovery reveals further evidence that sauropods, one of the types of dinosaur tracks that were found in the Isle of Skye's limestone, spent time in lagoons during the Middle Jurassic time period, he said."The site preserves an abundance of small sauropod manus and pes prints and several isolated and broken medium-to-large tridactyl footprints," the scientists published Monday in their corresponding article to their study in the Scottish Journal of Geology.They found both tracks of footprints and isolated footprints, he said."This new site has about 50 tracks of two different types of dinosaurs -- [The] long-necked behemoth cousins of the brontosaurus and flesh-eating cousins of T. Rex," Bruatte explained of the sauropod dinosaurs.Fossils from the Middle Jurassic time period are extremely rare, he said."[This was] when dinosaurs were putting the final flourishes on their rise to dominance," Bruatte said about the time period.There are probably a few hundred dinosaur footprints that have been discovered on the Isle of Skye, Bruatte estimated.The area is a hotspot for fossil preservation because the coasts are "widely exposed and easily eroded," making it a great area to find fossils, he said.The scientists are continuing to put together the puzzle on how dinosaurs lived on the Isle of Skye in the Middle Jurassic.
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  • iStock/Thinkstock(LONDON) -- Vaporetti, Venice's public water buses, will be powered with biodiesel fuel for the next seven months, an experiment by the Italian city to become more green.The public transport company Gruppo AVM, the waste disposal company Veritas and the Italian oil and gas multinational Eni, are also behind the project to convert cooking oil into biodiesel to power the public water buses.As part of the experiment, Veritas will collect and purify used cooking oil from various sources such as restaurants and deliver it to a biodiesel refinery run by Eni, which will then purify and convert the oil into fuel.The trial started April 1 and ends in October.Venice's experiment is not the first time cooking oil in the form of biodiesel has been used for fuel.Some drivers of London’s iconic black cabs are regular clients of Uptown Oil – a biodiesel start-up that collects used cooking oil from restaurants and fast-food chains to convert into fuel.The cabbies – as the drivers are known – pay around 35 to 70 cents per liter for the fuel, compared to commercial diesel that's twice the price. The black cabs are expensive vehicles, costly to maintain and replace, and the biodiesel scheme has been a boon to many drivers who cover their own expenses.The plan has also been welcomed in a city that struggles to dispose of excess oil and fat, an operation that costs the private company Thames Water – which runs a monopoly in London - $16 million a year in the removal of blockages alone.Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
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  • Christophe Morin/IP3/Getty Images(PARIS) -- French rail workers and Air France staff are taking part in massive strikes across the country on Tuesday, which the French press has dubbed "Black Tuesday."The strikes pose a serious challenge to President Emmanuel Macron, who was elected into office eleven months ago.Nearly 4.5 million train passengers are facing major disruptions from the strikes. Around half of the staff at state rail operator SNCF are on strike, the company said in a statement, and workers have walkouts planned until June 28.According to SNCF, only one of eight high-speed TGV trains is running and just one regional train is operating. Around the Paris area, less than half of RER region train services are in service. The walkout is also disrupting train traffic on the Eurostar, with three out of four trains running to London.Railway unions are opposing Macron’s plan to reform the state rail operator SNCF, which could strip new hires of special advantages such as guaranteed jobs for life and early retirement. The French government argues its plan would make SNCF more competitive, but unions fear the changes are a first step toward privatizing the state rail operator.These mass rail strikes are perceived as a first major test for the 40-year-old Macron; previous presidents have tried and failed to reform the state rail operator. Transport Minister Elisabeth Borne said Tuesday on French TV that the reform will pass, but insisted that the government is willing “to listen, to hold a consultation, to have a dialogue.” She said she is expecting to meet with rail unions on Thursday.Air transportation was also disrupted in France Tuesday, as Air France personnel are on strikes for the fourth time in less than two months. The company said in a statement it expects to operate 75 percent of its flights, but added that last-minutes delays and cancellations may occur.The Air France walkouts have no link to Macron’s reforms. Staff unions are demanding a 6 percent salary increase, arguing that airline management should distribute the wealth with its staff following strong financial results in 2017.Three additional strikes are expected at Air France on April 7, 10 and 11.Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
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