• Jack Taylor/Stringer/Getty(HARARE, Zimbabwe) -- Thousands of Zimbabweans marched through the capital on Saturday demanding that President Robert Mugabe step down, days after the military placed the longtime ruler under house arrest.Euphoric crowds gathered near the State House where Zimbabweans cheered, danced, waved flags and hugged soldiers who were stationed outside the government building in Harare. Some marchers carried posters and signs, including ones that said, "Enough is enough Mugabe must go" and "Mugabe out."It was the first public demonstration since Zimbabwe's military apparently took charge earlier in the week, and one that would have been perhaps unthinkable just months ago.The first signs of a military takeover emerged Tuesday 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.An established Zimbabwean journalist who spoke to ABC News on condition of anonymity said members of the military marched inside the state broadcaster's headquarters on Tuesday and told employees there to not be afraid, that "we are here to protect you" and that they should continue their work as usual.The U.S. Embassy in Zimbabwe issued an advisory Tuesday 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 Wednesday morning, vehemently denying speculation this was a coup d'etat and assuring citizens the president and his family are "safe and sound.""We are only targeting criminals around him who are committing crimes that are causing social and economic suffering in the country, in order to bring them to justice. As soon as we have accomplished our mission, we expect that the situation will return to normalcy," Major General S.B. Moyo, spokesman for the Zimbabwe Defense Forces, said in a statement on the state broadcaster."To both our people and the world beyond our borders, we wish to make it abundantly clear that this is not a military takeover of government. What the Zimbabwe Defense Forces is doing is to pacify a degenerating political, social and economic situation in our country, which if not addressed may result in a violent conflict," he added.Moyo urged other security services to "cooperate" with the army "for the good of the country," and warned that "any provocation will be met with an appropriate response." As the political turmoil continued to unfold, it remained unclear whether Mugabe was still in power.The president of neighboring South Africa, Jacob Zuma, said he spoke with Mugabe on Wednesday morning, who told him he was "confined to his home but said that he was fine." Zuma sent "special envoys" to meet with Mugabe and the Zimbabwean army "in light of the unfolding situation," according to a press release from the South African presidency.The whereabouts of Mugabe's wife were still unknown; though journalists in Harare told ABC News she's believed to be with her husband under house arrest at the presidential palace. It's uncharted waters for Zimbabweans. Mugabe, 93, has led the country since its independence in 1980. He is the world's oldest head of state. In December last year, Zimbabwe's ruling party ZANU-PF confirmed Mugabe as its sole candidate for the 2018 election, despite concerns over his age and health.Mugabe is still revered by some Zimbabweans as a freedom fighter who helped liberate the former British colony Rhodesia from white minority rule. But many have come to view him as an avaricious autocrat who has plundered the country's resources,Zimbabweans have seen the economy expand and contract under Mugabe's reign. In recent years, the economy has suffered from rampant corruption, mounting debt, food shortages, a collapsed currency and a deteriorating
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  • iStock/Thinkstock(TOKYO) -- A U.S. warship collided with a Japanese commercial tug boat in Japan's Sagami Bay on Saturday, marking the fifth time this year that a ship in the U.S. Navy's 7th Fleet in the Pacific has been involved in a crash.The Japanese tug boat lost propulsion and drifted into the USS Benfold during a towing exercise. The U.S. guided-missile destroyer sustained minimal damage, and there were no reported injuries on either vessel, according to a press release from the U.S. Navy's 7th Fleet.The USS Benfold, which is awaiting a full damage assessment, remains at sea under its own power. The incident will be investigated, the 7th Fleet said.Here's a look at previous crashes involving U.S. Navy warships in 2017, including two deadly collisions that left 17 sailors dead:Jan. 31: The USS Antietam runs aground off coast of JapanThe USS Antietam ran aground off the coast of Japan on January 31, damaging its propellers and spilling oil into the water.The guided-missile destroyer grounded near the U.S. Naval base in Yokosuka, Japan, after anchoring out in high winds, the Navy Times reported. The crew noticed the ship was dragging its anchor before getting it back underway, according to the Navy Times, adding that the crew then felt the ship shudder and lose pitch control of its propellers.About 1,100 gallons of oil were dumped into the Tokyo Bay, the Navy Times reported. No one was injured.A Navy investigation revealed that the former Capt. Joseph Carrian of the USS Antietam was "ultimately responsible" for the ship’s running aground, causing an estimated $4.2 million in damage, according to Stars and Stripes.May 9: The USS Lake Champlain collides with South Korean fishing boatThe USS Lake Champlain, also a guided-missile cruiser, collided with a South Korean fishing boat in the Sea of Japan May 9.No one was injured in the incident.The warship tried to alert the fishing boat before the collision but it was too late. June 17: The USS Fitzgerald collides with a Philippine container shipSeven U.S. sailors were killed when the USS Fitzgerald collided with Philippine-flagged container ship in the middle of the night off the coast of Yokosuuka, Japan, June 17.The destroyer was operating about 56 nautical miles southwest of Yokosuka when it collided with the ACX Crystal. The Fitzgerald sustained damage on its starboard side and experienced flooding in some spaces as a result of the collision, according to the Navy.  All seven sailors who died were initially missing after the collision and found in the flooded quarters after the destroyer returned to port, a Navy official told ABC News. Those quarters flooded within 90 seconds of the collision.The area is often busy with sea traffic, with as many as 400 ships passing through it every day, according to Japan's coast guard.The Navy last week relieved the USS Fitzgerald's commanding officer, executive officer and senior enlisted sailor for alleged mistakes that led to the deadly crash.Aug. 21: The USS John S. McCain collides with a merchant shipTen U.S. sailors were killed when the USS John S. McCain, named after the father and grandfather of Vietnam war hero Sen. John S. McCain III, R-Ariz., collided with commercial vessel Alnic MC in waters east of Singapore on Aug. 21, according to the Navy.The collision occurred east of the Strait of Malacca around 6:24 a.m. Japan Standard Time. The guided-missile destroyer was on its way for a routine port visit in Singapore, the Navy said in a statement."It was one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world," said Steve Ganyard, an ABC News contributor, retired Marine colonel and a former deputy assistant secretary of state."One-third of all maritime shipping goes through here," Ganyard said. "So there were probably extenuating circumstances but no doubt, as we saw in the Fitzgerald, there was probably human error involved, as well." The warship suffered significant damage to the hull, causing flooding in nearby departments, inclu
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  • MR1805/iStock/Thinkstock(BUENOS AIRES) -- The Argentine Navy confirmed Friday that it has lost communication with one of its submarines.According to the Navy, the submarine's last-known position in the area of operations was near the San Jorge Gulf, about 240 nautical miles from the country's southern shore. Communications were reportedly knocked out Wednesday because of a fire, local media said.No SOS warning was received at any time, the Navy said. A spokesperson hypothesized that it would be logical that a major electrical problem could have knocked out the submarine's communications.The missing watercraft -- the ARA San Juan -- is a German-built TR 1700 class diesel-electric submarine, the Navy said. It was on a routine trip from a base in Ushia, on the southern tip of the continent, to its home base of Mar del Plata.The ARA San Juan debuted in 1983 and hadn't experienced any problems until two years ago, when it was sent to port to be repaired, the Navy said. The nature of those repairs is unclear.The Navy said that four naval ships and three planes were searching for the missing submarine, as well as land-based communications stations, which are listening to all possible frequencies of transmission in case the vessel is trying to send a message.One of the planes being used is an American NASA plane, which is equipped with instruments that searchers hope will aid in the search. The Navy has also asked that local merchant and fishing ships also keep a lookout for the submarine.Only 15 percent of the logical search area had been surveyed by Friday afternoon, and the search area has now been widened, the Navy said.After the search began during mild weather, visuals were later hampered due to worsening weather, according to officials.The Submarine Force Command has been in touch with the relatives of the 44 on board to keep them informed of developments.According to the Navy, a Turbo Tracker aircraft and a B-200 aircraft had made flights Thursday and this morning.Both the naval destroyer ARA Sarandi with a helicopter on board and the corvette ARA Rosales had also been sent to the area. Additionally, the Navy said the ARA corvette Drummond was expected to arrive and get in position today around 6 p.m. local time.Steve Ganyard, an ABC News contributor and a former deputy assistant secretary of state, said the San Juan was almost 35 years old but had undergone a "midlife upgrade" in 2013. The submarine is one of only three in the Argentine Navy.The U.S. Southern Command said it was monitoring the situation closely."We are coordinating closely with the U.S. State Department and our chain of command to be ready to assist, if asked. As of this email, U.S. Southern Command does not have a role in the ongoing search and rescue effort. We join the international community in hoping for an outcome involving no loss of life or injuries to personnel," U.S. Southern Command said.The Argentine Foreign Ministry said that the governments of Chile, U.S. and U.K. had offered logistical support and information in the search for the missing submarine. The U.S. also deployed a plane to the massive search site in a rescue operation."The fact is that, if you don't know where the submarine is, when it's in distress, you can have all the rescue gear in the world and it's not going to make a difference," Ganyard said.Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
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  • Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The Saudi-led coalition’s blockade of Yemen has “choked off” urgently needed humanitarian aid, threatening the lives of millions of vulnerable families and children, U.N. leaders warned on Thursday.Even though the Saudi-led coalition has lifted the blockade of some of Yemen’s ports, many of the country’s seaports and land ports remain closed, preventing food, fuel, and medicine from reaching millions of people in need.About 400,000 children are suffering from severe and acute malnutrition and depend on a continuous supply of medicine and nutrition for their survival. About 150,000 malnourished children could die within the coming months if left untreated, the U.N. said in a statement.“All in all, for children, it’s one of the most dangerous places on earth right now,” Sherin Varkey, UNICEF’s acting representative in Yemen, told ABC News.In Yemen, one child dies from infectious diseases or malnutrition every 10 minutes, Varkey said.On a recent visit to a hospital in the capital of Sanaa, Varkey said he spoke with staff members who had been showing up to work and doing their jobs diligently despite not having received their salaries for more than a year.At the hospital, Varkey said he met a young mother who was about 16 or 17 with a 9-month-old, severely malnourished baby. The mother had borrowed money so that she could afford the long journey from her home in Ibb governorate to the hospital in Sanaa, hoping that her child could be saved, he said. Her husband works for a private company and has not been paid for more than a year, according to Varkey.“The mother was hopeful that her child will survive today but wasn’t very optimistic about peace returning to the country in the near future. She appeared very depressed with the overall situation,” said Varkey. “She was saying that everyone in her village was going through the same problem and that people sometimes do not even have the money to go to the hospital for treatment.”What is behind the Saudi-led blockade of Yemen and how has it affected people there? Here is what you should know.How long has the Saudi-led military coalition imposed a blockade on Yemen?The Saudi-led coalition, which supports the Yemeni government and is at war with Yemen's Iran-backed Houthi rebels, has been blocking Yemen’s borders for two years.But on Nov. 6, the coalition tightened the blockade after a Nov. 4 ballistic missile attack on Saudi Arabia’s capital, Riyadh. The Houthi rebels claimed responsibility for the attack that day.The Saudi-led coalition has partially lifted the recent blockade, and seaports and airports in areas under the control of the government have re-opened.But other areas remain choked off. The re-opening of Aden airport has allowed some humanitarian flights to land, but services to other parts of the country are still blocked, said the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in its latest update on the situation in Yemen.How has the blockade affected Yemenis' access to food and fuel?Yemen's stocks of wheat and sugar will run out in three months if cargo vessels are not allowed to discharge in Hodeidah, the country’s only deep-water seaport, in the next few days, the International Rescue Committee and a number of other organizations said in a joint statement Friday."Even if they are allowed, food distribution systems have been severely disrupted and may collapse within weeks," the statement said. "Millions could die in a historic famine if the blockade continues indefinitely."In Sanaa, the price of petrol increased by more than 170 percent and the price of diesel by 62 percent on the black market, according to the U.N., and the price of trucked water has risen by 133 percent.At a center for internally displaced people in Sanaa, run by UNHCR’s partner organization ADRA, between 600 and 800 people were arriving every day, compared w
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  • iStock/Thinkstock(HARARE, Zimbabwe) -- Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe showed no signs of loosening his iron grip on power Friday as he appeared in public for the first time since the military apparently took control this week.Clad in blue and yellow academic robes with a cap, the 93-year-old leader presided over and delivered a speech at a university graduation ceremony in the country's capital, Harare.Zimbabwe's military told the state-owned Herald newspaper on Friday that it is "engaging with the commander-in-chief President Robert Mugabe on the way forward and will advise the nation of the outcome as soon as possible."The military added that "significant progress has been made in their operation to weed out criminals around President Mugabe." Those sought had been "committing crimes that were causing social and economic suffering in Zimbabwe." Some have been arrested while others remained at large, the military told the newspaper.Life seemed to carry on as usual in downtown Harare, with the exception of increased military presence. Residents there told ABC News that businesses were open and the streets were calm, though soldiers were stationed in certain areas and tanks blocked some roads on the outskirts of the city center.An American citizen, who lives in Harare and spoke to ABC News on condition of anonymity, said she still feels safe in her neighborhood. In fact, she discerns an overall sense of "subdued excitement" from Zimbabweans and other residents about the potential military intervention, she said."If you mention this to anyone in passing, there's a smile that creeps on their face and a little giggling maybe too," she told ABC News in a telephone interview Thursday night. "People are hopeful that finally, after all these years, Mugabe will be at the end of his reign."The first signs of a military takeover emerged Tuesday 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.An established Zimbabwean journalist, who spoke to ABC News on condition of anonymity Tuesday night, said members of the military marched inside the state broadcaster's headquarters and told employees there to not be afraid, that "we are here to protect you" and to continue their work as usual.The U.S. Embassy in Zimbabwe issued an advisory Tuesday 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 Wednesday morning, vehemently denying speculation this was a coup d'etat and assuring citizens the president and his family are "safe and sound.""We are only targeting criminals around him who are committing crimes that are causing social and economic suffering in the country, in order to bring them to justice. As soon as we have accomplished our mission, we expect that the situation will return to normalcy," Maj. Gen. S.B. Moyo, spokesman for the Zimbabwe Defense Forces, said in a statement on the state broadcaster."To both our people and the world beyond our borders, we wish to make it abundantly clear that this is not a military takeover of government. What the Zimbabwe Defense Forces is doing is to pacify a degenerating political, social and economic situation in our country, which if not addressed may result in a violent conflict," he added.Moyo urged other security services to "cooperate" with the army "for the good of the country," and warned that "any provocation will be met with an appropriate response."As the political turmoil continued to unfold, it remained unclear whether Mugabe was still in power.The president of neighboring South Africa, Jacob Zuma, said he spoke with Mugabe on Wednesday morning, who told him he was "confined to his home but said that he was fine." Zuma is sendi
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  • Ingram/Thinkstock(HARARE, Zimbabwe) -- The Trump administration will start accepting permits for hunters to bring trophies from elephants hunted in Zimbabwe and Zambia into the United States, saying that new information shows that the practice of trophy hunting actually helps the survival of the endangered species in the wild.The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and hunting advocates say that hunting big animals like elephants and lions brings in money that countries use for conservation and anti-poaching programs and that wildlife authorities in Zimbabwe provided enough information to support reversing the 2014 ban."The Service will continue to monitor the status of the elephant population, the management program for elephants in the country to ensure that the program is promoting the conservation of the species, and whether the participation of U.S. hunters in the program provides a clear benefit to the species," U.S. Fish and Wildlife says in the official notice.The announcement that U.S. Fish and Wildlife would start granting permits to import elephant trophies again was made by U.S. officials at a conservation conference in Tanzania hosted by Safari Club International, a hunting and conservation advocacy group.“These positive findings for Zimbabwe and Zambia demonstrate that the Fish and Wildlife Service recognizes that hunting is beneficial to wildlife and that these range countries know how to manage their elephant populations,” said the organization's president, Paul Babaz in a Safari Club blog post.“We appreciate the efforts of the Service and the U.S. Department of the Interior to remove barriers to sustainable use conservation for African wildlife.”The Safari Club filed a lawsuit with the National Rifle Association of America to block the ban on elephant trophy imports when it was announced in 2014, according to the blog post.Hunting excursions in Zimbabwe can cost more than $37,000 and hunters also have to pay up to $14,500 for each elephant killed, according to safari hunting websites. A portion of the cost of a hunting trip led by guides includes goes to that country's government to be used for conservation. The ivory from an elephant's tusks is estimated to be worth $21,000.Another argument in favor of trophy hunting is that allowing people to hunt animals makes them more valuable and gives local farmers or land owners a reason to care for them.In 2015 Melville Saayman, a tourism and economics professor from North-West University in South Africa wrote that wildlife populations actually increased in countries that allow hunting like South Africa and Namibia and face more threats from poaching in areas where hunting is not allowed."From a conservation point of view wildlife is not doing well and one of the reasons for this is because hunting creates huge value. People protect what is valuable to them. And if hunting helps them get money and other goods from the animal, it is certainly in their best interests to look after the animals," Saayman wrote.But conservation advocates say that elephants bring in much more revenue from tourists who want to see them alive. A report from the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust estimates that an elephant brings in $23,000 a year, or $1.6 million over its lifetime.Animal advocates also say that hunting endangered species is unethical and shouldn't be used to generate money for the government."It's impossible to sustainably harvest a species that's declining," Sebastian Troeng, executive vice president of Conservation International said. "The notion that killing elephants is helping elephants doesn't hold water,"Wayne Pacelle, president of the Humane Society of United States, says using conservation to support hunting doesn't make any sense because people travel to these countries to see live animals in the wild."You shouldn't be conducting unethical activities to create commerce," Pacelle said Thursday, adding that other countries like Kenya have banned sports
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