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Israeli diplomat claims he was ejected from Uber ride in Chicago for speaking Hebrew

An Israeli diplomatic official said he was thrown out of an Uber ride in Chicago Thursday night for speaking Hebrew, WBBM reported.

>> Read more trending news

Itay Milner, Deputy Consul General of Israel to the Midwest, said he was 10 minutes into his Uber ride when he told to exit the vehicle by the driver.

On Facebook, Milner said he was told to leave the car because he answered his telephone in Hebrew.

“I just had the worst experience of my life. I was just thrown out of an Uber because I was speaking my mother tongue,” Milner wrote. “Ten minutes into my ride with no prior interaction between me and the driver, the driver started yelling ‘Get out of my car!’ All because I answered the phone in Hebrew.

“I am not easily intimidated, but I was scared.”

A statement released by an Uber spokeswoman said that the ride sharing company “does not tolerate any form of discrimination.”

“We are reaching out to the rider to extend our support for the experience he described here,” the spokeswoman wrote. “As soon as we were made aware of this, we removed the driver’s access from the app as we look further into this.”

North Korea releasing 3 American prisoners, Giuliani says

Rudy Giuliani, now a member of President Donald Trump’s legal team, told “Fox & Friends” on Thursday morning that North Korea is releasing three American prisoners.

>> Read more trending news

Here is the latest information:

Update 3:25 p.m. EDT May 3: White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Thursday that she could not confirm reports that three Americans detained in North Korea would be released from labor camps Thursday.

“I can’t confirm the validity of the reports currently out about their release,” she said at a news briefing, directing questions about the reported release to Giuliani.

Update 9:10 a.m. EDT May 3: South Korea's Yonhap News Agency reported Wednesday that North Korean officials moved three U.S. citizens from a labor camp to a hotel in early April. The agency cited an activist and officials did not immediately confirm the report.

The detainees were identified as Kim Hak-song, Tony Kim and Kim Dong-chul.

CNN reported that Kim Dong-chul has been detained in North Korea since 2015, when he was arrested and accused of spying for South Korea. Tony Kim was detained in April 2017 and Kim Hak-song was detained in May 2017, CNN reported. Both men, who worked at the privately run Pyongyang University of Science and Technology, are accused of committing "hostile acts" against Kim Jong Un's regime.

Update May 3, 2018 8:13 AM EDT: "We've got Kim Jong Un impressed enough to be releasing three prisoners today," Giuliani said on the show.

Giuliani's statement came hours after Trump tweeted: "As everybody is aware, the past Administration has long been asking for three hostages to be released from a North Korean Labor camp, but to no avail. Stay tuned!"

Other news outlets, including the Washington Times and the Independent, reported that the prisoners had been released but that U.S. officials had not yet confirmed the news.

Lion’s attack on safari park owner caught on camera

A grisly lion attack was caught on camera. Warning: It may be too intense for some to see.

The owner of Marakele Animal Sanctuary in South Africa had gone into the lion enclosure Saturday to investigate a smell, The Sun reported.

That’s when Mike Hodge, the park’s 72-year-old owner, was knocked down by Shamba and dragged through the enclosure, The Times reported.

Shamba had been distracted by another park worker as Hodge walked through the area, but spotted the man and charged him, smashing him against his truck’s door before grabbing him and dragging him toward undergrowth, The Times reported

>> Read more trending news 

It paused briefly, before flipping Hodge and dragging him farther into the covering.

Rangers were able to eventually reach Hodge to rescue him after the lion was shot and killed, The Times reported.

Hodge’s wife, Chrissy, told Newsweek that her husband, who was airlifted to a Johannesburg hospital, suffered a broken jaw and had several cuts, but is recovering.

Family members have told multiple media outlets that they are “devastated” by Shamba’s death, whom Hodge had raised from a cub.

Tennessee mom delivers own baby in Istanbul hotel room using YouTube, pocketknife, shoelaces

With resourcefulness that would put MacGyver to shame, a pregnant Tennessee woman used YouTube, an electric kettle, a pocketknife and shoelaces to deliver her own son in a foreign hotel room. 

>> New Year's baby born on freeway after South Carolina police chase

In a viral Twitter thread posted last week, Tia Freeman, 22, of La Vergne said she had already bought plane tickets to Germany for a March vacation before finding out she was six months pregnant. Thinking she had plenty of time before the baby's arrival, she decided to take the trip anyway. 

>> Read the thread here (WARNING: Viewer discretion advised.)

According to WTVF and Inside Edition, Freeman, a computer specialist for the U.S. Air Force, initially thought she had food poisoning when she started having cramps en route to Istanbul, where she had a layover, on March 7. The pain only got worse after she landed.

"I make it to my hotel & now I'm sure I'm in labor," she tweeted. "There is no way in the world I'm not in labor because I can barely standup at this point. So I'm in a foreign country, where no one speaks english, I don't know this country's emergency number, & I have no clue what to do."

So she looked it up online.

"In true millennial form I decided to @Youtube it," she tweeted. "If no one else had my back the internet would!"

>> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news 

Freeman said she got into the bathtub and pushed five or six times before delivering a baby boy, Xavier Ata Freeman. After another Google search, she used an electric tea kettle to sanitize her pocketknife and shoelaces, then cut the umbilical cord.

"It's weird how focused a person becomes when [their] adrenaline starts going," she tweeted. "Because at no point ever did I freak out. Like I just did what I had to do."

The morning after Xavier's birth, Freeman brought him to the airport.

"Immediately, security knew something was up," she told WTVF. "They called in a doctor and nurse, and I called the U.S. consulate."

>> Read more trending news 

Freeman and Xavier, who quickly became viral sensations in Turkey, flew back to the U.S. two weeks later after the newborn received a birth certificate and emergency passport, WTVF reported.

"I still really don’t understand what’s so shocking about my delivery story," Freeman tweeted. "Lol maybe it’ll set in one day.”

Read more here or here.

Australia pledges millions to protect Great Barrier Reef

The Australian government on Sunday announced a multimillion-dollar investment aimed at protecting the Great Barrier Reef from the effects of climate change.

>> Read more trending news

Officials hailed the $500 million (about $377 million USD) effort as the government’s largest single investment for reef conservation

The bulk of the money -- $444 million (about $335 million USD) -- will go toward reducing pollution in the reef, mitigating the impacts of climate change and dealing with coral-eating crown-of-thorns starfish through a partnership with the Great Barrier Reef Foundation, officials said. 

"We'll be improving the monitoring of the reef's health and the measurement of its impacts," Australian Environment Minister Josh Freydenberg told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. "The more we understand about the reef, the better we can protect it."

John Schubert, chairman of the Great Barrier Reef Foundation, told the news station that the new government funding “brought real solutions within reach,” but some criticized the government for not focusing further on tackling climate change.

“There’s a huge missing piece in the puzzle,” Australian Marine Conservation Society campaign director Imogen Zethoven told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. "The reality is, hundreds of millions of taxpayers' dollars has gone into reef rescue packages for nearly 20 years to deal with poor water quality. Yet we've had very little gain, so it's extremely important that this time around the money is spent properly and we start to see the tide turning."

The government released the following breakdown of the spending:

  • $201 million (about $152 million USD) for improving water quality through changed farming practices, like reducing the use of fertilizer and adopting new technologies
  • $100 million (about $75 million USD) for scientific research to support reef restoration, resilience and adaptation
  • $58 million (about $44 million USD) to fight crown-of-thorns starfish
  • $45 million (about $34 million USD) to support community engagement and awareness
  • $40 million (about $30 million USD) for enhancing health monitoring of the reef
  • $56 million (about $42 million USD) to expand environmental management and compliance operations on the reef

Aerial surveys conducted last year showed widespread coral bleaching across the Great Barrier Reef, an indication that water temperatures stayed too warm for coral to survive. Officials found severe bleaching in the central part of the reef, an area that was spared the severe widespread bleaching seen in 2016.

>> Related: Mass coral bleaching hits Great Barrier Reef for 2nd consecutive year

Bleaching occurs when coral, invertebrates that live mostly in tropical waters, release the colorful algae that live in their tissues and expose their white, calcium carbonate skeletons. Bleached coral can recover if the water cools, but if high temperatures persist for months, the coral will die.

Eventually the reef will degrade, leaving fish without habitats and coastlines less protected from storm surges.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

South Korean president says Trump should win Nobel Peace Prize 

President Donald Trump deserves a Nobel Peace Prize for his role in ending the standoff between North Korea and South Korea, South Korean President Moon Jae-in said.

>> Read more trending news

A presidential Blue House official told reporters that Moon told a meeting of senior secretaries that “President Trump should win the Nobel Peace Prize. What we need is only peace,” Reuters reported.

Moon and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un met Friday at the demilitarized zone and pledged to end hostilities between the two countries. In the first meeting between officials of both countries in more than a decade, the two leaders agreed to work toward the “complete denuclearization” of the Korean peninsula, Reuters reported.

Trump is getting ready to meet with Kim sometime in the next four weeks.

Moon’s comment about the Nobel Prize was a response to a congratulatory message from Lee Hee-ho, the widow of late South Korean President Kim Dae-jung, Reuters said. Lee said Moon deserved to win the prize in recognition of his efforts, the Blue House official said.

Pompeo criticizes Iran nuclear deal during Middle East trip

New Secretary of State Mike Pompeo criticized Iran as "the greatest sponsor of terrorism in the world" during a joint news conference with Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir on Sunday, CNN reported.

>> Read more trending news

Later, in a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamiin Netanyahu, Pompeo said the U.S. was concerned with Iran’s “destabilizing and malign activities,” Reuters reported.

Pompeo was in the middle of a whirlwind trip to NATO in Brussels and the Middle East, and joked to Netanyahu that he has not even visited his own office in Washington yet, Reuters reported.

Pompeo was emphatic in advancing President Donald Trump’s position on Iran and nuclear weapons.

“We are determined to make sure (Iran) never possesses a nuclear weapon," Pompeo said during his meeting with al-Jubeir. "The Iran deal in its current form does not provide that assurance.

"We will continue to work with our European allies to fix that deal. But if a deal cannot be reached, the president has said that he will leave that deal."

In Tel Aviv, Pompeo said the United States remains “Deeply concerned about Iran’s dangerous escalation of threats towards Israel and the region.”

“Strong cooperation with close allies like (Israel) is critical to our efforts to counter Iran’s destabilizing and malign activities through the Middle East, and indeed, throughout the world,” Pompeo said.

Trump has until May 12 to decide whether to continue waiving sanctions that were lifted under the Iran deal, CNN reported.

'Avengers: Infinity War' shatters box office records

It has been a record weekend for the Avengers.

>> Read more trending news

Disney and Marvel Studios' “Avengers: Infinity War” smashed box office records nationally and worldwide in its opening weekend, pulling in an estimated $250 million in North America and approximately $630 internationally, CNN reported.

The Avengers movie topped the domestic mark of $248 million set by the 2015 film “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” while Universal’s “The Fate of the Furious” was the previous global standard-bearer at $541.9 million, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

“Avengers: Infinity War” was helped by the biggest box office Saturday in North America with $83 million in ticket sales, the Reporter said.

With the success of the latest Avengers movie, Disney now holds nine of the top 10 biggest openings in North American history, CNN reported. The movie smashed the record books without the help of China -- the world’s second largest movie market -- which will not debut the movie until May 11, CNN reported.

“Avengers: Infinity Wars” also scored well with critics, earning an 84 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

North Korea will close nuclear test site in May, South Korea says

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said he will shut down his nuclear test site sometime in May, South Korea officials said Sunday.

>> Read more trending news

South Korean presidential press secretary Yoon Young-chan said that Kim agreed to the plan during a meeting between the leader and South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Friday, National Public Radio reported.

Yoon also said that Kim will invite experts and journalists from South Korea and the United States into the country to ensure “transparency” about closing down the site, CNN reported.

Yoon said Kim made his comments during Friday’s summit at the demilitarized zone between the two countries. Kim became the first North Korean leader to step into South Korean territory since fighting ended in the Korean War in 1953.

"The U.S. is constitutionally averse to North Korea, but through dialogue, it will become apparent that we have no intention to target South Korea, the Pacific Ocean or the U.S. with nuclear weapons," Yoon quoted Kim as saying. "If we are able to build trust with the U.S. through frequent meetings, and promises to end war, and practice a policy of non-aggression, there's no reason for us to live a hard life with nuclear weapons.

“There is no reason for us to possess nuclear weapons ... if mutual trust with the United States is built through frequent meetings from now on, and an end to the war and non-aggression are promised.”

Previous talks between North Korea and South Korea in 2000 and 2007 ended with pledges to work toward denuclearization, NPR reported.

Massive child sacrifice discovered in Peru

A grisly discovery by archaeologists in Peru may be evidence of the largest child sacrifice in history, National Geographic reported.

>> Read more trending news

The remains of more than 140 children and 200 young llamas that were sacrificed 550 years ago have been found on Peru’s northern coast, National Geographic reported. The remains were found on a bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean, once home to the capital of the Chimú Empire.

An international team led by Gabriel Prieto of the Universidad Nacional de Trujillo and John Verano of Tulane University, are continuing.

Human sacrifices carried out by the Aztec, Maya and Incas of the Western Hemisphere have been documented, but this discovery is unprecedented, National Geographic reported.

“I, for one, never expected it,” Verano told National Geographic. "And I don't think anyone else would have, either."

The sacrifice site, known as Huanchaquito-Las Llamas, is located on a low bluff just a thousand feet from the ocean. At its height, the Chimú Empire controlled a 600-mile-long territory along the Pacific coast and interior valleys from the modern Peru-Ecuador border to Lima.

Huanchaquito-Las Llamas made news in 2011 when the remains of 42 children and 76 llamas were found. Prieto was excavating a 3,500-year-old temple near the sacrifice site when local residents told him about human remains at nearby coastal dunes, National Geographic reported.

When the excavations had ended, archaeologists found more than 140 sets of children’s remains and 200 juvenile llamas. Rope and textiles found near the remains were dated between 1400 and 1450, National Geographic reported.

Skeletal remains showed evidence of cuts in the sternum and rib dislocations, which suggests the victims’ chests were cut open and their hearts were likely removed.

The 140 children ranged in age from about 5 to 14; the llamas were less than 18 months old, National Geographic reported.

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