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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The U.S. military says it has recovered and used "massive amounts" of intelligence materials from retreating ISIS militants in the city of Manbij, Syria, a town the Pentagon describes as one of the terror groups last connecting points to it's stronghold of Raqqa.

"We think this is a big deal," Col. Christopher Garver, a spokesman for Operation Inherent Resolve, told Pentagon reporters in a video briefing from Baghdad Wednesday.

Garver said coalition forces battling ISIS have gathered over 10,000 different items holding valuable information, such as thumb drives, laptops, textbooks and notebooks from the battlefield.

Over four terabytes of data was gleaned from the digital devices, Garver said. "We're learning about how they ran Manbij as a strategic hub," Garver said, calling it an orientation center for foreign fighters just joining ISIS. "As foreign fighter would enter, they would screen them, figure out what languages they speak, assign them a job -- and then send them down into wherever they were going to go, be it into Syria or Iraq, somewhere,” Garver said.

So far they have not uncovered any evidence, in this data, of fighters being launched to Europe or further west, Garver added.

He said they also found textbooks that were rewritten to reflect the teachings of ISIS.

The town of Manbij is, for now, still a heavily contested area. Over the course of the past few weeks the U.S.-led coalition has conducted more than 520 airstrikes in the area and anti-ISIS forces have the town surrounded on the ground.

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JANEK SKARZYNSKI/AFP/Getty Images(KRAKOW, Poland) -- Pope Francis was greeted by shouts of welcome and waving crowds Wednesday as he arrived in the Polish city of Krakow to celebrate the Catholic Church’s “World Youth Day.”

But on his flight there from Rome, a worried pope emerged.

"The world is at war," he said in reference to recent terror attacks in Europe and elsewhere.

But this war is not one of religion, he clarified, instead one of interests, money, natural resources and to control people.

During the official welcoming ceremony with Poland's leaders at the historic Wawel Castle, the pope urged them to welcome migrants fleeing wars and hunger.

Poland is one of the most Catholic countries in Europe. Ninety-eight percent of Poles have been baptized, and Poland has one of the highest church attendance rates in the Catholic world, with some 40 percent of people going to weekly mass.

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ABC News(DORAL, Fla.) -- Donald Trump said he has "never spoken" to Vladimir Putin amid allegations that his campaign colluded with the Russian president to hack Democratic National Committee emails. But the Republican presidential nominee encouraged Putin to find Hillary Clinton's missing emails.

"I've never spoken to him. I don't know anything about him other than he will respect me," Trump said during a press conference Wednesday morning in Doral, Florida. "I have nothing to do with Russia."

"By the way, if they hacked, they probably have her 33,000 emails. I hope they do," Trump continued. "They probably have her 33,000 emails that she lost and deleted."

A handful of cybersecurity firms have concluded that Russian hackers were the likely culprits of the DNC email release that was published by Wikileaks last week. An executive at Fidelis told ABC News on Monday that Russians were to blame “beyond a reasonable doubt.”

The Kremlin said on Tuesday that accusations that Moscow was responsible for the hack are “absurd.”

"If it is Russia," Trump said at the press conference Wednesday, "It shows how little respect they have for our country."

He added: "It's probably not Russia."

The real estate mogul said that, as president of the United States, he would be "so much better for U.S.-Russian relations." But when asked if he would call on Putin to not meddle with the U.S. election, Trump said: "I'm not going to tell Putin what to do. Why should I tell Putin what to do?”

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iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- In an effort to stem the flow of undocumented children and families across the southwest border of the U.S. and provide a solution to humanitarian challenges like smuggling and trafficking, the Department of Homeland Security announced on Tuesday new measures to expand the United States’ Central American refugee processing program.

Since January of this year, about 26,000 unaccompanied alien children and almost 30,000 family units have tried to cross the southwest border, according to Customs and Border Protection. The majority of them were from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.

White House Principal Deputy Press Secretary Eric Schultz called the humanitarian crisis in Central America “heartbreaking,” noting that refugee families in those countries often face violence as they seek to escape the region, which is why “it was important for us to take action.”

As part of this new initiative, the Central American Minors program will expand to include additional relationships to a child who qualifies for the refugee program, including siblings over the age of 21, the in-country biological parent if one parent is lawfully present in the U.S., and “caregivers” of the child. The United States has received over 9,200 applicants for this program so far and approved about 2,300.

“Through the Central American Minors program, the U.S. government offers an alternative, safe, and legal path to the United States for children seeking protection from harm or persecution in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras,” said Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson in official statement.

The announcement, which comes in the midst of the Democratic National Convention, is expected to generate sharp criticism from the Republican nominee who has advocated for closed borders.

DHS Deputy Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said on a call with reporters that one of the goals of the expanded Central American Minors programs is family unity.

In an effort to provide immediate protection for those in danger, Costa Rica has agreed to a protection transfer arrangement (PTA), in coordination with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM), allowing families facing threats to leave their home country while their application is processed.

Costa Rica plans to be capable of hosting around 200 individuals for a period of six months at a time.

For those who do not qualify for immediate transfer to Costa Rica, a new in-country referral program will allow applications for refugee protection, and claims will be evaluated through a vetting process by DHS officers in those home countries.

DHS also indicated that Mexico will play a greater role by increasing its capacity to screen asylum seekers from Central America. This agreement was a product of the meeting between President Obama and Mexican President Enrique Nieto last week.

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iStock/Thinkstock(PRINCE ALBERT, Saskatchewan) — An oil spill in the North Saskatchewan River is threatening the drinking water supply for tens of thousands of Canadians.

Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, City Manager Jim Toye says his city has already turned off the taps, telling residents to fill bathtubs and sinks and use the water sparingly.

Workers closed the intake pipes in the North Saskatchewan River, after about 53,000 gallons of heavy crude contaminated the water and soil.

Efforts to contain the spill have so far failed. It could be months before things are back to normal.

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Saint Etienne Parish(ROUEN, France) — The attackers who stabbed and killed an elderly priest at a church in France Tuesday morning after claiming allegiance to ISIS were both teenagers, the Paris prosecutor said.

One attacker was identified as 19-year-old Adel Kermiche, who had tried to go to Syria twice, the Paris prosecutor said. Kermiche was under house arrest -- for the second time -- with a tracking bracelet when he carried out the deadly attack in Normandy with an unidentified minor who was born in 1999 in Algeria, the Paris prosecutor said.

There is an international arrest warrant out for the minor's older brother, who is believed to have gone to Iraq or Syria using Kermiche’s French ID, the Paris prosecutor said.

The attackers were "terrorists who claimed allegiance to ISIS," French President Francois Hollande said earlier Tuesday.

ISIS’s “news agency” Amaq said the attack was carried about by "soldiers of the Islamic State" and that the attack was "in response to calls for attacks on the Crusader alliance.”

The attack began when two men armed with knives entered a church in the city of Rouen -- about 80 miles outside of Paris -- during morning mass and took six people hostage -- a priest, nuns and parishioners.

The priest, who was 86 years old, was killed from stabs to the neck and torso, the Paris prosecutor said.

An 86-year-old worshiper was also stabbed, the Paris prosecutor said. The worshiper's condition was not immediately released.

Both attackers were killed outside the church, said a spokesperson for the French interior minister.

The priest was identified by the archbishop as Jacques Hamel.

People took to Twitter to mourn the slain priest. One woman said she was baptized by him, while another Twitter user said the priest recently christened her young cousin.

The mayor’s office in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray said the church had not received specific threats.

One person was detained for questioning in connection with the attack, a spokeswoman for the Paris prosecutor's office said. An investigation into the incident has been opened.

Hollande said he spoke to the family of the priest who was killed. He also praised the police for their quick response, which he said saved lives.

The mayor’s office in Saint-Étienne-du-Rouvray said in a statement: “A barbaric act was committed in our town this morning. Our priest was assassinated, and a hostage was severely injured. We are devastated. This emotion goes beyond our town. It plunges our entire country in a deep pain, only days after the attack in Nice.

"The mayor and the entire municipality calls upon you all that are attached to the values of our republic to come and express your emotion, pain and indignation," the mayor's office added.

A registry of condolences has been set up and residents can leave flowers or candles on the steps of City Hall, the mayor's office said. Town officials are also expected to meet tonight to discuss a public ceremony for the victims, the mayor's office said.

Flags will be flown at half-mast throughout the municipality, the mayor’s office added.

Hollande said the terrorists want to “divide us” and said the attack targeted not just Catholics but all of France. Hollande said the terrorists will stop at nothing, adding, "We must rage war against Daesh (ISIS)."

Hollande called Pope Francis Tuesday and expressed the French people’s pain, telling him that when a priest is attacked, the entire nation is hurt. Hollande said everything will be done to protect churches and places of faith. Hollande also spoke of France’s role in the defense of Christians in the Middle East, and said in such painful and grueling circumstances, he hopes harmony triumphs over hate.

The Vatican called the situation an act of "absurd violence" and said that Pope Francis strongly condemned "every form of hate" and "prayed" for the victims affected.

NSC spokesperson Ned Price said the U.S. offers condolences "to the family and friends of the murdered priest, Father Jacques Hamel."

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the other victims of the attack as well as the parishioners and community members," Price said.

"France and the United States share a commitment to protecting religious liberty for those of all faiths, and Tuesday's violence will not shake that commitment. We commend French law enforcement for their quick and decisive response and stand ready to assist the French authorities in their investigation going forward," Price said.


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iStock/Thinkstock(MOSCOW) -- The Kremlin said Tuesday that accusations from U.S. officials and cyber security firms that the Russians were responsible for a massive hack into Democratic National Committee emails are “absurd.”

“Overall, we still see attempts to use – manically use – the Russian issue during the U.S. electoral campaign,” Russian government spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said, according to Russia’s state-run news outlet Sputnik. “The absurd claims were immediately refuted directly by a presidential candidate’s family.”

Peskov may have been referring to Donald Trump, Jr., who told CNN Sunday that claims from Democrats that the Russians hacked the DNC to help his father in his presidential bid were “disgusting” and “phony.”

Russian hacking groups tied to two separate Russian intelligence agencies were fingered for the DNC hack by the cyber security firm Crowdstrike in June. Crowdstrike said it appeared one of the groups had been rummaging around the infected systems for a year.

Since, other major cyber firms who studied the code also concluded Russian hackers are the likely culprits. An executive at one of those firms, Fidelis, told ABC News Monday that Russians were to blame “beyond a reasonable doubt.”

Late Monday, national security officials told ABC News that federal officials also believe operatives affiliated with the Russian government were responsible for the hack and for providing the material to WikiLeaks, which published 20,000 of the leaked emails Friday. The officials said they suspect it was a blatant attempt to influence the U.S. presidential election, or at the very least, make mischief.

On Tuesday, White House homeland security and counterterrorism advisor Lisa Monaco said she did not want to get ahead of the FBI’s investigation into the hack, but said that in general terms, the U.S. uses “all tools” for responding to cyberattacks.

“Nobody’s immune from cyberattacks, [and] nobody’s immune from the responses,” she said.

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ABCNews.com(PHILADELPHIA) -- Vice President Joe Biden said Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and his running mate Mike Pence "don't know what they're talking about" when it comes to addressing the threats posed by ISIS and other terrorists groups.

Responding to Republican criticism that Democrats are avoiding talking about ISIS at their national convention this week, Biden said Trump and Pence may talk a lot about the issue, but they have offered no clear plan for what they would do if elected.

Worse, Biden said, Trump has proposed breaking up international alliances, such as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), which he said can help address the problem.

"We have the single most significant homeland security of any country in the world. We have the finest Special Forces in the world. And what are they doing, Pence and and uh, and Trump? What they're doing is they're breaking up our alliances," Biden said in an interview with George Stephanopoulos. "These guys don't know what they're talking about."

Pence chastised Democrats Tuesday, arguing that of the 61 people who spoke at the opening day of the convention Monday, not one mentioned ISIS.

Biden brushed aside Pence’s comment, noting there are several more days of the convention to come.

"Well that could be, but I mean there's a lot more speakers to come," said Biden, who is set to speak at the convention on Wednesday.

ISIS has increasingly become a threat both at home and overseas through attacks carried out by members of the terrorist group or by those who say they are inspired by its message.

Trump has used recent attacks to warn the plan isn’t working and threats to the U.S. homeland will only grow. On the campaign trail he charges that Hillary Clinton will provide more of the same if elected this fall. He has previously elaborated on what he would do to defeat ISIS, including remarks on the campaign trail that he he would go after ISIS-controlled oil fields and "bomb the s--- out of 'em." He has said his strategy would include marking targets in Syria and Iraq.

The Obama administration argues it is taking an aggressive approach to ISIS overseas, including supporting operations against the group in Syria and Iraq.

Clinton and her running mate, Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.), are expected to discuss the issue of terrorism when they speak at the convention later this week.

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Vitaliy Belousov/Host Photo Agency/Ria Novosti via Getty Images(RIO DE JANEIRO) -- Suspended Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff is boycotting the Rio Olympics torch ceremony opening.

Rousseff would not have been able to sit next to interim president, Michel Temer, a spokesman said according to BBC, and she did not want to stand below him.

Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, her predecessor, also said he would not be attending.

Rousseff could be removed from office if the suspended president loses an impeachment trial at the end of August, after the games.

Brazil has been divided over claims Rousseff manipulated government accounts to turn a budget deficit into a surplus in 2015. Rousseff has denied any wrongdoing and accused Temer of staging a plot to remove her from office.

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TONY KARUMBA/AFP/Getty Images(NAIROBI, Kenya) -- President Obama's half-brother says he's voting for Donald Trump in November.

Malik Obama, related to the U.S. president through their Kenyan father, is Muslim with citizenship in the U.S. and Kenya.

He told BBC he approved of Trump's ban on Muslims entering America, and said he came "across as a straightforward guy."

Malik Obama also told BBC the president had turned his back on his Kenyan family. President Obama visited the country last year for the first time since he became president in 2009.

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iStock/Thinkstock(ISTANBUL) -- The U.S. State Department has updated its travel warning to Turkey.

In a statement Tuesday, the State Department authorized the departure of family members of employees at the U.S. Embassy in Ankara and U.S. Consulate General in Istanbul.

The news comes after a failed military coup in the country on July 15 and the 90-day state of emergency that was later declared by the Turkish government.

"The U.S. Department of State continues to warn U.S. citizens of increased threats from terrorist groups throughout Turkey and to avoid travel to southeastern Turkey," said the statement.

Despite the travel warning, flights from the U.S. into Turkey have continued since the failed coup.

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iStock/Thinkstock(MOSCOW) -- It was the keyboards that gave them away. Russian hackers, typing on keyboards configured in Cyrillic and doing it in a time zone consistent with Moscow, created the “eloquent” code that breached the computers of the Democratic National Committee, according to a top analyst who investigated the hack.

“This was absolutely not an amateur operation … When you look at the totality of all those pieces and you put them together, it kind of paints a really good picture of who the actor was,” Michael Buratowski, the senior vice president of cybersecurity services at Fidelis Cybersecurity, told ABC News Monday. “I come from a law enforcement background, and it’s [about being] beyond a reasonable doubt. And I would say it’s beyond a reasonable doubt … I’m very confident that the malware that we looked at [was from] Russian actors.”

“When we looked at the malware, we found that it was very, very eloquent in its design as well as its functionality — very advanced, not something that script user or lower level hacker would be able to really generate or customize,” he said.

Buratowski said IP addresses linked to the attack were associated with Russian servers. A U.S. official said that it appeared that the hackers never worked on Russian holidays.

And not least to consider, Buratowski said, was the target and timing of the WikiLeaks posting on Friday — which made public 20,000 emails from the pilfered computers.

“We know for a fact that the malicious actors were in there and had access to this data for some time,” he said. “The timing of the release of information from WikiLeaks is very suspect. When you look at it — it was released right before the [Democratic] convention — you have to question what the motivation was behind that.”

Buratowski’s firm was one of three independent cybersecurity firms brought in by another firm, Crowdstrike, to analyze parts of malware that infected computers belonging to the Democratic National Committee. Last month Crowdstrike, which was first to analyze the attack, fingered two Russian hacker groups that the firm said were working for two rival Russian intelligence agencies.

Crowdstrike has already tied one of the hacking teams to a series of attacks on unclassified U.S. government networks last year.

“This shows you espionage has now moved off the just physical realm of recruiting spies and getting information. It’s now through cyber means,” Dmitri Alperovitch, a co-founder of Crowdstrike, told ABC News in June.

Presidential candidates and campaigns have been “a traditional target of Russian intelligence for 100 years, but now [Russia is] doing it for cyber," he said.

Fidelis and another firm, Mandiant, said last month they agreed that Russia state actors appeared to be to blame for the DNC hack. Buratowski said his firm was given only a portion of the code and therefore could not say if other actors were involved.

Monday, the FBI confirmed it was investigating the breach. Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., the ranking Democratic member of the House Intelligence Committee, said the committee was briefed by the intelligence community on the hack. He said the committee will “continue to seek further information from the [intelligence community] as to the origin of any attack and a potential connection to Russia or another state sponsor.”

Despite the confident reports from the several respected cybersecurity firms, cybersecurity expert Kenneth Geers said he's cautious about blaming the Russians so squarely. Attribution in the case of cyber attacks is notoriously difficult to nail down.

“I think that the world’s three-letter agencies are involved in more information operations than the public would assume. So that’s not to say that this isn’t from Russia. It could be other actors with more obscure intentions,” said Geers, a former Pentagon cybersecurity analyst who recently wrote a book about Russia’s cyber operations in Ukraine. “I’m not discounting it … You can have a preponderance of evidence, and in nation-state cases, that’s likely what you’ll have, but that’s all you’ll have.”

Buratowski doubts it was a setup.

“In the sense it was so complex, it would have taken a lot — it would have had to have been a very elaborate scheme to try and pin it on somebody else,” he said.

A spokesman for the Russian government, Dmitry Peskov, declined to comment on the hacking allegations, according to a Russian news report.

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iStock/Thinkstock(TOKYO) -- Some 19 people were killed and about 20 others were injured in a stabbing attack at a disabled living facility near Tokyo, according to the Sagamihara City Fire Department.

An employee of the facility told police a man carrying a knife broke into the building, Japan's broadcasting company NHK reported.

A man later turned himself into police and told authorities he was a former employee of the center, NHK reported.

The facility is located in Sagamihara, about 35 miles outside Tokyo.

This story is developing. Check back for more updates.

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iStock/Thinkstock(ANSBACH, Germany) -- A suicide bomber is dead and 12 people are injured after an explosion outside a music festival in Germany Sunday.

Bavarian Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann said the suspect, a 27-year-old Syrian asylum-seeker who came to Germany two years ago, detonated a device after he was denied entry to the festival and the contents of his backpack could have killed more people.

Officials said Monday the suicide bomber had a video on his phone pledging allegiance to ISIS in which he described it as a “revenge” attack on Germany.

ISIS’ official media arm, Amaq, issued a statement Monday claiming the attack was carried out by an ISIS “soldier” based on their “inside source.” Amaq’s wording suggests the bombing was an ISIS-inspired attack rather than a directed attack.

German police said they had been keeping track of the suspect for crimes in the past and he previously attempted to commit suicide. The suspect was living in an asylum shelter in Ansbach, but his asylum application had been rejected, according to Herrmann. Herrmann also said he had been in treatment for depression.

Germany has experienced several deadly incidents over the past week including a shooting rampage at a Munich mall on Friday and an axe attack last weekend on a train near Würzburg. Sunday's attack was the third in Bavaria in a week.

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Afghanistan has sustained a record number of civilian casualties during the first six months of this year, according to a United Nations report published Monday.

In addition, almost one-third of the 5,166 civilians killed or maimed in the first half of the year were children, according to the UN report.

The Human Rights team of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) recorded 1,601 civilian deaths and 3,565 civilians injured between January and June of this year, the highest number of casualties within a six month period since record-keeping began in 2009, according to UNAMA. More than 1,500 of these civilian casualties were children, according to UNAMA.

This figure is "conservative" and "almost certainly underestimates" the actual number of civilians harmed, UNAMA said.

Nearly 64,000 civilians have died in Afghanistan since 2009.

“Every single casualty documented in this report – people killed while praying, working, studying, fetching water, recovering in hospitals – every civilian casualty represents a failure of commitment and should be a call to action for parties to the conflict to take meaningful, concrete steps to reduce civilians’ suffering and increase protection,” Tadamichi Yamamoto, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan and head of UNAMA, said in a statement. “Platitudes not backed by meaningful action ring hollow over time. History and the collective memory of the Afghan people will judge leaders of all parties to this conflict by their actual conduct.”

The report also breaks down the responsible parties for the record number of civilian casualties.

UNAMA wrote that 60 percent of all civilian casualties could be attributed to "Anti-Government Elements (AGE)" which includes "all individuals and armed groups" fighting in opposition with the government of Afghanistan and/or international military forces. This includes "those who identify as 'Taliban,'" according to the report. Twenty-three percent of civilian casualties were a result of "Pro-Government Forces (PGE)." Thirteen percent of casualties were jointly attributed to AGE and PGF and the remaining 4 percent were caused by "unattributed explosive remnants of war," according to the report.

In addition, the report reveals the deliberate targeting of women, as well as the use of children in armed conflict, among other human rights violations.

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