Photo by Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Turkey's justice minister said Thursday his government is determined to extradite Fethullah Gulen, the Turkish cleric residing in Pennsylvania whom the government blames for orchestrating a failed military coup in July.
“Just imagine that there was an assassination attempt on President Obama and his family, where the White House was bombed ... tanks were marching the streets ... 241 U.S. civilians were killed and around 3,000 were wounded. Just imagine that scenario," the Honorable Bekir Bozdag said. "Just imagine that the manager and the perpetrator of all this was residing in Turkey. What would the American people think about such a situation?”
The Gulen movement is designated as a terrorist organization inside Turkey and Bozdag equated the group’s leader to Osama bin Laden. “Whatever Osama bin Laden means for the United States and the American people, Fethullah Gulen means the same for Turkey and the Turkish people.”
Bozdag appeared frustrated as he spoke with members of the press -- for almost two hours with translation -- at the Turkish embassy in Washington, D.C., this morning, declaring outright that the prolonged extradition process is “negatively” affecting U.S.-Turkish relations.
Bozdag met in D.C. on Wednesday with U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch -- and a readout of the meeting provided by the Department of Justice hinted at the biggest hurdle in this process: evidence. In order to extradite Gulen, Turkey “must meet the evidentiary standards of the requested country,” the readout said, suggesting that Turkey had yet to do that.
But Bozdag said Turkey presented new evidence to Lynch on Wednesday. He spoke specifically about an alleged confession to Turkish investigators that wiretaps of senior government officials were being transmitted to Gulen in Pennsylvania.
When Bozdag was asked about the crackdown inside Turkey following the coup, he said the government “purge” or “cleansing” of the opposition is not necessarily over. He said that no journalists inside Turkey are being arrested simply for doing their jobs. Many of them are murderers, he said.
According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, Turkey has closed more than 100 news outlets since the coup and has raided and shut the offices of two newspapers, and detained over 100 journalists and media workers.
Bozdag also denied allegations that prisoners are being tortured, saying their lawyers are welcome to make those claims publicly.
Gulen has led a mostly reclusive life in the U.S., where he's based at the Golden Generation Worship and Retreat Center, a compound located in the Poconos region of Pennsylvania. He has denied any involvement in the attempted coup and blamed Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, suggesting that it could have been “staged” by the government.
Bozdag was firm that this diplomatic rift will not get in the way of the U.S. and Turkish alliance against ISIS. But it’s clear, months after the attempted coup, Turkey has not forgotten about Gulen.
the_guitar_mann/iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Plans are underway to launch an offensive in "weeks" to retake the Syrian city of Raqqa, the de facto capital of ISIS, Defense Secretary Ash Carter said.
That timing would overlap with the large Iraqi military offensive already under way to push ISIS out of the northern Iraqi city of Mosul. The simultaneous offensives would put ISIS on the defensive in the two main cities it controls in Iraq and Syria.
U.S. military officials have said that defeating ISIS in Mosul and Raqqa will deal significant blows to the militant group.
Seized by ISIS in January 2014, Raqqa has become ISIS's capital inside Syria and a magnet for foreign fighters. Residents have had to endure a brutal regime as the terror group routinely carries out public executions to enforce its oppressive rules.
The city has also become the center of ISIS's overseas terror plotting, with many terror attacks in western Europe tied to Raqqa. That is one reason why the top U.S. military commander in Iraq said Wednesday that it was "imperative" to move on Raqqa quickly to head off any current terror planning on Western targets.
The city of Raqqa, also known as al-Raqqah and ar-Raqqah, is in northern Syria on the banks of the Euphrates River about 50 miles south of the border with Turkey. Before the start of the civil war in Syria, the provincial capital was believed to have a population of 220,000.
The mostly Sunni Arab city also had minority populations of Alawites and Christians that fled the city after ISIS seized control in early 2014.
The city has also seen an influx of foreign fighters, ISIS supporters and their families drawn to the capital of ISIS's self-proclaimed caliphate.
The residents that remained have endured oppressive rules on dress codes and bans on foreign contacts that are enforced with brutal public executions and lashings.
The brutality of life inside the city has been documented by a secret group of activists known as Raqqa Is Being Slaughtered Silently.
Raqqa first gained notoriety as the site of the horrific executions of American and Western hostages by the ISIS fighter known as Jihadi John.
The high-profile terror attacks in Paris, Brussels and Turkey that were carried out by ISIS sympathizers originated in Raqqa, according to intelligence officials.
Given its importance in ISIS's infrastructure, the city has often been the target of coalition airstrikes targeting key ISIS facilities and multiple ISIS leaders, including Jihadi John, who was killed by a drone strike in November 2015, according to U.S. officials.
Who Will Conduct the Offensive Against Raqqa?
Defense Secretary Ash Carter said this week that planning is underway with the anti-ISIS coalition's partners inside Syria to begin the isolation of Raqqa.
The partners Carter is referring to are the Syrian Democratic Forces, a collection of 30,000 mostly Kurdish groups in eastern and northern Syria working together to fight ISIS. The group has become the most reliable coalition partner fighting ISIS inside Syria, taking back a large swath of northern Syria, including the cities of Kobani, Manbij and Jarabulus from ISIS.
Three-hundred American special operations forces are inside Syria assisting and advising the Syrian Democratic Forces, as well as some of the Turkish military forces that are now operating in northern Syria. They are not supposed to be on the front lines but the role they play in advising the forces they are embedded with could place them in a combat environment, according to U.S. officials.
The battlefield success of the Syrian Democratic Forces has drawn concerns from Turkey, which does not want to see a strong Kurdish military force along its borders, particularly one that has been aligned with the PKK, the Kurdish terror group inside Turkey. Because of that, it appears that it will be the Syrian Arab groups within the Syrian Democratic Force that will be the main force attacking Raqqa.
Lieutenant General Stephen Townsend, the top U.S. military commander in Iraq, told Pentagon reporters Wednesday that he expects the fight to retake Raqqa to be slower than the offensive on Mosul, which by some estimates could last a few months.
Townsend explained that the fight in Raqqa would be challenging because of the complicated battlefield in Syria, where the Russian military is supporting the Bashar al-Assad regime against rebel forces in western Syria. Turkey has moved in ground forces to northern Syria and the U.S. must rely on the loosely organized Syrian Democratic Forces as its main partner in the fight against ISIS. Though coalition air power will play a large role in supporting an offensive on Raqqa, it is likely that the number of American special operations advisers in Syria will not be increased.
iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Scientists began using one of the largest telescopes on the planet Wednesday night to closely observe a "very strange star" some 1,480 light-years away for signs of intelligent extraterrestrial life.
Researchers with the Breakthrough Listen project, a $100 million research venture launched last year and backed by physicist Stephen Hawking, started using Earth's largest fully steerable radio telescope to try and detect signals of extraterrestrial life from a star known as KIC 8462852, and often referred to as "Tabby's star," after Tabetha Boyajian, a physics and astronomy professor at Louisiana State University who first reported the bizarre phenomenon around the star in September 2015.
"It is basically a very weird star, it is a very strange star. What this star showed is something very, very large and very, very dark appeared to be passing between us and the star. It's not a planet because we know that it is not round and it doesn't orbit at a fixed period," Andrew Siemion, director of the University of California Berkeley SETI Research Center and co-director of Breakthrough Listen, said of Tabby's star in a video the group released explaining their new project.
Tabby's star has attracted the attention of scientists over the past year because of its irregular dimming, which has caused some researchers to speculate that it hosts a "highly advanced civilization capable of building orbiting megastructures to capture the star’s energy," researchers with U.C. Berkeley's SETI Research Center said in a statement.
Researchers will use the Green Bank Telescope in Green Bank, West Virginia, the largest fully steerable radio telescope on the planet, for eight hours every night for the next two months to monitor Tabby's star.
Siemion added in a statement that "it’s the largest, most sensitive telescope that’s capable of looking at Tabby’s star given its position in the sky.”
The likelihood that the unusual dimming from the star is being caused by an advanced alien civilization harnessing the star's energy is "a one in a billion chance," Dan Werthimer, chief scientist at Berkeley SETI said in a statement. "But nevertheless, we’re going to check it out.”
“But I think that ET, if it’s ever discovered, it might be something like that," Werthimer added. "It’ll be some bizarre thing that somebody finds by accident."
It will take more than a month for scientists to analyze the data for patterns in the radio emissions and know the results from the observations, researchers said.
NASA(NEW YORK) -- New images released by NASA show a dangerous sulfur plume moving across northern Iraq in the wake of the battle to retake Mosul.
As the Iraq military announced its operation to capture Mosul, which has been under ISIS control for over two years, ISIS set fire to the Al-Mishraq sulfur plant and Qayyarah oil field south of the city in an effort to provide cover from coalition airstrikes.
NASA said its ozone monitoring instruments detected a large sulfur dioxide plume dispersing across northern and central Iraq as early as last week. Initially, that sulfur dioxide was in lower parts of the atmosphere, but the plume has now reached higher into the atmosphere due to shifting winds.
“In the first few days, the fire did not appear to be particularly energetic and our preliminary observations suggest that much of the sulfur dioxide remained in the boundary layer and the lower troposphere, which accentuates the impact on air quality and health,” said Simon Carn, an atmospheric scientist at Michigan Tech. ”More recently, sulfur dioxide has been lofted to higher altitudes where it may undergo long-range transport.”
Growing concentrations of sulfur dioxide can impair breathing and even be life threatening. Al Jazeera reported that two people have already died from breathing in the sulfur, and hundreds have been taken to a nearby hospital with respiratory problems.
Civilians south of Mosul who were interviewed by al-Mawsleya TV wore masks and scarves to cover their faces from the toxic gas.
As a precautionary measure, the U.S. military said Saturday it has taken air samples to analyze the smoke. Coalition personnel at Camp Swift and Qayyarah West Airfield, about 50 miles south of Mosul, have been directed to limit their outdoor activity, and some have voluntarily chosen to wear protective gas masks, according to a military press release.
The coalition has also provided 24,000 "protective" chemical masks to Iraqi and Kurdish troops as they continue to push toward Mosul.
“The coalition is trained. We’ve trained the [Iraqis] and peshmerga; they’ve got equipment,” Army Maj. Gen. Gary Volesky, commander of U.S. ground forces in Iraq, said in the release. “We’re confident that as the enemy attempt to use a lot of means -- not just chemicals -- we’re targeting the training with the Iraqis and with the coalition to make sure we’re mitigating any risk of that threat.”
Even so, the emissions from the sulfur plant have been enormous. Atmospheric scientist Simon Carn tweeted that if the sulfur dioxide was released from a volcano instead of the plant, it would already be among the largest eruptions of 2016.
iStock/Thinkstock(ROME) -- Thousands of people fled their homes in a panic as a series of strong quakes struck central Italy on Wednesday night, the same area devastated by an August temblor that killed nearly 300 people.
A magnitude 5.5 quake first struck Wednesday at 7:10 p.m. local time near the town of Sellano, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) said. Just over two hours later, at 9:18 p.m., a second, stronger 6.1 magnitude temblor rattled the same area, this time centered near the town of Visso.
Thousands of people remained out of doors through the night, many in their cars, as a series of seven aftershocks of magnitude 4 or greater -- all clustered around the same area -- kept the ground trembling in the hours that followed.
TERTIUS PICKARD/AFP/Getty Images(QUEENSLAND, Australia) -- A theme park in Australia has cancelled its planned reopening this weekend after police said that having guests inside the park could interfere with their investigation into the accident that killed four people on Tuesday, 9 News Australia reported.
"Postponing the service will give the Queensland Police Service the time it needs to conduct this investigation," the park, Dreamworld Australia, said in a statement.
Two women, aged 42 and 32, and two men, aged 38 and 35, were killed Tuesday after a raft on the Thunder River Rapids ride at the amusement park on Queensland’s Gold Coast turned over on its conveyor belt, police said. The investigation into the incident is ongoing.
“We are deeply shocked and saddened by today’s accident,” the park said in a statement following the incident. “Our hearts and thoughts go to the families involved and their loved ones.”
Stockbyte/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The global population of wildlife has declined drastically since 1970, suffering a drop of 58 percent between 1970 and 2012, according to a new report from the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and the Zoological Society of London.
The overall number of vertebrates -- a group that includes mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish -- has dropped dramatically as a result of human activity, the conservation groups say, with animals living in the freshwater systems showing the greatest decline, at 81 percent. The groups' bi-annual Living Planet report found that wildlife in the world's oceans dropped by 36 percent while on land the population numbers fell by 38 percent.
If current trends continue, the groups say, more than two-thirds of all global wildlife will be in decline by 2020.
“For the first time since the demise of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago, we face a global mass extinction of wildlife," said Mike Barrett, director of science and policy at WWF-UK.
The study blames human activities including deforestation, pollution, overfishing and the illegal wildlife trade as well as climate change for pushing species to the edge. The biggest culprit, according to the WWF, is habitat loss and degradation caused mainly by the global food system.
Mike63/iStock/Thinkstock(BAGHDAD) -- The top U.S. military commander in Iraq said today it is "imperative" to retake Raqqah, the de facto capital for ISIS in Syria, because of the potential for overseas terror plots. Defense Secretary Ash Carter said in Paris today that the operation to free ISIS could begin in weeks and overlap with the current Iraqi military offensive in Mosul.
"We think there's an imperative to get isolation in place around Raqqah because our intelligence feeds tell us that there is significant external operations attacks planning going on, emanating central in -- centralized in Raqqah,” Lieutenant General Stephen Townsend told Pentagon reporters via a video link from Baghdad.
"We know they're up to something," he continued. "And it’s an external plot. We don't know exactly where, we don't know exactly when."
He cited the recent capture of the Syrian town of Manbij where "we found links to individuals and plot streams to France, the United States, other European countries." Located a few miles south of the border with Turkey, Manbij was a key ISIS location for foreign fighters coming in and out of Syria.
"So we know that this is going on in Raqqah, as well. And so I think that's why it's necessary to get down there to Raqqah," Townsend added. "We know that it's a focal point of ISIL external operations, planning, plotting.”
ISIL is another acronym used to describe ISIS.
He described "a sense of urgency about what we have to do here because we're just not sure what they're up to, and where, and when. But we know that this plot planning is emanating from Raqqah.”
Carter indicated that an offensive on Raqqah could begin in a matter of weeks and would coincide with the Mosul offensive currently being undertaken by the Iraqi military.
"We've begun laying the groundwork with our partners to commence the isolation of Raqqah," said Carter. "As we meet here, we're hoping to generate the local forces that will do so."
In Syria, 300 American Special Operations forces have been advising the Syrian Democratic Front (SDF) in the fight against ISIS. The force of 30,000 is mainly made up of Kurdish forces, but also has a sizable Syrian Arab contingent known as the Syrian Arab Coalition.
The idea of Kurdish forces potentially being used in an offensive on Raqqah is a sensitive matter for Turkey, which is wary of a strong Kurdish military presence on its border.
Townsend said talks are underway with Turkey about its possible role in the Raqqah operation and particularly about what role Syrian Kurds will play in Raqqah.
Given those sensitivities, Townsend said the isolation of Raqqah would be primarily undertaken by the Syrian Arab forces aligned with the Syrian Democratic Forces. Townsend believes there are currently enough of those forces available to begin encircling the city in the near future.
But he anticipates that the battle for Raqqah will take longer than the current battle for Mosul given that the anti-ISIS partners in Syria do not have the resourcing available to the Iraqi military. He added that the 300 American military advisers in Syria will also have a light footprint as part of a Raqqah operation.
According to Townsend, the timing of the offensive to retake Raqqah was not precipitated by the potential of an overseas terror plot.
“We want to pressure Raqqah so that the enemy doesn't have a convenient place to go," said Townsend.
daveswallace/iStock/thinkstock(ST. MAARTEN) -- The world's "scariest" landing is coming to an end.
KLM Royal Dutch Airlines announced Wednesday that it will no longer fly Boeing 747's in and out of St. Maarten's airport, ending the popular event where dozens of beachgoers gather to snap pictures as the plane flies over the beach.
The last flight into the island is scheduled to land on October 28th.
iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Children in the Calais "Jungle" camp in France are living in unsafe conditions and are at risk of being trafficked by human smugglers as they wait to learn if they will be brought to the United Kingdom, humanitarian organizations warn.
The process of registering the children and bringing them to the U.K. should have been completed before demolishing the camp, the organizations say.
“We do know it is an environment where people smugglers do operate, and outside the humanitarian center, children are exposed to potentially being trafficked by some fairly shady and unscrupulous characters,” Laura Padoan, a spokesperson for the U.N.'s refugee agency UNHCR -- which is assisting the U.K. in identifying unaccompanied children and registering them -- told ABC News.
“It’s critical that safeguards are in place. Currently, we feel that it’s not being done, but we do have protection staff on the ground ready to support,” she added.
On Oct. 10, U.K. Interior Minister Amber Rudd made a commitment to bring as many children as possible to the U.K. with close family ties in the country before the closure of the camp. She also said she would transfer unaccompanied refugee children from Calais to the U.K. who meet the criteria of the 2016 Immigration Act’s Dubs amendment, which called on the U.K. to take in 3,000 unaccompanied children from across Europe.
Since Rudd made the commitment earlier this month, the U.K. has transferred nearly 200 children, including more than 60 girls, many of whom are at high risk of sexual exploitation, the interior minister said on Monday. But the U.K. is far from done with the process -- the country expects to accept hundreds of more children and still has around 1,000 children left to interview even though the process of demolishing the camp has begun. This means that even unaccompanied children who have been registered and are staying in the safer “humanitarian camp” are witnessing harsh scenes.
“The demolition of the so-called 'Jungle' camp is happening around the humanitarian camp where the children who have registered are residing. I can only imagine that it must be extremely frightening if you are a child who is being surrounded by the chaos of the dismantling, wildfires, riot police and people with the intention of creating tensions with the police,” said Padoan of UNHCR.
Children who have been registered and are staying in the humanitarian camp sleep in white shipping containers with room for 12 people, said Lliana Bird, co-founder of Help Refugees, a humanitarian organization that was formed in September 2015 in response to the crisis unfolding in Calais. Other children haven’t been able to register yet and don’t have a place to sleep in the meantime because their shelters have been destroyed, she said.
“We are urgently saying that there are hundreds of unaccompanied minors with no safeguarding and nowhere to sleep tonight. They must be brought to safety immediately. Ideally, there’ll be youth workers and safety workers there,” Bird told ABC News.
“On Monday registration didn’t occur all day and today it stopped at 12:15 so children who didn’t get to register in time were told they had to go back and sleep in the camp. But the camp is on fire at the moment and many had their shelters dismantled and don’t have a place to sleep tonight,” Bird said, adding that trafficking is another big risk children face because they are on their own in the camp.
“Children should not be brought over during this distressing time. It’s all happening last minute and should have happened much earlier. Any chaotic or distressing situation going on around children who are already vulnerable makes them even more vulnerable and more open to abuse,” said Bird.
On Monday, Rudd said that in some cases children who were supposed to board a bus to come to the U.K. didn’t show up, raising concerns.
“Over the past few days, there have been cases in which we have expected children to be available to board the bus to come to the U.K., and sometimes non-governmental organizations themselves have been surprised not to have been able to find them,” she said speaking to the U.K. parliament Monday. She declined to comment further on the issue of children not showing up.
During a Q&A session with the parliament on Monday, Rudd also addressed why the U.K. didn't start the process of interviewing and registering children in Calais earlier.
“My officials were given access to the camp to interview children only in the past week and, similarly, we have only recently received agreement from the French Government that we could bring Dubs cases to the U.K. Before that, we worked closely with the French behind the scenes, but without their agreement it was not possible to make progress on taking non-family cases from Calais,” she said.
U.K. Immigration Minister Robert Goodwill said that the U.K. is committed to safeguarding and protecting children in Calais.
"We are working closely with our French partners and the immediate priority is to ensure those who remain in the camp are provided with secure accommodation during the clearance operation. U.K. officials will continue to identify those eligible to come to Britain,” said Goodwill in a statement sent to ABC News. “Our focus is, and will continue to be, transferring all eligible minors to the U.K. as soon as possible and ensuring they arrive safely. This must be done through an agreed and proper process and with the agreement of the French.”
According to the interior ministry, the U.K. government will contribute up to £36 million (approx. $44 million) to maintain the security of the controls, to support the camp clearance, ensure that the camp is kept closed and to help keep children safe in France.
Joe Giddins - WPA Pool/Getty Images(LONDON) -- Prince Harry met with young people in Nottingham Wednesday in a trip that included a visit to a police station and a recording studio.
Harry, 32, delighted the thousands of well-wishers who came out hoping to catch a glimpse of Harry as he visited programs that work to reduce youth violence and provide a safe venue for kids.
Harry’s first stop was a local police station, where he spent time with the community policing unit. Harry also received a special gift from an 80-year-old woman who surprised him with a basket including Harry’s favorite Haribo candy.
The gesture prompted Harry to ask, “How did you know I like them?”
The woman, Irene Hartman, told reporters she met Harry’s parents, Prince Charles and the late Princess Diana, “many years ago” and recalled them saying Harry liked Haribo.
“I told Harry I knew from when he was a young boy and I told him, ‘Your mum would have been proud of you,’” Hartman said.
Harry was also gifted with a white rose in memory of Diana. Dr. Alicia Osorio, 32, originally from Mexico City, told Harry she was giving him a white rose because his mother Princess Diana was an English rose.
"I asked if he can put it on his mother's tomb," Osorio told ABC News royal contributor Victoria Murphy. "He said, 'Thank you very much. White is my favorite color.'"
Harry is often compared to Princess Diana for his compassion and devotion to service. Later in the day, he spent time at two programs that are part of the Coach Core initiative he started with Prince William and Princess Kate in 2012.
Harry visited an ice rink and also tossed around a rugby ball with kids and young people training as sports coaches.
Harry’s final stop in Nottingham, in Central England, was a community recording studio that works to keep kids off the street through arts education, music programs and mentorships.
Harry's visit to Nottingham comes as he prepares for a 15-day tour of the Caribbean starting Nov. 20. Harry will travel on behalf of his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, to Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Grenada, Guyana, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
The trip will be Harry’s third official visit to the region.
iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- For 25 years, the United States has always voted "no" on a United Nations General Assembly resolution denouncing the country's embargo on Cuba. But this year, for the first time ever, the U.S. will abstain.
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power explained the vote change on Wednesday: "Instead of isolating Cuba, as President Obama has repeatedly said, our policy isolated the United States."
Power made clear that the U.S. rejects language in the resolution that questions the embargo's legality and said the U.S. is still "profoundly concerned" about human rights violations in Cuba.
(QUEENSLAND, Australia) — Dreamworld will reopen Friday just days after four people were killed on a water ride at the amusement park in Australia.
All proceeds from the day will go to the Australian Red Cross in memory of those who lost their lives in the tragic incident, the park said.
"We hope this will be considered the start of the healing process for all concerned," Dreamworld Australia said in a statement Wednesday.
Four adults were killed Tuesday after a raft on the Thunder River Rapids ride at the popular amusement park on Queensland’s Gold Coast turned over on its conveyor belt, police said.
“We are deeply shocked and saddened by today’s accident,” the park said in a statement following the incident. “Our hearts and thoughts go to the families involved and their loved ones.”
Two children who shared the raft with the victims were thrown from the raft, which flipped backwards after hitting a raft in front of it. The children managed to get themselves out. Closed-circuit television footage showed the ride was near the end when the two rafts collided, police said.
"In terms of how they escaped, maybe through the providence of God or somebody, but it seems from what I've seen almost a miracle that anybody came out of that," Queensland Police Assistant Commissioner Brian Codd said Tuesday. "If we're going to be thankful for anything, I'm thankful for that."
In its statement Wednesday, Dreamworld Australia noted that its Thunder River Rapids ride “had successfully completed its annual mechanical and structural safety engineering inspection on Sept. 29, 2016.”
Ian Walton/Getty Images(PHILADELPHIA) -- A Philadelphia neighborhood had a brush with royalty Tuesday when Prince Albert II of Monaco paid a visit to a home he recently bought for a reported $754,000.
The home in Philadelphia’s East Falls neighborhood is a stately brick home that was the childhood home of Albert’s mother, Grace Kelly.
Kelly, an Oscar-winning actress, left Philadelphia for Hollywood as a young woman and became Princess Grace of Monaco when she wed Monaco’s Prince Rainier III in 1956.
Albert, 58, is one of the couple’s three children.
Princess Grace's childhood home was built by her father, John B. Kelly, a businessman who won three Olympic gold medals for rowing. Grace died at age 52 in 1982 from injuries sustained in a car crash in France.
Albert told People magazine in an article posted Oct. 21 that he was “very happy” to have returned his mom’s six-bedroom, 2.5-story childhood home to his family.
“We’re still trying to figure out what we’re going to do with it,” Albert told the magazine. “We’re looking at having it contain some museum exhibit space and maybe use part of it for offices for some of our foundation work.”
Albert spent time during his childhood at his newly-purchased home. His cousin, John B. Kelly III, visited the home with him on Tuesday.
Kelly told ABC's Philadelphia station WPVI-TV the group spent some of their nearly one-hour visit to the home Tuesday reminiscing about parties and "hanging out in the garage."
"It's been his idea and he really wanted to do this to preserve his mother's house, so he's very happy right now," Kelly told WPVI-TV.
iStock/Thinkstock(CHAMONIX, France) — A California wingsuit pilot shared a video of his near-fatal crash after leaping from a 12,000-foot mountain near Chamonix, France.
The video shows Eric Dossantos, of San Diego, soaring over rocky mountain slopes and outcroppings before reaching a pine forest, at which point the pilot starts to weave through gaps in the trees in a nail-biting sequence that ends with a dramatic thud.
"I should have died on a wingsuit crash in France but I didn’t so working on my healing from that," Dossantos wrote in a Facebook post uploaded on Oct. 4. "I appreciate your concerns and positive energy directed my way."