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iStock/Thinkstock(LUEBECK, Germany) -- A man armed with a knife attacked passengers on a bus in northern Germany on Friday before being taken into custody, authorities said.

An unknown number of passengers suffered injuries, including one seriously, during the knife attack on the crowded bus in Luebeck, Germany, at about 1:47 p.m., authorities said. No one died, they said.

The suspect "was overpowered" and taken into custody, police in Germany's Schleswig-Holstein state said in a statement. Investigators were trying to determine his motive, which police said remained unclear.

The police said many witnesses had already left the scene before they could speak with them. The bus had been fully occupied, police said.

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Samir Hussein/Samir Hussein/WireImage(LONDON) -- Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan have been working at a whirlwind pace since marrying on May 19.

They just completed their first foreign tour to Ireland on behalf of Queen Elizabeth.

Kensington Palace recently announced that Meghan and Harry will tour Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and Tonga in October, a trip that will include a visit to Harry's fourth Invictus Games in Sydney.

Next spring, they are scheduled to make their first tour to the United States at the request of the U.K. Foreign Office and the British government.

While plans have yet to be finalized, the tour will take Harry and Meghan to locations on both the East Coast and West Coast, including Meghan's home state of California.

"We know they want to meet with CEOs and especially female tech entrepreneurs out in Silicon Valley to raise awareness of the Royal Foundation and see if they can really start working more closely with them," Jennifer Peros, editor-in-chief of Us Weekly, told Good Morning America.

The magazine also reported that Meghan plans to return home to the U.S. later this summer to spend time with her mother, Doria Ragland, a Los Angeles-based social worker and yoga instructor. She is not expected to see her father, Thomas Markle, after he sold staged photographs and participated in several tell-all interviews.

“Many sources are telling us that Meghan has no plans to go visit her father when she comes here later this summer or on the official tour," Peros said.

Harry visited the U.S. in 2016 when the Invictus Games were held that year in Orlando. More recently, he surprised Chicago high school students with Michelle Obama last October at the Inaugural Summit of the Obama Foundation.

Kensington Palace has not yet formalized an itinerary for Meghan and Harry's U.S. trip.

A stop in Chicago could be possible. Meghan, 36, graduated from Northwestern University in nearby Evanston, Illinois, and former President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama, Chicago residents before they entered the White House, have been staunch supporters of the work of the Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

The Obamas have been at Harry’s side supporting wounded and injured service members during the Invictus Games, a Paralympic-style sporting event for injured service members, founded by Harry. Michelle Obama joined with former second lady Jill Biden during their time in office to launch Joining Forces, a national initiative to mobilize the U.S. population to support service members and their families.

Given the warm relationship, the Obamas were invited to Kensington Palace by Prince William, Princess Kate and Prince Harry for an informal dinner in April 2016, where William and Kate's oldest child, Prince George, stole the show.

William and Kate, both 36, have also taken their first vacation as a family of five in Mustique ahead of George's fifth birthday on Sunday. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were joined by their children -- Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis -- as well as Kate's sister, Pippa Middleton Matthews, and her husband, James Matthews; and Kate's parents, James and Carole Middleton.

William and Kate, as well as the Middletons, have been visiting Mustique for many years. It’s a favorite place for them due to its privacy and ability for their children to enjoy a holiday away from the prying eyes of the paparazzi.

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Chesnot/Getty Images(PARIS) -- Police questioned an aide to French President Emmanuel Macron on Friday after he was apparently caught on video impersonating a police officer while hitting and stomping a Paris demonstrator earlier this year.

The video, published Wednesday night by French newspaper Le Monde, was taken May 1 during a demonstration and seems to show Alexandre Benalla wearing a police armband and a helmet, but otherwise in civilian clothes.

Benalla, a member of the Elysee Palace security staff, appears to be dragging a woman and then hitting a young man, as real French police officers watch on and do not intervene.

He had initially been suspended for two weeks without pay, but he will now be fired, the Elysee Palace announced on Friday.

Macron’s political opponents had initially criticized the president for what they considered an insufficient punishment and argued that the Elysee Palace tried to cover up the event.

“There should not be a double standard in how you treat an aide to the president and any ordinary citizen,” the leader of the Socialist Party, Olivier Faure, said on French TV.

The French public prosecutor has opened a preliminary inquiry into potential charges against Benalla.

He could be charged for violence by a public official, pretending to be a member of the police and illegally using police insignia.

Prime Minister Edouard Philippe, speaking to Congress members on Thursday, said the incident was “particularly shocking.”

“The case is now in the hands of justice,” he added, referring to the preliminary investigation launched by prosecutors.

Macron has not yet officially reacted to the scandal.

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iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- A U.S. citizen, believed to have been fighting for ISIS, was captured in northern Syria this summer, according to a U.S. defense official.

Ibraheem Musaibli, who is now at a holding facility, was detained by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) -- the U.S.-led coalition's partner force fighting ISIS in Syria, the official said.

The New York Times
, which was first to report about Musaibli's capture, said he is 28 years old and from Dearborn, Michigan.

Musaibli, along with an Indiana woman whose husband joined ISIS and who is also detained, may be brought to the U.S. for prosecution, the Times reported.

The official confirmed to ABC News that the woman's name is Samantha Elhassani.

Musaibli is only the second U.S. citizen known to have been captured fighting for ISIS in Syria.

Last September, the Pentagon confirmed that a U.S. citizen had been detained after surrendering to the SDF. At first, the administration attempted to move him to Saudi Arabian custody but was blocked by a U.S. federal court after the ACLU sued on his behalf.

Now, the Pentagon has announced its intention to drop him back off in Syria in the same town where he was originally detained. The ACLU has sued to block this as well, and his case is awaiting a decision in federal court.

While in custody, he has never been charged with a crime.

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iStock/Thinkstock(LONDON) -- Among the most quirky of Britain’s historic traditions, the practice of counting swans, or "swan-upping," has a long history dating back hundreds of years.

The tradition is named after the officials who carry out the duties, swan uppers. The monarch claims ownership of all mute swans -- the species often represented in fairy tales and art -- in the U.K., as part of a tradition of royal entitlements thought to date back to 1186.

Swans, mostly their young cygnets, were considered a delicacy and served at banquets and feasts.

Each year, stocks of wild swans were rounded up and counted to ensure numbers and a healthy population. This usually took place in late July when the cygnets are typically born, but are not yet able to fly.

The tradition involves swan uppers catching swans with their bare hands, as they row down the various rivers in England where the birds most frequently gather.

The uppers wear formal dress and travel in traditional wooden boats known as skiffs. Uppers who count for the Crown fly the Queen’s flag.

The birds are caught, then weighed and checked for diseases. The data is stored for conservation efforts.

Swans in the U.K. are owned either by the Crown, by the Ilchester family or by two livery companies who have rights to own swans.

Uppers representing each will carry the appropriate flags on their skiffs and, alongside the royal Uppers, will sail 79 miles of the Thames over a week to count the swan population.

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ABC News(SEOUL, South Korea) -- South Korea's court has ordered the government and a shipping company to pay compensation to the families of victims of the Sewol ferry that sank in 2014, killing 304 on board, mostly high school students. It is the first time the state was held responsible for the tragedy that took a toll on the nation for years.

"The court acknowledges the liability in compensating the plaintiffs, since the negligence by the state and Cheonghaejin Marine Co. has resulted in the occurrence of the accident," the court announced on Thursday.

Each victim is to receive $177,000 in compensation. An additional $35,000 will go to parents of students who died, and a smaller portion will go to siblings and grandparents.

On April 16, 2014, the Sewol ferry sank on its way from Incheon to Jeju Island. There were 476 people on the ferry at the time, including 325 students from Danwon High School. Five of the passengers were never found.

An investigation later determined that the boat was over capacity.

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iStock/Thinkstock(JERUSALEM) - Israel adopted a contentious law on Thursday that defines the country as the nation-state of the Jewish people, a move critics described as racist and a step toward an apartheid state.

The bill, which is backed by the right-wing government, states that Israel is “the national home of the Jewish people” and that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. It also downgrades the Arabic language from an official language to one with “special status” and encourages the establishment of Jewish settlements. “The state views the development of Jewish settlement as a national value and will act to encourage and promote its establishment,” one clause of the law reads.

After the bill was passed, some Arab members of parliament yelled “apartheid” as they tore up paper versions of the law.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the new law marked a “pivotal moment in the annals of Zionism and the state of Israel.”

“Israel is the nation state of the Jewish people, that respects the individual rights of all its citizens,” he told the Knesset, Israel’s parliament, after the vote. “This is our state — the Jewish state.”

The law passed by a vote of 62-55 with two abstentions in the 120-member parliament after hours of heated debate and months of political dispute.

The law is largely symbolic, but opponents say it harms the Arab minority, which makes up about 20 percent of Israel’s population of about 9 million people. Some Arab lawmakers called the bill racist.

Adalah, the Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, said the law has “apartheid characteristics.”

“This law guarantees the ethnic-religious character of Israel as exclusively Jewish and entrenches the privileges enjoyed by Jewish citizens, while simultaneously anchoring discrimination against Palestinian citizens and legitimizing exclusion, racism, and systemic inequality,” the group said in a statement.

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ABC News(CHIANG MAI, Thailand) -- Chanin "Titan" Vibulrungruang said he was surprised the entire world was waiting to see him.

"Was it a good surprise?" ABC News asked the boy, following his recent extraction from a flooded cave in Thailand along with his soccer teammates and coach.

"A lot of people are supporting and encouraging," he said.

Titan and his father sat down with ABC News to discuss Titan's recent experience. He said his coach didn't carry him out of the cave but that he held onto his back while swimming out.

"At first," Titan's father said, "I was really happy and surprised because he is now finally safe." He said he was at the cave searching for his son "every day since the first day" Titan was missing.

Parents of other missing boys waited together and supported each other, he added.

"Everyone felt less worried after the first five days because all of the staff and volunteers were working really hard to find them," he said. "Also the staff said they found some evidence leading to the presence of the kids inside the cave, so we felt relieved, unlike the very first days that all the parents were worried."

Titan said he "thought about my parents" and felt that they "would be waiting in front of the cave."

Titan has returned home and said he's feeling healthier. He's enjoying some of his favorite foods again, including red curry with pork, and spending more time with his family. And he's going to get to watch some soccer soon.

"I'm excited," he said, "that they are going to take our team to see the actual teams."

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Mike Smith/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The French ambassador to the U.S. slammed comedian Trevor Noah on Wednesday for saying Africa deserved credit for France's 2018 World Cup victory due to the large number of black players on the team.

Gerard Araud wrote a strongly worded letter addressed to Noah on Wednesday, accusing the late-night comedian of "legitimizing" racist ideologies and denying the players' "Frenchness" with his comments about their race and backgrounds.

Noah claimed "Africa won the World Cup" in a segment on The Daily Show on Monday, a day after France beat Croatia 4-2 in Moscow, a joke that some deemed racist.

"I get it, they have to say it's the French team,” Noah said Monday. "But look at those guys. You don't get that tan by hanging out in the south of France, my friends."

Araud said he was watching "with great attention" on Monday, and that he wasn't laughing.

"I heard your words about ‘an African victory,’ nothing could be less true. ... By calling them an African team, it seems you are denying their Frenchness," Araud said his letter on Wednesday. "This, even in jest, legitimizes the ideology which claims whiteness as the only definition of being French."

France took home soccer’s most coveted prize for the second time in the country’s history with a team starring black and Muslim players.

Araud acknowledged that some of the team members' "parents may have come from another country," but he said all but two of the 23 players were born in France.

"They were educated in France, they learned to play soccer in France, and they are French citizens," he said. "They are proud of their country, France."

Araud also took a jab at America, saying, "Unlike the United States of America, France does not refer to their citizens based on their race, religion or origin."

The French Embassy in the U.S. released the letter to the public via Twitter on Wednesday at around 5 p.m. eastern, and it wasn't long before Noah fired back.

"When I'm saying 'African,' I'm not saying it to exclude them from their French-ness -- I'm saying it to include them in my African-ness. I'm saying, 'I see you, my French brother of African descent," Noah in a video posted on Twitter.

The comedian read part of Araud's letter in a "Behind the Scenes" segment of his show in which he appeared to double down on his original message.

"I will continue to praise them for being African because I believe they are of Africa -- their parents are from Africa -- and they can be French, because I believe they can both at the same time," Noah said. "And if French people are saying they can't be, then I think they have a problem and not me."

"America's not a perfect place," he added, "but what I love about this country is that people can still celebrate their identity in their American-ness."

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Subscribe To This Feed -- The controversial visit by President Donald Trump and his bombshell interview criticizing his host wasn’t the only headache for British Prime Minister Theresa May in recent days.

This week saw chaotic scenes in the House of Commons as the ruling Conservative party threatened its own rebellious MPs with a general election in order to whip them into line and vote for a vital bill on exiting the European Union (E.U.).

Here’s a rundown of what’s going on and how these changes are raising questions of whether or not Prime Minister Theresa May will remain in power much longer.

The Brexit drama causing bigger dramas

One of the biggest problem issues facing the British government today is what to do about the impending Brexit deadline, when the country is slated to leave the E.U. in the wake of the country’s 2016 referendum.

The Conservative party is irrevocably split between ideological differences over Britain’s relationship with the E.U.

Many Conservative politicians and stalwarts were staunchly opposed to E.U. membership from the signing of the first treaty and have been working for Brexit ever since. Meanwhile other Tories, as the Conservatives are also known, strongly favor a Brexit deal that maintains close alignment with the E.U. in order to protect jobs and access to the E.U. market.

The clash between the two sides risks the government failing to pass bills proposing what forms the Brexit will take (pending E.U. agreement).

These internal conflicts have led to the resignation of several high-profile ministers, including David Davis, who was the Secretary of State for Exiting the E.U., and Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, who resigned just days before Trump’s visit to the United Kingdom. Johnson is widely seen as a rival to the prime minister, though right after his resignation he publicly denied interest in vying for the role.

How is May handling the chaos?

May’s minority government means that she has a razor-thin majority in parliament – a split that is even more pronounced on Brexit, given the number of Conservative members of parliament who strongly favor a closer relationship with the E.U. than the prime minister is currently pursuing.

The presence of a separate group of members of parliament (MPs), who are strongly Euro-sceptic and favor a harsher cut of ties to the E.U., also regularly threaten to vote against their own party, blocking legislation that they see as too “soft” towards the E.U. split.

The fate of several important votes on Brexit legislation this week was unclear.

In order to push as many of her own party’s MPs into line, May sent her whips to threaten them with a vote of no confidence against her – which could trigger a general election and may end up ousting her as prime minister and putting opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn in charge.

The tactic worked, and the government narrowly avoided a damaging defeat that could have sparked a leadership challenge from the Euro-sceptic side of the party.

But the threats of general election have exacerbated the split within the party, with several prominent MPs calling for a “government of national unity” in order to pursue an orderly Brexit.

How the opposition party is handling their own Brexit divide

The Labour party, the left-leaning major party and official opposition, is currently in the midst of its own civil war between its leadership and the ranks.

Corbyn, the Labour party leader, has been an outspoken Euro-sceptic for most of his political career, although he officially was part of a lukewarm campaign for Britain to remain in the E.U. during the vote in 2016.

In spite of his largely Euro-skeptic stance, the majority of the Labour party membership is on the pro-E.U. side of the debate. Labour’s leadership of Corbyn and his allies have dealt with this by adopting a position on Brexit that has not been clearly defined, sparking criticism from pro-E.U. members of parliament who say the opposition should be doing more to keep May in check from pursuing too harsh a split.

Anti-Semitism claims reach a new peak

Beyond their own Brexit drama, Labour is also currently facing a crisis over accusations of entrenched anti-Semitism within the party ever since Corbyn became leader in 2016 after the referendum.

Corbyn is backed by the left-wing side of the party, and in the last two years dozens of its members, councillors and even members of parliament have faced accusations of anti-Semitism. Corbyn has been accused of not taking a tough enough stance on these cases, alongside accusations and criticism against his own conduct.

In 2009 Corbyn described the militant Lebanese group Hezbollah and Palestinian terror group Hamas as "friends" and has reportedly met with activists accused of denying the Holocaust, including Dyab About Jahjah and Paul Eisen.

He has also been a member of several groups on Facebook that shared anti-Semitic posts.

The party’s refusal this month to accept definitions of anti-Semitism as laid out by the advocacy group the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, which is adopted across the U.K. government, has attracted widespread criticism.

It sparked an extraordinary show of unity from Britain’s Jewish community as 68 rabbis, many of whom disagree on many topics and some do not even recognize each other as rabbis, formed a coalition to condemn anti-Semitism, attacking Labour’s position.

On Tuesday July 17, Dame Margaret Hodge, Jewish member of parliament, accused Corbyn of being “an anti-Semite and a racist” in the House of Commons chamber. Hodge, whose relatives died in Auschwitz, is to be disciplined by Labour for her comments.

The latest showdown

The various political tensions were apparent today as May faced members of parliament for her weekly grilling session in the House of Commons. It was the last weekly Prime Minister’s Questions before the House breaks for summer holidays, and she faced pressure from both sides.

Corbyn, who is allowed to ask six questions to the Prime Minister, used all of them to focus on Brexit, accusing the government of sinking into a “mire of chaos and division” and that its proposed plans on the exit were not going to work.

She also was asked by a fellow Conservative Andrea Jenkyns, who is against closer ties with the E.U., at what point it was decided that “Brexit means remain?” -- implying that May was not respecting the outcome of the vote to leave.

May endured further public criticism of her Brexit strategy from her own benches today as Boris Johnson delivered a resignation statement in the House of Commons, setting out why he could no longer work in her Cabinet.

Boris accused the Prime Minister of “dithering” in E.U. talks and allowing “a fog of self-doubt” to descend.

“We need to take one decision now before all others – and that is to believe in this country and what it can do,” he said.

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Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images(TURNBERRY, Scotland) -- The U.S. federal government billed taxpayers nearly $70,000 in expenses at the Trump hotel in Turnberry, Scotland, during President Donald Trump's visit last weekend, federal spending records show.

The expenditures, totaling $69,767, were made by the State Department on behalf of the U.S. Secret Service, tasked to protect the president and his family members during their trips abroad.

“The State Department frequently assists other U.S. agencies, including the Secret Service, with transportation arrangements and in making hotel bookings overseas," a State Department spokesperson told ABC News. The spokesperson added that the cost for those hotels rooms and additional transportation expenses are reimbursed by the Secret Service.

The revelation of the expenditures at the Turnberry hotel comes on the heels of criticisms against Trump's touting of the hotel during a recent interview with British tabloid The Sun during his visit, calling the hotel a "magical" place.

"These are taxpayer funds – money from you and I – that Trump is spending to enrich his own business enterprise," said Craig Holman, a government affairs lobbyist with watchdog group Public Citizen. "This constitutes self-dealing by Trump plain and simple, and we are paying for it."

It is unclear whether the Secret Service booked the Turnberry hotel rooms at a regular rate or received a discount.

ABC News reached out to the Trump Organization for response.

The recent Scotland expenditures, labeled "hotel rooms" for "VIP visit," are the latest U.S. Secret Service charges billed during Trump family members' visits to Trump properties abroad.

The State Department spent more than $13,000 at just the Turnberry hotel between November 2016 through May 2017, according to additional spending records obtained by government watchdog group Property of the People and shared with ABC News.

The documents also show that the State Department has spent at least $38,500 at the Trump hotel in Vancouver. This includes the roughly $15,000 spent to book rooms at the new Trump hotel for Secret Service agents protecting the Trump family members during its ribbon-cutting ceremony in late February 2017.

The president and his son Eric Trump's visits to the Trump International Hotel in Doonbeg, Ireland, throughout 2017 cost the State Department nearly $28,000 at the hotel for Secret Service expenses.

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John Phillips/Getty Images(LONDON) -- People walking by Potter's Field Park near the Tower Bridge in London will encounter a larger-than-life figure from the "Jurassic Park" movies.

No, it's not one of the film's cloned dinosaurs. It's a 25-foot statue of a Jeff Goldblum, with an open shirt, reclining in the shadow of the bridge.

"There was nothing sexy going on there and there still may not be," the actor told IGN. "I don’t know how this shirtlessness came about."

The statue, placed by the subscription TV service NowTV that is playing "Jurassic Park," recreates Goldblum's famous pose from the movie in honor of the film's 25th anniversary. The original "Jurassic Park" premiered a quarter century ago on June 11, 1993.

The statue is expected to remain in the park until Thursday evening.

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Linh Pham/Getty Images(CHIANG RAI, Thailand) -- The 12 young soccer players and their coach rescued from a Thai cave never gave up hope of being found alive and passed the time digging into a rocky wall believing they might be able to tunnel out, they said Wednesday.

In their first public appearance since the improbable rescues ended eight days ago, the members of the Wild Boar soccer team detailed their harrowing 18-day misadventure after they entered the Tham Luang Nang Non cave in northern Thailand June 23.

The group set out on the excursion planning to explore the subterranean maze only for an hour, they said, explaining that some of them had activities to attend that afternoon and one was expected at his 16th birthday party at home.

While they had preplanned the trip, communicating on Facebook, they brought no food and or drinking water.

"It was on the way back ... when we got trapped," Ekapol Chanthawong, an assistant coach who led the boys on the ill-fated trek, said in Thai Wednesday at a news conference in Chiang Rai, Thailand.

They quickly learned their path out was blocked by floodwaters, Chanthawong, 25, said. They realized they'd have to wade or swim through the water to escape.

As the water in the cave rose, they were forced to retreat and regroup. The boys began to fear they were lost.

"I told everyone to fight and not be defeated," Chanthawong said.

As the hours passed and the cave grew pitch black, they said, the group used a flashlight to guide them deeper into the dank underground. They conceded that they would have to spend the night in the cave and searched for a place to shelter.

Many in the group began to feel thirsty and hungry, they said, with the group stumbling across freshwater trickling down the side of a cave wall about 650 feet up a rock. They decided it was the best place for them to bed down on the hard ground for the night.

The group prayed before going to sleep, they said.

"I didn't worry at the time because I thought the water would lower down overnight and we would get out," Chanthawong said.

But when morning came, conditions had worsened in the cave, they said.

Despite the hunger, Chanin Vibulrungruang, 11, said he tried not to think of food, filling his stomach with the water trickling down the cave wall.

As days slipped by, they spent the time digging into the wall, believing they might be able to tunnel out.

"I would dig on the cave walls,” Chanin, also speaking in Thai, said. “I would dig three to four meters with rocks to find a way out.”

Another boy said they began digging in shifts.

"We could not go out but what we could do is dig at the cave wall because at least we could do something," the boy said. "We took turns along the way."

By the fifth day, coach Chathawong realized the boys were getting weak and told them to limit their movements to conserve energy, he said.

They discussed moving further into the cave, thinking there might be an exit at the end of the 6-mile-long grotto. That’s when they heard the water rising toward them.

"So we had to walk," Chathawong said. "The water rose three meters," or nearly 10 feet.

They eventually found high ground on a beach inside a chamber that became known as "Chamber 9." They lost track of how many days they had been lost.

They were sitting inside the chamber one evening, "playing with a rock," when their prayers were answered, Adul Sam-on, 14, said.

"Suddenly, we heard somebody talking," the teen said.

The group grew silent and listened. At first, they thought they were hallucinating.

"We weren't sure if it was true or not, so we stopped talking and listened,” Adul said. “Is it true? I was frightened, I was nervous. I told Mig to go down.”

Panumas "Mig" Sangdee, 13, had a flashlight in his hand but he was too scared to go and investigate the source of the voices, Adul said.

"I took the flashlight from him and went down right away," Adul said. "I said, 'Hello' or something like that. They didn't show their faces at first. They stuck their faces up and were talking."

Two divers from the British Cave Rescue Council, John Volanthen and Richard Stanton, were stringing a safety rope through a flooded area of the cave when they popped up in a cavern and, to their surprise, saw all 12 boys and their coach huddled on a small beach in the darkness.

"It was like a miracle," Adul said of the encounter 10 days after they went missing. "He [Volanthen] asked me a question. It took a long time to respond to it."

A video of the moment was released by the Thai Navy SEALS. In the footage, Volanthen asked Adul how he was and how many were in his group.

"I said, 'We have thirteen,'" Adul said. "Then he said, 'Brilliant.’"

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Jack Taylor/Getty Images(LONDON) -- Wiltshire police in England are searching Salisbury’s Queen Elizabeth Gardens as part of the ongoing investigation into the Novichok contamination that killed a British woman and seriously injured her partner.

The gardens have been closed off to the public for two weeks since Dawn Sturgess and her partner, Charlie Rowley, fell ill following exposure to a Novichok nerve agent in late June, four months after the poisoning of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia Skripal.

“The commencement of the searching of the gardens is a significant step in the operation,” Wiltshire Police Deputy Chief Constable Paul Mills said.

He added, “We are intentionally undertaking a detailed and meticulous search so that the public can return to using the gardens with confidence when they are reopened.”

A murder inquiry was launched after Sturgess died at a local hospital on July 8. She was at Rowley's house in Amesbury, just several miles away from Salisbury, when she first fell ill.

Investigators are studying whether the British couple's poisoning is linked to the Skripals.

Around 100 detectives are supporting the regional police force working on the case.

Rowley remains in the hospital and told his brother he was “devastated” when he learned of Sturgess’ death.

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Linh Pham/Getty Images(CHIANG RAI, Thailand) -- The 12 soccer players and their coach who were rescued from a flooded cave in Thailand made their first public appearance Wednesday, smiling and waving and sharing details of their frightening ordeal.

Ekapol Chanthawong, the 25-year-old coach who led the boys into the Tham Luang Nang Non cave, immediately wanted to set the record straight.

"Yes, we all can swim," he said.

The boys were each given a soccer ball when they entered the hall in Chiang Rai for Wednesday's press conference. Before speaking they kicked the balls around in front of a stage to show they were all healthy.

One of the boys called it a "miracle moment" when two British divers discovered them.

"Then he asked, 'How are you' and I responded, 'We're fine,'" Pipat "Nick" Bodhi, 15, said.

'Do not be defeated'

The boys said they had no food with them when they went into the cave on June 23 and had initially decided to spend just an hour underground.

But when they went to leave, they found their exit path flooded.

Chanthawong said they made the decision together to go deeper into the cave, believing there was another way out.

He said they were immediately confronted by sections of deep water they had to swim through.

"The water went up to my shoulder. So everyone followed me," Chanthawong said.

As the floodwater rose, one of the boys asked if they were lost. But Chanthawong said he assured the group that they weren't lost.

"There's only one direction in the cave," he said.

As the hours passed, Chanthawong said he tried to keep the boys calm, telling them "to fight and not be defeated."

The group found an area about 650 feet up a rock and decided to stay there for the night. Before they went to sleep, they prayed, the boys said.

"I didn’t worry at that time because I thought the water would lower down overnight and we could get out," Chanthawong said.

Digging into cave wall

They had no food or water, so the next day they went hunting for fresh water to drink, finding some trickling down a wall in the cave.

"I felt weak and very hungry," said the youngest boy, 11-year-old Chanin Wiboonrungrueng. "I drank water to make me full."

As hours stretched into days, the boys said they would take turns digging into the cave walls, believing they could tunnel their way out.

"I would dig on the cave walls," Chanin said. "I could dig three to four meters with rocks to find a way out."

Coach Chanthawong said he eventually told the boys to stop digging and to move as little as possible to conserve their energy.

Then on the tenth day, trapped in the labyrinth maze, they heard someone speaking in English.

Chanthawong instructed one of the boys who had a torch to go investigate. He found the British divers who had been stringing a safety line through the cave as part of the massive search-and-rescue mission.

Honoring SEAL who died

The Wild Boars, as the team is called, also expressed condolences to the family of Lt. Col. Saman Gunan, the retired Thai Navy SEAL who died during the rescue mission.

They showed a framed drawing of Gunan that they all signed and plan to send it to his family.

"I would like to express our condolences and hope you rest in peace," the youngest boy, 11-year-old Chanin Wiboonrungrueng, said, reading the message he wrote on the drawing to Gunan. "Thank you very much for your sacrifice and I felt sorry for Lt. Col. Gunan's family."

Coach Chanthawong said that when they heard of Gunan's death, "Everyone was shocked. Everyone was saddened by the news and we felt guilty that we were the cause of his death."

Officials released the team from Chiangrai Prachanukroh Hospital at about 5 p.m. Wednesday local time.

Most of the boys said they'd like to become both professional soccer players and Navy SEALs when they grow up.

Lessons learned

The boys said the biggest lesson they learned from the ordeal is to be more careful.

"This experience taught me not to live life carelessly," said Pipat Bodhi.

Their rescue took place over a period of three days last week. The first four boys were taken out of the cave on July 8 in a tandem rescue effort, with one SEAL swimming ahead of the boys and another behind, all the while attached to a tether.

Four more boys were rescued the following day, July 9, and the final four boys and their coach were brought out of the cave on July 10.

The final group had stayed in the cave for 18 days by the time they were saved.

Former provincial Gov. Narongsak Osatanakorn told ABC News that as soon as the final boys and coach were taken out of the cave, the main water pump failed and water rushed back into the tunnel. The Navy SEALs still inside were forced to abandon oxygen tanks and quickly make an escape.

For having spent over two weeks underground, the boys were in remarkable health from the moment they were rushed to the hospital.

A few of the boys tested positive for minor lung infections, but on the whole, officials said from the beginning the boys were happy and healthy.

As a precaution, they were not allowed to eat solid foods, or spicy foods, for their first days in the hospital. Their parents were also forced to view them from afar, and through glass, for two days in order to prevent the spread of infection.

One of the rescuers involved in the search, Saman Kunan, a former Thai Navy SEAL, died from a lack of oxygen on July 6.

The group has been recovering in the hospital since early last week, when they were rescued from the cave in northern Thailand after surviving without food for 10 days.

The team entered the cave on June 23 as part of a team bonding experience with their coach. Unexpected heavy rain flooded the cave, forcing the group farther inside and cutting off any escape routes.

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