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Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his top political challenger Benny Gantz will visit Washington next week to discuss peace in the Middle East, the White House announced Thursday.

Vice President Mike Pence said he extended the invitation to Netanyahu and Gantz -- the leader of Israel's Blue and White party -- during his trip to Jerusalem, on behalf of President Donald Trump.

The timing of the visit could provide a distraction from the ongoing impeachment trial in the Senate.

The Trump administration has repeatedly delayed the release of a plan it's devised for peace between Israel and its neighbors, as political turmoil in Israel brought criminal charges against Netanyahu and two parliamentary elections in under seven months.

Notably absent from the administration's announcements was any mention of the Palestinians.

The White House declined to comment on whether it had also extended an invite to Palestinian officials, who cut off relations with the Trump administration in 2017 after the U.S. recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital. They have also openly criticized Trump's actions as heavily biased in favor of Israel.

Bringing Netanyahu to the White House just over a month before the latest round of Israeli elections, scheduled for March 2, fits a pattern in which Trump has aimed to provide a domestic boost for his ally. The visit would allow the two leaders to put their close relationship before cameras.

While Gantz was also invited, Pence made clear the former military leader was an afterthought invited only after Netanyahu suggested he come, too.

Last year, just weeks before the elections in April, Trump announced in a tweet that the U.S. would recognize Israel's sovereignty over the disputed Golan Heights, an area that overlooks the Jordan Valley; the move widely viewed as an attempt to help Netanyahu.

Days before another vote in September, Trump teased a conversation with Netanyahu about a possible mutual defense treaty.

Both leaders accepted the invitation to come to Washington, according to White House officials, and Netanyahu said he would "gladly" come. Pence told reporters in Jerusalem that the meeting would include a discussion of "regional issues, as well as the prospect of peace here in the Holy Land."

Amid hundreds of tweets about his impeachment trial, Trump wrote on Twitter Thursday that the U.S. looked forward to hosting Gantz and Netanyahu.

"Reports about details and timing of our closely-held peace plan are purely speculative," he added.

Netanyahu, who has adopted Trump's language and messaging tactics in a bid to align himself with the American president -- widely popular in Israel -- was charged in November with fraud, bribery and breach of trust.

He is currently seeking immunity from prosecution even as he campaigns to hold his office.

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Mark Wilson/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The world just got 20 seconds closer to catastrophe.

Gauging the duel threats of nuclear warfare and climate change, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists announced on Thursday that the minute hand on the metaphorical "Doomsday Clock" has been moved forward to 100 seconds before midnight, the closest it has come to signaling a global meltdown.

The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, comprised of world leaders and Nobel Laureates, announced its decision in a live-stream webcast.

The world is now closer to an apocalyptic meltdown with the recalibration of the "Doomsday Clock."

"The bulletin is thus joining with tomorrow's leaders and today's most authoritative political ones to assert that the current environment is profoundly unstable and urgent action and immediate engagement is required by all," Rachel Bronson, president of the organization, said at a news conference.

She went on, "Both the nuclear and climate conditions are worsening, and we note that over the last two years we have seen influential leaders denigrate and discard the most effective methods for addressing complex threats -- international agreements with strong verification regimes -- in favor of their own narrow interests and domestic political gain. By undermining cooperative science and law-based approaches to managing the most urgent threats to humanity, leaders have help to create a situation that will if unaddressed lead to catastrophe sooner rather than later."

In January 2019, the atomic scientific group decided not to move the minute hand, a year after it adjusted the clock ahead 30 seconds.

“We are living in a period of great uncertainty caused by both technology and failures of leadership. It is urgent that we collectively work to reduce the instability that causes,” Robert Latiff, a member of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists and an adjunct professor at the University of Notre Dame’s Reilly Center for Science, Technology and Values, said in a statement.

Latiff was scheduled to speak at Thursday's event along with former United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Mary Robinson, the former president of Ireland, and former California Gov. Jerry Brown, who is the executive chairman of the Bulletin of Scientists.

The "Doomsday Clock" was established in 1947, less than two years after the United States dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan, during World War II. The clock was initially set at seven minutes before midnight.

Over the past seven decades, the clock has been adjusted forward and backward. The farthest the minute hand was pushed back from the cataclysmic midnight hour was 17 minutes in 1991 after the Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty was revived and then-President George H.W. Bush and Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev both announced reductions in the nuclear arsenals of their respective countries.

In 2019, the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists decided not to adjust the minute hand citing what they described as “the new abnormal,” a moment in history "in which fact is becoming indistinguishable from fiction, undermining our very abilities to develop and apply solutions to the big problems of our time."

Bronson said on Thursday that conditions have grown worse and that the world has entered into "a period when danger is high and the margin for error is low.

"To move the clock closer to midnight moves us into a period that requires newfound vigilance and focus from leaders and citizens alike as if every second matters," Bronson said. "The moment demands attention and new creative responses."

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Sjo/iStock(SYDNEY) -- Three Americans were killed battling the Australian wildfires Thursday when their water tanker plane crashed in New South Wales.

The Lockheed C-130 Hercules aerial water tanker went down in the Snowy Mountains' Monaro region, about 400 miles east of Melbourne, said officials with the New South Wales Rural Fire Service (RFS).

The three crew members were believed to be the only ones aboard the plane, according to officials. There were no survivors in the crash.

Authorities said they weren't yet releasing the names of the crew members.

The plane was performing normal water bombing activities, dumping water on one of an estimated 80 fires currently burning in that area, officials said. Conditions were reported to be hot, dry and windy in the region.

The RFS grounded all other firefighting aircraft immediately following the crash.

"Today is a stark and horrible reminder of the dangerous conditions that our volunteers and our emergency services personnel across a number of agencies undertake on a daily basis," said New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian at a press conference following the accident. "It demonstrates the dangerous work currently being undertaken and it also demonstrates the conditions that our firefighters are working under."

The aircraft was owned by Canadian-based aviation company Coulson Aviation, and was being operated under contract to the RFS.

"The aircraft had departed Richmond, NSW with a load of retardant and was on a firebombing mission. The accident is reported to be extensive and we are deeply saddened to confirm there were 3 fatalities," Coulson Aviation officials said in a statement. "Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the three crew members onboard."

Australia's devastating wildfires have claimed more than 15 million acres of land and resulted in at least 25 deaths, according to authorities.

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yorkfoto/iStock(LONDON) -- The United Nations' International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruled that Myanmar must “take all measures within its power” to prevent the genocide of its embattled Rohingya minority Thursday, in a move hailed by human rights groups.

The Gambia, a small West African country, filed the lawsuit against Myanmar in November on behalf of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, a coalition of countries with significant Muslim populations, asking the ICJ to investigate whether Myanmar's government has violated the Geneva Convention.

The Court also ruled that Myanmar must take measures to present the destruction of evidence and ensure that its military and any militia units do not commit any acts that serve as “direct and public incitement to genocide.” The Rohingya, a Muslim-majority ethnic minority, “remain extremely vulnerable” and were at “serious risk of genocide,” the ruling judges added.

The Gambian Ministry of Justice said in a statement that the ruling was a “major step towards holding Myanmar accountable for alleged acts of genocide.”

Myanmar must now submit a report showing they have complied with the order within four months, and will have to present further reports every six months after that.

Over 700,000 Rohingya have fled Myanmar since a campaign by the country's military to push them out and raze their villages began in August 2017. Myanmar, previously called Burma, has denied any wrongdoing, saying that the campaign was against an Islamist extremist group.

The ruling follows a 2017 report by the U.N. Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights on Myanmar found the treatment of the Rohingya appears to “bear the hallmarks of genocide.” A further U.N. fact-finding mission in 2018 said the human rights violations were “principally committed by the Myanmar security forces,” and recommended that they “should be investigated and prosecuted in an international criminal tribunal for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.”

Aung San Suu Kyi, the leader of Myanmar who was once hailed as a global icon when she won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991 and spent 15 years under house arrest, had appeared at the ICJ in The Hague to defend her regime against the accusations of genocide last month.

Writing in the Financial Times before the ruling Thursday morning, Suu Kyi said that war crimes “may have been committed” by members of the Myanmar Defence Services, but said that Rohingya refugees had provided “exaggerated information,” stopping short of saying that genocide had been committed.

Amnesty International said that the ruling sent a message to Myanmar that the “world will not tolerate their atrocities.”

The case represented a “victory” for the Rohingya, although it was limited in its scope, Laura Haigh, Amnesty International’s Myanmar researcher told ABC News. The ruling on “provisional measures” was a dispute between two states, and did not concern whether or not Myanmar breached its obligations as a state party to the U.N.’s genocide convention, she said.

“I think it absolutely is a victory for the Rohingya, and more broadly for justice and accountability in Myanmar,” Haigh said. “Importantly it’s going to put a lot of political pressure on Myanmar now. I think it’s going to be very hard for Myanmar to not engage in this process further.”

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AHMAD GHARABLI/AFP via Getty Images(PARIS) -- French President Emmanuel Macron got into a testy exchange with Israeli security guards at the Church of Saint Anne in Jerusalem on Wednesday, accusing the guards of violating rules preventing them from entering what is considered French territory.

The Ottoman Empire gifted the church, built by French crusaders in the 12th century, to France in 1856.

"I don’t like what you did in front of me," Macron shouted at police outside the church.

The special status dates back to France's involvement in the Crimean War, which opposed the Ottoman Empire and the Russian Empire. At the end of the war, Abdülmecid I offered the Church of Saint Anne to Napoleon III to thank him for France's engagement alongside the Ottomans.

"You do a good job in the city and I appreciate it, but please respect the rules established for centuries," the president said. "They will not change with me, I can tell you."

Late French President Jacques Chirac had a similar confrontation at the church during his visit in 1996, refusing to see armed men enter French territory and declining to enter Saint Anne until Israeli police left.

The trip is Macron’s first to Israel and the Palestinian territories as president of the French Republic, and is set to culminate in the commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp on Thursday at the memorial of Yad Vashem.

Macron has planned several symbolic visits to reassure the Jewish community, while France experiences a resurgence of anti-Semitic acts. Police said anti-Semitic attacks rose by 74% in France in 2018, according to a Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights report.

Just over one-third of French people of Jewish faith or culture say they feel threatened every day because of their religious affiliation, according to an IfopOpinion study for FondaPol and AJC Paris. According to Ifop, 60% of Israelis are worried for the security of French Jews.

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BCFC/iStock(GUANTANAMO BAY, Cuba) -- The psychologist credited with devising the C.I.A.'s program of "enhanced interrogation" during the war on terror defended his record at a pretrial hearing for the alleged masterminds of 9/11.

James Mitchell, who worked as a contractor for the C.I.A. along with his colleague Bruce Jessen, told the tribunal at Guantanamo Bay’s Camp Justice that he "would get up today and do it again" as he thought his work was a "moral duty."

Full transcripts of his testimony are yet to be publicly released, although his comments were reported in various attending news publications. The pretrial hearings will establish which evidence will be admissible in the eventual trial.

"To protect American lives outweighed the feelings of discomfort of terrorists who voluntarily took up arms against us," he said on the first day of his testimony, which is expected to last two weeks, according to the New York Times. "To me it just seemed like it would be dereliction of my moral responsibilities."

He also said that the C.I.A.'s primary motivation was not to secure prosecutions, but to prevent another "catastrophic attack" in the U.S.

"They were going to go right up to the line of what was legal, put their toes on it and lean forward," he reportedly said.

Five men have been charged as conspirators in the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center, and all were present at the tribunal. Among them was Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the suspected mastermind behind the attack, who confessed to his role in 2008.

Mitchell and Jessen were called as witnesses by defense lawyers for the suspected attackers, who say that the accused 9/11 conspirators were tortured. Serious doubts remain as to whether evidence and confessions established during the "enhanced interrogation" process would be admissible in open court.

The psychologists have long claimed that their work helped saved lives by gathering information to thwart terror attacks, but the 2014 Senate Select Committee Report on the CIA’s detention program said that their methods, adopted by the CIA, did not reap effective results.

That report concluded that enhanced interrogation techniques used in this period, such as waterboarding, sleep deprivation over a "significant repetition of days," and forcing detainees to strip naked, were "not an effective means of acquiring intelligence."

The Senate’s report said that the CIA’s justifications relied on "inaccurate claims of their effectiveness" and the "interrogations of CIA detainees were brutal and far worse" than lawmakers previously thought.

While in the employ of the CIA, Mitchell and Jensen earned as much as $1,000 a day. In 2005, Jessen and Mitchell formed a company to conduct their work for the CIA. Thereafter, "the CIA outsourced virtually all aspects of the [Detention and Interrogation] program," with the contractors receiving $81 million from the CIA by the time their contract was terminated in 2009, according to the Senate report.

"Their appearance is important to bringing out the facts of how the interrogation program was set up and conducted," Brig. Gen. Stephen Xenakis, a psychiatrist who has been advising attorneys for Gitmo inmates and is attending the hearings, told ABC News. "They did not 'pioneer' any new or effective tactics. They applied tactics that had been known for decades and regarded as harmful."

On the first day of his testimony, "Mitchell identified [the then-top clandestine service official in the CIA] Jose Rodriguez as pushing the program," Xenakis said.

"The victims' families are denied justice because the history of torture has made it nearly impossible to prosecute," he added.

Mitchell said that C.I.A. interrogators took the techniques he recommended, such as waterboarding, too far, according to The Guardian.

"When people are left to make up coercive measures, it tends to escalate over time," he reportedly said. "They dehumanize the detainees. They think they are justified in using a higher level of pressure. They think: If a little is good, a lot is better."

Mitchell and Jessen were heavily criticized for "leaving a stain on the discipline of psychology" by the American Psychological Association (APA) for their roles in the CIA program. Jessen was never a member of the organization, and although Mitchell resigned his membership in 2006, the APA said his conduct would have been enough to expel him if he had remained a member.

The war crimes trial of the 9/11 defendants is scheduled to begin in early 2021.

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ramihalim/iStock(GAINESVILLE, Fla.) -- Looks like it’s safer to get back in the water.

There were 64 unprovoked shark attacks reported around the world in 2019, 22% fewer attacks than the five-year average of 82 incidents annually, the University of Florida’s International Shark Attack File revealed Tuesday. The U.S. led the world with 41 unprovoked attacks, which the report defines "as incidents where an attack on a live human occurs in the shark’s natural habitat with no human provocation of the shark," however, none of those reported attacks resulted in a fatality.

Gavin Naylor, director of the Florida Museum of Natural History’s shark research program, said he's seen two straight years of decreases of shark attacks.

"This suggests sharks aren’t frequenting the same places they have in the past. But it’s too early to say this is the new normal," he said in a statement.

Australia was second in the world with 11 unprovoked shark attacks last year, followed by the Bahamas and South Africa, which had two reported attacks apiece, according to the report. There were only two fatalities from unprovoked attacks in the Bahamas and Reunion Island, the report said.

Researchers noted that the 2019 American shark attacks had the highest concentration in Florida, were 21 incidents were reported. This figure was a drop from its recent five-year average of 32 attacks, according to the report.

The scientists said there was an interesting appearance from a rare shark. The cookiecutter shark was responsible for three unprovoked attacks in Hawaii last year. The research center has only two other incidents where the foot-long shark was involved in an attack.

"They’re quite mysterious animals," Naylor said in a statement. "They can look pretty pathetic, like a lazy sausage, but they can do a lot of damage."

The report credited better safety procedures at beaches and awareness as the reason for the decline and emphasized that sharks are helpful for the ocean’s health by removing weak and diseased animals.

Experts say there are several steps swimmers can take to avoid any injuries if they encounter a shark in the water. Survival expert Terry Schappert told ABC News that some of the most important tips to remember during a shark encounter is to not thrash around and move slowly as sharks are attracted to fast movements.

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Pawel Gaul/iStock(NEW YORK) -- An American woman disappeared over the weekend while vacationing in Belize, authorities said.

Alison MacKenzie, 43, was among a group of tourists who on Friday embarked on an overnight excursion to Rendezvous Caye, a tiny island off the coast of Belize. A member of the tour group reported that when they woke up the next morning around 6:00 a.m., MacKenzie was nowhere to be found, according to a spokesperson for the Belize Police Department.

The police spokesperson told ABC News that the investigation is ongoing and nothing has been ruled out. As of Tuesday night, a person-of-interest had not been identified and no one had been detained for questioning.

An official with the U.S. Department of State told ABC News in a statement, "We are aware of reports of a U.S. citizen missing in Rendezvous Caye, Belize."

"Whenever a U.S. citizen is missing, we work closely with local authorities as they carry out their search efforts, and we share information with their family however we can," the official said. "Due to privacy considerations, we have no further comment at this time."

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Eddie Keogh-WPA Pool/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Duchess Kate is starting 2020 in a big way, going on a 24-hour tour of the U.K. as she asks residents across the country to share their thoughts on "raising the next generation."

The mother of three, who has made early childhood development a focus of her royal work, has launched the "5 big questions on the under 5s," a survey released by The Royal Foundation, Prince William and Kate's charitable arm.

Kate kicked off the survey and her tour of the U.K. Tuesday with a visit to a science museum in Birmingham, England.

On Wednesday Kate traveled to Cardiff, Wales, where she visited a children's center that encourages sensory play for babies and toddlers.

Kate's "5 Big Questions on the Under 5s" survey "aims to spark the biggest ever conversation on early childhood that will ultimately help bring about positive, lasting change for generations to come," according to Kensington Palace.

"Parents, carers and families are at the heart of caring for children in the formative years, so that is why I want to listen to them," Kate said. "As a parent I know how much we cherish the future health and happiness of our children."

"I want to hear the key issues affecting our families and communities so I can focus my work on where it is needed most," she added. "My ambition is to provide a lasting change for generations to come."

The survey includes questions on topics like what's most important for kids to live a happy adult life, who holds responsibility for giving kids the best shot in life and which period of a child's life is most important for health and happiness as adults.

Kate -- mom to Prince George, 6, Princess Charlotte, 4, and Prince Louis, 1 -- has focused her royal work in recent years on how important the early years of life are in childhood development.

Last year she created a "Back to Nature" garden at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show to emphasize benefits of the outdoors on improving mental health, particularly for kids.

Kate is also patron of the Anna Freud Center, a London-based children's mental health charity.

The Duchess of Cambridge is known for incorporating hands-on visits with kids, parents and caregivers into her royal engagements.

The duchess' "5 big questions survey" is focused on feedback from adults age 16 and above who live in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

"Whether you have children or not – there are no right or wrong answers, we want to hear what you think," the survey states.

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Chris Jackson/Getty Images(LONDON) -- Prince Harry and Meghan may be off to a rocky start with the media as they begin to chart their futures as non-working members of Britain's royal family.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex's legal team has issued a legal notice to U.K. media and photo agencies concerning the use of paparazzi agency photos, a source close to the Sussexes confirmed to ABC News.

Duchess Meghan, 38, was photographed by paparazzi Monday on Vancouver Island walking her two dogs and carrying Archie, her 8-month-old son, with Harry.

Prince Harry, 35, flew from the U.K. to Vancouver Monday night and was photographed as he left the plane, wearing jeans and a beanie and carrying his own bag.

The family of three reunited in Canada after spending nearly two weeks apart while Harry stayed in the U.K. to negotiate their future with his family and palace officials.

Buckingham Palace announced on Saturday that beginning this spring, Harry and Meghan will no longer use their HRH titles and will no longer be "working members" of the royal family.

The couple and Archie plan to spend the majority of their time living in North America, though they will keep their Frogmore Cottage home in the U.K., for which they will pay rent and all operating costs.

Meghan and Harry, who also will give up his military patronages and titles, will no longer rely on public funds for their royal duties and will no longer travel overseas on behalf of Her Majesty. They are still members of the royal family and will attend family events like Trooping the Colour when invited by the queen, according to a palace source.

Harry made his first remarks about his and Meghan's new roles at an event Sunday night where he described their exit from royal life as a "step forward into what I hope can be a more peaceful life."

"You've looked out for me for so long, but the media is a powerful force, and my hope is one day our collective support for each other can be more powerful because this is so much bigger than just us," Harry said. "It has been our privilege to serve you, and we will continue to lead a life of service."

Harry is currently waging a legal battle against several media outlets in the U.K.

Buckingham Palace confirmed in October that Harry has started legal action with regard to "the illegal interception of voicemail messages."

Harry and Meghan are also taking legal action against a British tabloid for what they allege was an invasion of privacy.

The tabloid targeted in the lawsuit, the Mail on Sunday, published a letter in February it claimed was one Meghan wrote to her estranged father, Thomas Markle, after he missed her May 2018 wedding to Harry.

Harry, whose mother, Princess Diana, died in a car crash in 1997 while being chased by paparazzi, issued a statement announcing the legal move in which he described Meghan as "one of the latest victims of a British tabloid press that wages campaigns against individuals with no thought to the consequences."

"Though this action may not be the safe one, it is the right one. Because my deepest fear is history repeating itself," Harry said in the statement. "I've seen what happens when someone I love is commoditized to the point that they are no longer treated or seen as a real person. I lost my mother and now I watch my wife falling victim to the same powerful forces.”

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iStock(HINGHAM, Mass.) -- A 6-year-old Massachusetts boy who started making clay koalas as a way to help the animals hurt in the Australia bushfires has raised more than $250,000 for relief efforts.

Owen Colley, of Hingham, Massachusetts, lived in Australia for a few months as a toddler and has been asking his parents to go back to visit, according to his dad, Simon Colley, who grew up in Sydney.

"My wife [Caitlin] said now is really not a good time and told him about the fires and he learned that not only were animals being hurt but a lot of them," said Colley. "He was just visibly upset."

After that conversation, Owen, a kindergarten student, drew a photo of a koala, a kangaroo and a dingo in the rain and said that was his wish for Australia, according to Colley.

"Caitlin asked him, 'Did you want to help?'" Colley recalled. "And he said, 'Yes.'"

The family decided to use Owen's love for art and make small koalas out of the clay he plays with that they would then sell to family and friends and give the money to an Australian-based wildlife charity.

They planned to make around 100 koalas and hoped to raise as much as $1,000 for charity. When a local newspaper decided to cover Owen's koala sale, the family created a GoFundMe page with a goal of $5,000.

Just over 10 days later, the Colleys have raised more than $250,000 for Wildlife Rescue South Coast Inc., a volunteer-run charity in Australia.

"The charity is so lovely and appreciative," said Colley. "We've put Owen on speakerphone so he can speak to them and find out how they're helping animals."

More than 1 billion animals are estimated to have died in the devastating wildfires that began late last year, Christopher Dickman, a University of Sydney professor, said earlier this month.

The Colleys have taken to doing what they call "joey math" to help Owen understand how the amount of money he has raised will be able to help animals in Australia.

"He's raised enough money to feed 900 joeys for a whole year," said Colley. "We put it into terms like that so he can comprehend it, because once it got past $1,000 it was just a lot of money to him."

The Colleys have received orders for nearly 3,000 koalas as well as generous messages from people all over the world. The company that makes the clay Owen likes to use has donated clay to the family and another company stepped up to donate packaging materials to the Colleys.

"We're just so grateful for the number of people who wanted to be a part of helping make this happen," said Colley. "This outpouring of love from all over the world is truly humbling."

The family is now working on creating a YouTube tutorial so that other kids can make koalas on their own.

"The project was a way for Owen to process what was happening and feel that when there is a big problem happening there is something you can do," said Colley. "If the goal of this was to make a little boy feel he could make a big difference, we want other kids to be able to feel that too."

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beyhanyazar/iStock(NEW YORK) -- New geologic data reveals that a crater in Western Australia is likely the oldest impact structure on Earth, according to a paper published Tuesday in the journal Nature Communications.

At roughly 2.2 billion years old, the approximately 40-mile wide Yarrabubba crater was previously considered to be among the Earth's oldest meteorite impact structures, but lacked a precise age -- until now.

To calculate the age of crater, scientists analyzed recrystallized mineral deposits, according to Timmons Erickson, lead author of the new paper and a research scientist at NASA.

"Without the precise age, we would have had no clue that Yarrabubba occurred at such an interesting time in Earth’s history," he told ABC News.

When life on Earth began to thrive, about 2.4 billion years ago, the atmosphere transitioned to having oxygen for the first time, Erickson said. During roughly the same time period, the Earth significantly cooled.

Erickson and his coauthors hypothesize that if the meteorite that caused the Yarrabubba crater crashed into a continental ice sheet, it could have potentially produced enough water vapor to significantly warm the Earth.

Although debris from craters older than the Yarrabubba crater has been found and dated in Australia and Africa previously, in those cases, scientists couldn't identify the craters that corresponded with the debris they found.

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CT757fan/iStock(BAGHDAD) -- Three rockets were fired into Baghdad's Green Zone, the heavily fortified area of the capital that houses the U.S. embassy, government buildings and U.S. service members.

The Katyusha rockets landed "in the vicinity of the Green Zone," but caused no casualties, according to Iraqi officials.

A U.S. military spokesman in Baghdad said they could hear the rockets at the military and embassy compound areas.

Rocket attacks on the Green Zone are very common.

There were at least two attacks just weeks ago, including most recently on Jan. 8 and previously on Jan. 4 and 5. There were no known casualties in any of the attacks.

The rocket attacks early in January were attributed to a response to the U.S. drone attack that killed Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani outside Baghdad Airport.

Protests again surged in Baghdad on Monday with several people reported injured.

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BEN STANSALL/AFP via Getty Images(LONDON) -- Prince Harry has left the U.K. and is flying to Canada to reunite with his wife, Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, and their 8-month-old son Archie, according to ABC News royal contributor Omid Scobie.

Harry, 35, boarded a flight late Monday afternoon, according to Scobie. Buckingham Palace has not commented on Harry's whereabouts.

Harry, the Duke of Sussex, made what could be one of his last official engagements as a senior member of the royal family Monday when he met with world leaders at the U.K.-Africa Investment Summit hosted by the U.K. government. Harry and Meghan visited Africa last year in what appears to be, at least for the foreseeable future, their last official royal tour of a foreign country.

Harry's brother and sister-in-law, Prince William and Duchess Kate, hosted an evening reception at Buckingham Palace for the summit, which Harry did not attend.

Instead, the sixth in line to the British throne returned to Vancouver Island, where he, Meghan and Archie stayed over the holidays. Meghan returned to the U.K. with Harry after the holidays and then flew back to Canada around the time the couple announced they planned to "step back" as senior members of the royal family.

Harry remained in the U.K. to negotiate his family's future, including attending a high-stakes summit with Queen Elizabeth, Prince Charles and Prince William at Sandringham, the queen's Norfolk estate.

After more than a week of negotiations, Buckingham Palace announced on Saturday that beginning this spring, Harry and Meghan will no longer use their HRH titles and will be known only as Harry, the Duke of Sussex, and Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex. The couple and Archie plan to spend the majority of their time living in North America, though they will keep their Frogmore Cottage home in the U.K., for which they will pay rent and all operating costs.

Harry and Meghan will no longer rely on public funds for their royal duties and will no longer travel overseas on behalf of Her Majesty. They are still members of the royal family and will attend family events like Trooping the Colour when invited by the queen, according to a palace source.

Prince Harry is losing his military titles and patronages including Captain General Royal Marines, Honorary Air Commandant Royal Air Force Honington and Small Ships and Diving, Royal Naval Command: Commodore in Chief. It's a significant loss for a royal who served in Afghanistan during his time in the British Army.

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iStock(LONDON) -- Prince William and Kate, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, made their first public appearance Monday since the announcement of Prince Harry and Meghan's exit from the royal family.

William and Kate hosted a reception at Buckingham Palace on behalf of Queen Elizabeth to mark the U.K.-Africa Investment Summit that took place in London Monday.

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