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Dmitrii Simonov(RIO DE JANEIRO) — A flight carrying part of Russia’s Olympic team back to Moscow from Brazil was delayed for hours by a giant Russian nesting doll that was too large to be loaded onto the jet.

The plane was flying out of Rio de Janeiro on Monday following the conclusion of the Games. According to one journalist who witnessed the scene, ground crew had a hard time loading an outsized matryoshka doll from the country’s fan pavilion onto the aircraft.

Dmitrii Simonov, deputy editor-in-chief at the popular Russian sports newspaper, Sport-Express, posted photographs on his Twitter account of the bulbous doll stuck in a doorway at the airport.

“Great! The matryoshka from the Russian house is trapped in the doors at the airport. :-))) No one understands what to do ))),” Simonov tweeted.

Around four hours later, Simonov tweeted again, showing the plane still on the ground. He said a second flight carrying more Russian Olympians was also delayed because of the “hellish matryoshka.”

“The golden flight of Russia’s Olympic Committee hasn’t been able to take-off from Rio for 3 hours because THEY CAN’T LOAD THE MATRYOSHKA!!! On the flight indignation is already raging,” Simonov wrote.

The head of Russia’s Olympic Committee, Aleksander Zhukov, told the TASS state news agency that the plane had been delayed at least three hours, attributing it to “a mess in the airport” but not saying whether the doll was to blame.

Eventually the plane took off, apparently with the doll on board.

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iStock/Thinkstock(GUANTANAMO BAY) — Abu Zubaydah, a high-profile detainee at the Guantanamo Bay military prison, appeared publicly for the first time at a hearing Tuesday that will determine if he is still deemed a threat to the United States or whether he could be eligible for a transfer out of the detention camp. He has not been seen publicly since he was captured in Pakistan by the CIA in March 2002.

Mistakenly believed to have been one of the top officials in al-Qaeda, Zubaydah, 45, whose real name is Zayn al-Ibidin Muhammed Husay, was waterboarded 83 times and endured several other enhanced interrogation techniques used by the CIA in its secret detention program. It was later determined that U.S. intelligence overstated Zubaydah’s role in al-Qaeda.

Zubaydah was among the CIA detainees transferred to Guantanamo in September 2006 when President George W. Bush ended the CIA’s secret prison network. Zubaydah has never been formally charged with a crime during his 14 years in custody.

He appeared before a periodic review board at Guantanamo that determines whether detainees remain terrorist threats or should be cleared for transfer.

Live video of the hearing was streamed to the Pentagon, where a small group of reporters and representatives from advocacy groups watched the proceedings.

According to one of the reporters who saw the feed, Zubaydah did not speak during the proceedings. Dressed in white, he sported a well-trimmed beard and wire-rimmed glasses. An eye patch he has used to cover the left eye he lost during his 2002 capture was apparently dangling from his neck.

Periodic review board public hearings consist of the reading of statements presented in advance by the government and a detainee’s representatives. The hearings then move into a closed, classified session, during which board members may question the detainee.

A statement from Zubaydah’s representative read, “Although he initially believed that he did not have any chance or hope to be released,” Zubaydah has been willing to participate in the periodic review process. “He has come to believe that he might have a chance to leave Guantanamo through this process.”

He “has no desire or intent to harm the United States or any other country, and he has repeatedly said that the Islamic State is out of control and has gone too far,” it continued.

Zubaydah has expressed a desire to be reunited with his family and is said to have “some seed money that could be used to start a business after he is reintegrated into society and is living a peaceful life.”

A U.S. government statement described Zubaydah as having played “a key role” in al-Qaeda’s communications with supporters and operatives. The White House has claimed he “closely interacted” with al-Qaeda’s second in command at the time, Aby Hafs al-Masri.

The government said that Zubaydah “probably retains an extremist mindset” and that he has not made extremist statements “probably to improve his chances for repatriation.”

In June he was expected to testify at a court proceeding for the 9/11 plotters at Guantanamo, but that testimony was delayed after his military lawyer raised objections about the testimony.

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Small gains for Wall Street after a boost in new-home sales, but investors continue to fret over Fed Chair Janet Yellen’s speech at the end of the week.

The Dow moved 17.88 (+0.10 percent) to finish at 18,547.30.

The Nasdaq gained 15.47 (+0.30 percent) to close at 5,260.08, while the S&P 500 finished at 2,186.90, up 4.26 (+0.20 percent) from its open.

Crude oil jumped over 1 percent with prices hitting under $48 a barrel.

Home Sales: New-home sales in the U.S. reached their highest level in almost nine years, according to figures from the Commerce Department on Tuesday. New single-family houses were up 12.4 percent from June for an annualized rate of 654,000, its highest level since October 2007, helped by low interest rates and low unemployment.

Federal Reserve: Fed Chair Janet Yellen is expected to speak at Jackson Hole at the end of the week and investors will tune in for hints on how soon an interest rate hike could be coming. Several Fed presidents have already mentioned a possible September raise in interest rates, with Fed Vice Chair Stanley Fischer saying over the weekend that the economy had reached the central bank’s goals for unemployment and inflation.

Tesla: Shares in Tesla closed about 1 percent higher Tuesday after Elon Musk announced a new 100 kWh battery for Model X and Model S that increases the Model S’s range to an estimated 315 miles and the Model X’s to 289 miles. The latest update makes the Model S the quickest production car in the world.

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PETRAS MALUKAS/AFP/Getty Images(RIGA, Latvia) — While meeting with Baltic leaders in Latvia Tuesday, Vice President Joe Biden told them not to take some of Donald Trump’s comments about the North Atlantic Treaty Organization seriously, saying he doesn’t believe the Republican presidential nominee fully understands the organization’s mission.

“The fact that you occasionally hear something from a presidential candidate in the other party, it’s nothing that should be taken seriously because I don’t think he understands what Article 5 is,” he said, referring to NATO’s founding principle of collective defense.

The alliance was chartered in 1949 to provide Western Europe and the United States with a bulwark against the Soviet Union.

In a July interview with The New York Times, Trump said he would make the United States’ commitment to the defense of other NATO allies contingent on those allies making adequate contributions to the alliance.

“We’re talking about countries that are doing very well. Then yes, I would be absolutely prepared to tell those countries, ‘Congratulations, you will be defending yourself,’” he told the Times.

In a March appearance on ABC News’ This Week, Trump suggested the organization was “obsolete” because it was focused on Russia, not terrorism.

“I think NATO’s obsolete. NATO was done at a time you had the Soviet Union, which was obviously larger, much larger than Russia is today. I’m not saying Russia’s not a threat. But we have other threats. We have the threat of terrorism and NATO doesn’t discuss terrorism, NATO’s not meant for terrorism,” he said.

Trump walked back that comment in August, saying NATO had since formed “a new division focused on terror threats,” but the nonpartisan website PolitiFact said he had actually been referring to a relatively minor intelligence-sharing policy change, and that there was “no evidence” that his comments had spurred the shift.

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — “Cheap Flight Day” is here, which means it’s time to start planning that fall vacation.

Whether you’re looking to catch some rays, enjoy the fall foliage, or explore historic sites, we’ve compiled all the details you need to know to make the most of your vacation time.

Another Kind of Back-to-School Deal

Tuesday marks the day when airlines begin to slash prices after the summer high season. Airlines, facing decreased demand after Labor Day, are looking to fill empty seats.

“With kids back in school, you have a smaller pool of people traveling,” says Rick Seaney, the CEO of FareCompare, a website that tracks airline ticket prices.

For travelers who are not tied down by a school schedule, now can be an opportune time to find an affordable flight to popular destinations.

Smart shoppers will search for the best fares on Tuesday afternoons, Seaney says, when airlines mark down their fares to try to beat competitors.

And when it comes to departure date, timing is also key.

“The three cheapest days to fly are Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday; the most expensive are Monday, Friday and Sunday,” he said.

Low Airfares Will Be Around for a While

If you went over-budget this summer and don’t have the money to buy a ticket on Tuesday, don’t panic.

Seaney says that Tuesday is really the kick-off to “the fall deal zone,” and there’s no particular rush to purchase your ticket right now.

Prices will remain low through the next few weeks, he says. And if you can wait, mid-October should see another “bright point” for cost-conscious flyers, he adds.

However, he says, consumers should be aware of “airline Christmas” — the last two weeks of December and the first week of January — when ticket prices will be much higher. The week around Thanksgiving will see similarly higher prices.

Location Is Key When Finding Deals

Consumers are likely to see better deals if they’re headed to major cities, Seaney says.

“Smaller cities tend to have a less of a drop,” he notes.

Those headed to Florida may find deeply discounted fares as fears about tropical storms and Zika could discourage some from traveling to the state, Seaney says.

Moreover, the fall is a great time to visit Europe, he explains.

With most European shopkeepers back from their summer holidays, tourists with a curious cultural eye will be able to experience the old world at its most authentic, he says. Plus, the lack of summer tourists could mean cheaper prices on things like food and lodging.

“Typically if you want to fly into Europe – the best month in my opinion is November,” he says. “It’s cheaper…and the weather is much cooler.”

It’s also a great time to visit the United Kingdom.

Traditionally, the exchange rate between the U.S. dollar and British pound has made travel to Great Britain prohibitively expensive for many budget travelers.

But the recent Brexit vote has caused the pound to plummet in value. As of Tuesday morning, the conversion rate was approximately 10 percent better for Americans than it was before the late-June vote.

Other major geopolitical events are also making some destinations cheaper.

Travelers interested in South America should look to Brazil, Seaney says. Now that the Olympics are over, airfare will “certainly be less expensive,” he says.

One place that likely won’t be seeing major discounts is Asia.

“It’s mostly business travel, you don’t see a lot of leisure travel, especially in the fall, so you shouldn’t see as big of a drop,” Seaney advises.

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ABC News(NEW YORK) — Atlantic hurricane season is underway, and this season’s seventh tropical storm, Gaston, is gaining strength off the far eastern Atlantic.

Meanwhile, Fiona is barely holding on as a tropical depression as of Tuesday morning, moving in a west-northwest direction at around 13 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center. Fiona is expected to decrease in forward speed over the next 48 hours.

Gaston has strengthened over the far eastern tropical Atlantic, and is expected to become a Hurricane by Wednesday, according to the National Hurricane Center. Gaston is also moving west-northwest at a speed of nearly 20 mph, although a slight decrease in forward speed is expected during the next few days.

“Even if it becomes a hurricane, it does not affect land,” ABC News meteorologist Ginger Zee said Monday of Gaston on Good Morning America.

#Gaston no threat to land
Tropical wave in E Caribbean=60% chance of becoming tropical depression/storm next 48 hrs pic.twitter.com/I79gN89KIw

— Ginger Zee (@Ginger_Zee) August 23, 2016

All eyes are on a third tropical wave over the eastern Caribbean, which has a 60 percent chance of becoming tropical depression or storm in the next 48 hours, Zee added.

ABC Breaking News | Latest News Videos

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iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — A U.S. service member has died from wounds sustained Tuesday in an operation near Lashkar Gar in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, the Pentagon confirmed.

The service member was conducting “train, advise, assist” activities with Afghan counterparts when the patrol “triggered an improvised explosive device,” or IED, according to a news release from U.S. Forces Afghanistan.

The Pentagon has not released the service member’s name because of next-of-kin notification.

Another U.S. service member and six Afghan soldiers sustained wounds during the operation.

“On behalf of all of U.S. Forces — Afghanistan, as well as Resolute Support, our deepest sympathies go out to the families and friends of those involved,” Gen. John W. Nicholson, commander of U.S. Forces Afghanistan and Resolute Support, said in the news release. “We are deeply saddened by this loss, but remain committed to helping our Afghan partners provide a brighter future for themselves and their children.”

This is the second U.S. combat death in Afghanistan this year. In January, Army Green Beret Staff Sgt. Matthew McClintock, 30, died after an hours-long firefight near Marjah in Helmand Province. McClintock was assisting Afghan Special Operations troops as they defended against an intense Taliban assault.

The Pentagon confirmed Monday that a force of 100 U.S. troops had been sent to Lashkar Gar to train, advise, and assist the local Afghan police force as they face a major summer offensive by the Taliban. That group included trainers, as well as the force that would provide security and force protection for them.

In Monday’s briefing, Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook told reporters the force would not be a permanent presence, and that the troops would “return to their base at some point.”

There is a force of several hundred other U.S. personnel at the former Camp Bastion in Helmand Province that has been training the Afghan Army.

When pressed on the progress made in Helmand Province, Cook said that the Afghan forces had shown “resiliency” in recent months, and the decision to send additional U.S. forces to Lashkar Gar reflected U.S. support.

But Cook also warned that “there still are challenges in Afghanistan.”

“There are going to be setbacks along the way,” Cook said, later adding, “certainly,there’s room for improvement.”

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Brian Bowen Smith/E!(NEW YORK) — Are the Kardashians illegally bombarding you with advertising? One group says yes, and wants something done about it.

The consumer watchdog group Truth in Advertising says the clan is illegally advertising stuff on social media. It’s documented over 100 Instagram posts that it says should have been marked sponsored or paid for.

It claims Kylie Jenner had the “most problem posts” among the family members.

It’s given the family a week to take those posts down, or else it’ll ask the Federal Trade Commission to open an investigation.

Since the Truth in Advertising letter to the family was posted, some of the offending Instagram pictures have been altered to make clear they are ads.

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iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — The cost to fill up the tank is getting a bit more expensive for U.S. drivers.

As oil prices have increased in recent weeks, it’s been expected that at some point gas prices would inch up as well — and now they are. The average price of regular unleaded gas has moved up 4 cents in the past week to $2.19 a gallon, according to new numbers out from the U.S. Energy Department.

Drivers in Minnesota and Massachusetts have seen the most significant increases. The price nationwide, though, is still 44 cents below the price a year ago at this time.

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