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Mahmud Rslan/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images(DAMASCUS, Syria) — A photo of a young Syrian boy covered in dust and blood in an ambulance that was viewed by millions and became the face of Aleppo’s suffering is being called fake by Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad, a claim that contradicts numerous witness accounts on the ground in Syria.

The boy, five-year-old Omran Daqneesh, was pulled from a destroyed building in the besieged part of Aleppo’s Qaterji neighborhood after a Syrian or Russian airstrike on Aug. 17, according to locals, including medical sources and the White Helmets, a volunteer civil defense group that rescued the boy. On social media, many users said that they were particularly moved by his photo because he looked dazed and confused and wasn’t crying despite the obvious injury to his head.

A video showing Omran touching his wounded head and wiping away the blood without shedding a tear went viral and has come to symbolize the humanitarian suffering in Aleppo. Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton mentioned the boy’s story in two of the presidential debates, including last night’s.

Now, the Syrian president has said that the photo of Omran is fake. When confronted with the photo in an interview with Swiss TV SRF1 and asked what he would say to Omran and his family, Assad responded: “We have real pictures of children being harmed, but this one specifically is a forged one.”

Assad makes the claim about nine minutes into the televised interview.

Medical sources in Aleppo confirmed to ABC News in August that they treated Omran following the airstrike.

“Omran was scared and dazed at the same time. He wasn’t crying at all. It seemed like he had been asleep when it happened,” Mohammad, a surgeon in Aleppo who treated him, told ABC News at the time. “He was very lucky. He only had a simple wound in the scalp. We cleaned and stitched the wound and cleaned his face and clothes. There was no brain damage, and he was discharged after two hours,” Mohammad said.

Mohamed Abu Rajab, a radiologist who treated the 5-year-old, told ABC News that “Omran looked very, very shocked and frightened. In the beginning, he didn’t speak at all. But after his treatment, he started crying and yelling, “father, mother.’ His parents were very, very affected and scared for their son and crying. But we comforted them and told them that the wound was superficial. But he wasn’t speaking so it seemed like his condition was very serious. It seemed like he was unconscious and like the wound had affected his brain. But it turned out that he was fine.”

Omran’s older brother later died from his injuries from the same attack, according to monitoring groups, activists and doctors in Aleppo.

The hospital where he was treated has since been completely destroyed by repeated airstrikes and is now out of service, according to medical staff who worked there and the Syrian American Medical Foundation, which supported the hospital.

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iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — Jobless claims slumped last week, increasing by 13,000, according to the latest figures released Thursday by the Labor Department.

For the week ending Oct. 15, the number of people filing for benefits climbed from the previous week’s revised level of 247,000 the previous week to 260,000, marking the 85th consecutive week initial jobless claims came in below 300,000. It’s the longest streak since 1970fj, the Labor Department says.

The Labor Department said there were no “special factors” impacting that week’s figures.

The four-week moving average decreased by 2,250 to 251,750.

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Amnesty International(LONDON) — International human rights group Amnesty International released dramatic drone footage and satellite imagery showing whole areas of the besieged Syrian city of Aleppo in ruins, in a plea to the United Nations and the international community to put a stop to the “bloodshed and destruction,” it says is being wrought on the civilian population there.

“The world’s inaction in the face of the continuing carnage and blatant violations in Aleppo city must end,” said Lynn Maalouf, Deputy Director for Research at Amnesty International’s Beirut regional office. “Syrian government forces, with the support of Russia, have launched relentless attacks that have flagrantly disregarded fundamental rules of international humanitarian law.”

Calling the Russian and Syrian governments’ self-imposed humanitarian pause in the bombings “woefully inadequate,” Amnesty called for “impartial humanitarian relief and an end to unlawful attacks.” Russia has said the rebel groups and civilians should evacuate the besieged area. The rebel groups have rebuked Russia’s call to leave, saying it amounts to surrender.

The group released drone footage showing craters and large areas of the densely-populated city that have been leveled. At least 600 airstrikes targeted the city in the span of just three weeks after the collapse of the U.S.-Russia backed ceasefire on September 19, Amnesty said, resulting in at least 400 civilian deaths.

Some 90 separate locations were damaged or destroyed over a one-week period in an area roughly the size of Manhattan, New York City, the group said, adding that it documented a series of attacks that appear to have purposefully struck civilian targets such as residential homes, medical facilities, schools, markets and mosques.

Since Sept. 21, 14 medical facilities have been hit by airstrikes, putting many of them out of service, according to the Syrian American Medical Society.

“I arrived at al-Sakhour hospital three hours after the attack had happened,” a witness to one of the strikes told Amnesty. “The closest front line is around 300 meters away.”

In some instances, Amnesty says, internationally-banned Russian-made cluster munitions were used in attacks.

“Syrian government forces claim to be attacking non-state armed groups but the real objective is clear: to inflict severe suffering on the civilian population in order to drive them out,” Maalouf added.

Amnesty says that some 70 countries will call for a “clear message” to be sent in a meeting today to the United Nations Security Council, urging it to do everything in its power to “bring an end to the cycle of war crimes in Syria.”

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Erik McGregor/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images(NEW YORK) — California Attorney General Kamala Harris has launched a criminal investigation into whether Wells Fargo employees committed false impersonation and identity theft as part of an accounts scandal that has engulfed the bank in recent weeks.

The opening of the investigation comes more than a month after the bank was fined $185 million amid allegations that employees had opened as many as 2 million credit and deposit accounts without customers’ knowledge or permission.

Documents shared with ABC News include a search warrant requesting, among other things, documents and data related to bank products and services “that have been identified as being created or issued for the Customer without the Customer’s consent,” between May 2011 and July 2015.

According to the warrant, investigators are also requesting the the names and other identifying information for employees and managers who may have opened or authorized the opening of accounts allegedly without customers’ permission.

Asked about the California investigation, a Wells Fargo spokesman said that the bank was cooperating by providing the requested information.

A spokesperson for the California Attorney General’s office did not offer further details.

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — U.S. stocks closed higher Wednesday for a second day, as oil prices rallied.

The Dow added 40.68 (+0.22 percent) to finish at 18,202.62.

The Nasdaq gained 2.57 (+0.05 percent) to close at 5,246.41, while the S&P 500 finished at 2,144.29, up 4.69 (+0.22 percent) from its open.

Crude oil rose about 1 percent with prices hitting under $52 a barrel.

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Courtesy Chris Kiley(NEW YORK) — A man in Connecticut figured out how to turn Samsung’s nightmare – exploding Galaxy Note 7s that had to be recalled and ultimately taken off the market, reportedly costing the company billions – into his Halloween costume.

Chris Kiley, 32, said he is a lifelong Apple fan who got the idea to give Samsung “a little bit of ribbing” this Halloween when he realized he could use his vaporizer to create smoke.

The Note 7s were first under an exchange program and then recalled after multiple reports of the smartphones overheating and exploding while charging. When reports surfaced of similar incidents with the replacements, Samsung permanently halted production on the model and the FAA banned them from flights to, from or within the U.S.

“There was so much misinformation and unclear information about what to do,” Kiley said of Samsung’s response. “So it’s topical and when the idea came to me with the vaporizer I thought, ‘Oh that would be amazing.’”

To make his costume, Kiley collected a handful of discarded Note 7 boxes. He drilled holes into the boxes and then used hot glue to attach them onto an old t-shirt.

He used connectors to split plastic tubing into the different Note 7 boxes on his shirt. The tubing then goes up to his mouth and he can create smoke by exhaling into the tube.

A Facebook video Kiley posted of his costume has received more than 2.5 million views since Friday.

“Overall, people get it for the lighthearted joke that it is,” he said about the huge response. “Samsung does normally make a good phone so it’s not really punching down.”

He said he thinks the company can handle the joke. “They’re on top, so they can take a little bit of ribbing.”

Samsung is telling customers they can exchange their Galaxy Note 7 phones for another Samsung smartphone, or receive a refund.

Kiley said the idea of creating a smoking Note 7 costume also appealed to him because he was looking for a couple’s costume. His fiancé now plans to dress up as a firefighter.

“The costume hasn’t left my room since I made it but now I’m looking at some costume contests,” he said.

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — A suspected Russian hacker has been arrested in the Czech Republic for his alleged role in a cyber-attack on social media giant LinkedIn, sources told ABC News.

The man, so far unidentified by U.S. authorities, was taken into custody by Czech National Police in Prague, based on a “red notice” issued by Interpol, the FBI said in a statement.

While the FBI has not confirmed the alleged hacker’s ties to the LinkedIn breach, the agency’s statement said he is “suspected of conducting criminal activities targeting U.S. interests.”

In May, LinkedIn announced it “was the victim of an unauthorized access” four years earlier that exposed email addresses and passwords of more than 100 million users — which were reportedly offered for sale on the dark web.

The 27-year-old suspect was arrested two weeks ago in the restaurant of a Prague hotel, sources told ABC News. During the arrest, they said, he collapsed and was then taken to a nearby hospital.

U.S. prosecutors are asking Czech authorities to extradite him to the U.S. so he can face federal charges in San Francisco.

The Russian government said it will try to block the extradition, amid growing tensions between the United States and Russia over cyber-attacks on U.S. targets that the government believes originate in Russia.

“We don’t accept U.S. policy of imposing its extraterritorial jurisdiction on all countries,” Alexei Vladimirovich Kolmakov, a spokesman with the Russian Embassy in Prague, told ABC News. “We insist that the detained Russian citizen is transferred to Russia.”

In its statement, the FBI vowed to go after hackers wherever they may be.

“As cyber crime can originate anywhere in the world, international cooperation is crucial to successfully defeat cyber adversaries,” the statement said.

The arrest in Prague comes only days after U.S. authorities made a rare public accusation, blaming the Russian government for an onslaught of cyber-attacks on Americans political targets including the Democratic National Committee. Sources have also blamed Russian hackers for targeting voter-related systems in nearly half of the U.S. states.

As ABC News first reported, hackers were able to successfully access voter-related information in four states by targeting not only government systems, but also by breaking into computers associated with private contractors hired to handle voter information.

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T-Mobile(WASHINGTON) — The nation’s number three wireless carrier was fined Wednesday after touting “unlimited” plans that weren’t so unlimited.

The Federal Communications Commission said Wednesday T-Mobile will pay $48 million “as part of a settlement resolving an investigation into whether the company adequately disclosed speed and data restrictions for its ‘unlimited’ data plan subscribers.”

According to the agency, T-Mobile would slow down the Internet speeds of heavy data users without telling customers how much use would trigger the lower speed.

“Consumers should not have to guess whether so-called ‘unlimited’ data plans contain key restrictions, like speed constraints, data caps, and other material limitations,” FCC Enforcement Bureau Chief Travis LeBlanc said in a statement. “When broadband providers are accurate, honest and upfront in their ads and disclosures, consumers aren’t surprised and they get what they’ve paid for.”

The settlement includes $35.5 million in “consumer benefits” offered to T-Mobile and Metro PCS customers and a $7.5 million fine.

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iStock/Thinkstock(AUBURN HILLS, Mich.) — Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) is recalling nearly 200,000 2016 and 2017 Jeep Wranglers in the U.S. over faulty wiring.

The company says the wires may disconnect from the vehicles’ impact sensors in certain crash events.

“Impact sensors help determine when airbags and pretensioners should be activated,” FCA explained in a statement Wednesday. “A wiring disconnect may prevent their deployment.”

FCA says it spotted the issue during one of its routine crash tests. So far, no injuries or accidents have been reported.

Affected customers will be notified when they can visit their local dealer to get their wires rerouted at no charge.

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — New home construction fell again in September to its lowest rate in 15 months, but that’s not all bad news.

According to the Department of Commerce, while there was a sharp drop in the number of multi-family homes being built, there was an eight percent gain in single family home construction. National Association of Homebuilders Chief Economist Robert Dietz says that rise in single family home starts is a good sign for the economy.

“As we see gains in single family construction the homebuilding component of the overall economy should grow and that should be good news in terms of economic output and job creation,” Dietz tells ABC News.

Since the September slump comes on the heels of a summer surge in multi-family home building, Dietz says the overall decline points to a market adjustment. But it may also just come down to demographics and shifting demand.

“Aging millennials, as they obtain careers are able to save for a down payment get married and have kids, there’s going to be an increasing demand for the single family side of the market,” Dietz says.

So while those numbers are down, Dietz advises not to let the bad news about the economy overshadow the good.

“Take it with a bit of a grain of salt,” he told ABC News. “On the single family side, it’s continued growth long trend.”

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