EarthLink – News

EarthLink – News

EarthLink – News

UN food agency members vote to elect new director general
By GIADA ZAMPANO | Sun, June 23, 2019 07:01 EDT
ROME (AP) — Members of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) have started voting to elect the new head of the U.N. food agency, and China’s candidate is seen as the front-runner.
The 194 member countries, convened at the FAO’s headquarters in Rome for the agency’s 41st conference, were picking the new director general on Sunday among three candidates from China, France and Georgia who all have extensive experience in the sector. The candidates for the first time include a woman.
China has nominated its agricultural deputy minister Qu Dongyu, who, if elected, would be the first person from a Communist country to hold the FAO director-general’s chair.
The U.S. backs Davit Kirvalidze, the former Georgian minister of agriculture, while Catherine Geslain-Lanéelle, former head of France’s agricultural ministry, is the European Union’s candidate.
The successor to Brazil’s Jose Graziano da Silva in the four-year U.N. post will focus on policies to fight world hunger, which has been fueled by wars and global warming.
The voting goes on until one candidate has majority support. If no candidate gets that on Sunday, the voting continues on Monday.
The FAO, which has over 11,500 employees around the globe, works closely with other U.N. agencies to achieve the goal of a hunger-free world by 2030. Today, more than 800 million people are facing hunger and many experts doubt that the body’s 2030 goal will be reached.
Georgian candidate Kirvalidze has underscored the significance of public-private partnerships in fighting hunger.
Geslain-Lanéelle has said she believes that scientific progress was important in trebling world agriculture output, but now science needs to be consulted again in order to keep producing in the most sustainable way as possible.
China’s Qu says he aims to focus on hunger and poverty eradication, tropical agriculture, drought land farming, digital rural development and better land design through transformation of agricultural production.

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Journalist who exposed corruption, wouldn’t name source dies
By MICHELLE R. SMITH | Sat, June 22, 2019 05:39 EDT
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Jim Taricani, an award-winning TV reporter who exposed corruption and served a federal sentence for refusing to disclose a source, has died. He was 69.
Taricani died Friday at his home in North Kingstown, Rhode Island, said his friend Dyana Koelsch. The cause was kidney failure.
Taricani covered Rhode Island for 40 years, 32 of them at WJAR-TV. He focused much of his reporting on organized crime and chronicled the crimes of the New England Mafia and figures including Raymond L.S. Patriarca. He also became a national advocate for a federal shield law that would protect journalists from having to reveal sources.
Taricani was convicted in 2004 of civil contempt for refusing to reveal the source of a secret FBI videotape that showed a Providence city official taking a $1,000 cash bribe. The video was part of a corruption investigation that ultimately sent former Providence Mayor Buddy Cianci to prison.
He said at the time that it was important to air the video to show people what corruption looked like.
A federal judge sentenced him to six months and allowed him to serve it in home confinement because of his health; he had a heart transplant in 1996. He was released after four months for good behavior. When he retired in 2014, he told The Associated Press that he would not have done anything differently.
“I just believe that this is what a reporter does,” he said. “I don’t think any reporter wants to be in that position. But it’s part of the job. It’s part of the territory that we travel in.”
The lawyer who was his source later admitted it and went to prison for contempt and perjury.
A Connecticut native, Taricani started in radio, and then was hired at WPRI-TV before going to WJAR, where he founded the station’s investigative unit. He won four Emmys, the Edward R. Murrow award and the Yankee Quill Award, the highest individual honor presented by the Academy of New England Journalists.
He also became a mentor to generations of journalists, both at his own station and at competing outlets, including CNN’s Christiane Amanpour. Rhode Island’s governor, Gina Raimondo, called Taricani a “Rhode Island icon” Saturday.
Koelsch said Taricani’s wife, Laurie White, had received an outpouring of support Saturday, both from powerful politicians and regular people who loved and respected him. U.S. Rep. David Cicilline, who served as mayor after Cianci, remembered Taricani as “a person of extraordinary integrity and a principled journalist.” The Rhode Island General Assembly, convening Saturday morning, held a moment of silence in Taricani’s honor.
Koelsch said despite his health problems, Taricani’s transplanted heart was still going strong when he died.
Taricani told the AP when he retired that he knew he was well beyond the life expectancy of someone with a heart transplant.
“I’ve been lucky,” he said. “Way lucky.”
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This story has been updated to correct that Taricani was convicted of civil contempt, not criminal contempt.

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The Latest: Company linked to motorcycle crash cooperating
Sat, June 22, 2019 09:10 EDT
LANCASTER, N.H. (AP) — The Latest on a deadly crash between a pickup truck and several motorcycles in New Hampshire (all times local):
9:10 p.m.
The owner of a company that employs the truck driver identified as involved in a deadly collision with motorcycles says he can’t reach the driver.
Dartanyan Gasanov is the owner of Westfield Transport of Springfield, Massachusetts. He told The Boston Globe on Saturday that Volodoymyr Zhukovskyy “doesn’t answer the phone calls.”
Authorities say the 23-year-old Zhukovskyy was driving a pickup that collided with a group of 10 motorcycles in rural New Hampshire on Friday. Seven bikers were killed.
New Hampshire Deputy Attorney General Jane Young says Zhukovskyy survived and didn’t need to be hospitalized.
No one has been criminally charged. Gasanov told The Globe he planned to speak with investigators Monday.
A phone listing for Zhukovskyy couldn’t be found.
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4:45 p.m.
Authorities are asking for the public’s help as they investigate a collision between motorcycles and a pickup truck that left seven people dead.
Authorities say the pickup driver was a 23-year-old man working for a transportation company based in Springfield, Massachusetts. They say he was the truck’s sole occupant but didn’t indicate his condition.
Officials asked members of the public to come forward with any videos, photos or other information about the accident or the vehicles involved.
Authorities say 10 motorcycles were involved. They say two of the three injured have been released from a hospital and are recovering.
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12:20 p.m.
The New England motorcycle community is reeling from the news of a devastating crash in New Hampshire, and bikers are vowing to help the families of those who died.
The Friday night crash in Randolph involved members of Marine JarHeads MC, a motorcycle club in New England that includes Marines and their spouses. Police have yet to identify any victims, but word has traveled fast through the biker community.
Cat Wilson, of Cotuit, Massachusetts, coordinates a charity ride on Cape Cod. She says the crash has sent shockwaves through the motorcycle and veterans communities, which often overlap. She says bike enthusiasts are already organizing to help. She says there’s “no tighter community than our biker community.”
A pickup truck with a trailer collided with the riders Friday night.
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5:25 a.m.
Authorities in New Hampshire say seven people have been killed in a crash between a pickup truck and several motorcycles on a rural highway.
State police said that a 2016 Dodge 2500 pickup truck collided with the riders on U.S. 2 in Randolph Friday evening. Officials said additional details would be provided as they investigate the deadly collision. The pickup was on fire when emergency crews arrived.
Witnesses described a “devastating” scene as bystanders tried to help riders that were peppered along the highway.
State police said two additional people were transported to the Androscoggin Valley Hospital and one was airlifted to Maine Medical. Police said they could not provide the identities of the dead until next of kin have been notified.

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The Latest: UN members cite dangers of tensions in Gulf
Mon, June 24, 2019 06:36 EDT
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on tensions between the U.S. and Iran and in the Persian Gulf (all times local):
6:30 p.m.
France, Germany and the United Kingdom are warning that increased tensions in the Gulf that were heightened by Iran’s downing of a U.S. drone “risk miscalculation and conflict.”
The three countries called for “de-escalation and dialogue” in a joint statement Monday after closed U.N. Security Council consultations on the recent tanker attacks and the drone downing.
The United States has blamed Iran for the tanker attacks, which Tehran denies — and the Trump administration insists the drone was in international airspace, while Iran insists the U.S. aircraft was in its airspace.
France, Germany and the United Kingdom also reiterated their support for the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, which the U.S. pulled out of, saying they believe it “contributes to reducing tensions in the region as well as global nuclear non-proliferation.”
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6:05 p.m.
The acting U.S. ambassador to the United Nations is urging the world to join the United States in saying Iran’s attacks on tankers in the Persian Gulf and its downing of a U.S. drone in international airspace are “unacceptable.”
Jonathan Cohen says U.S. policy remains “an economic and diplomatic effort to bring Iran back to the negotiating table.”
He spoke to reporters Monday after closed consultations with the U.N. Security Council. Cohen says the U.S. called the meeting to share information on the May 12 and June 13 tanker attacks and last week’s drone attack.
He says Iran’s argument that the U.S. drone was in its “flight information region” was “false” because “a country’s flight information region is not the same as their airspace.”
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5:30 p.m.
The U.N. Security Council is condemning the latest attacks on oil tankers in the Persian Gulf and urging all parties “to exercise maximum restraint and take measures and actions to reduce escalation and tension.”
The council says the tanker attacks represent “a serious threat to maritime navigation and energy supply.”
The statement was read Monday after closed consultations and a briefing on the attacks by U.N. peacekeeping chief Rosemary DiCarlo.
The U.N.’s most powerful body says the attacks also violate international rules on freedom of navigation and maritime transport and threaten international peace and security.
The United States has blamed Iran for the latest attacks. Tehran has denied any involvement.
Council members are urging “that differences must be addressed peacefully and through dialogue.”
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4:40 p.m.
Iran’s U.N. ambassador is calling the current situation “very dangerous” and says the United States should de-escalate tensions by stopping “its military adventurism” in the region, withdrawing its “naval armada” and moving away from “economic warfare against the Iranian people.”
Majid Takht Ravanchi says the Trump administration’s decision to impose new sanctions Monday on the Islamic Republic is another indication of U.S. hostility against the Iranian people and its leaders.
He spoke with reporters while the U.N. Security Council held closed consultations on the rising tensions between the U.S. and Iran.
Ravanchi says U.S.-Iran talks are impossible under current conditions, adding that “you cannot start a dialogue with someone who is threatening, who is intimidating you.”
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Noon
President Donald Trump has signed an executive order targeting Iran’s supreme leader and his associates with financial sanctions.
Trump says the supreme leader is responsible for Iran’s hostile conduct. He says the United States does not seek conflict with Iran but will continue to increase pressure on its Middle East adversary to prevent it from developing nuclear weapons and supporting militant groups.
The United States pulled out of a 2015 nuclear deal that world powers signed with Iran and has already applied crushing sanctions on the country’s economy.
The president says Monday’s action follows a series of aggressions by Iran, including the shooting down of a $100 million U.S. surveillance drone over the Strait of Hormuz.
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4 a.m.
Iran’s ambassador to Japan is seeking international support to ease Mideast tensions and demands Washington stop hostilities toward Tehran
Morteza Rahmani Movahed said on Monday in Tokyo that Iran faces alleged U.S. “economic terrorism” and suspected sabotage attempts in the Persian Gulf. He urged the international community to help ease the tensions in the region by forming a consensus to stop the alleged U.S. hostility.
President Donald Trump last year withdrew from Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal with world powers and has imposed sanctions. Iran has threatened to break from the deal unless Europe mitigates what Tehran calls Trump’s “economic warfare.”
Iran accuses the U.S. of aiming to cripple Iran’s economy and forcing policy changes. Tensions spiked last week after Iran downed an unmanned U.S. military aircraft.
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3:35 a.m.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has arrived in Saudi Arabia, where he is to meet Saudi Crown Mohammed bin Salman amid heightened tensions with the kingdom’s rival, Iran.
Before departing to Saudi Arabia, Pompeo said he would be talking to officials in the Persian Gulf as well as Asia and Europe as he sets out to build an international coalition against Iran.
Pompeo said the U.S. is prepared to negotiate with Iran, but also that new U.S. sanctions against Tehran will be announced Monday.
Pompeo was greeted upon his arrival on Monday in the Red Sea city of Jiddah by new U.S. Ambassador to Saudi Arabia John Abizaid and Saudi Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Assaf.
From the kingdom, Pompeo will travel next to Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates, a close U.S. ally.
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3 a.m.
Iran’s naval chief is threatening the United States, saying Tehran is capable of shooting down other American spy drones such as the one downed last week by Revolutionary Guard forces.
The semi-official Tasnim news agency carried Rear Adm. Hossein Khanzadi’s warning on Monday, made during a meeting with a group of defense officials.
Khanzadi says Iran can always deliver another “crushing response … and the enemy knows it.”
President Donald Trump last week called off military strikes against Iran after the Iranians shot down U.S. surveillance drone, valued at over $100 million, on Thursday.
Iran alleges that the drone violated its airspace, which the U.S. denies.
Trump, however, has also said that he appreciated Iran’s decision to not shoot down a manned U.S. spy plane carrying 30 people in the same area as the drone.
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2:10 a.m.
Saudi Arabia has raised the number of people wounded in a Yemeni rebel attack on an airport in the kingdom to 21. It had previously said a Syrian resident was also killed in the attack.
The airport in the southwestern town of Abha was struck shortly after 9 p.m. local time on Sunday.
Saudi Col. Turki al-Maliki did not say what type of weapon was used in the attack. The spokesman of the Saudi-led coalition waging war against Yemen’s Iranian-allied rebel Houthis noted that the rebels claimed responsibility for the attack, saying they used bomb-laden Qasef-2K drones.
The wounded include 13 Saudis, four Indians, two Egyptians and two Bangladeshis. Al-Maliki was Quote: d Monday on Saudi state TV saying 18 were hospitalized, two with serious burns.
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1 a.m.
The U.S. secretary of state says he will be talking to officials in the Persian Gulf as well as Asia and Europe as he sets out to build an international coalition against Iran.
Mike Pompeo traveled from Washington to Saudi Arabia on Sunday to begin a set of hastily arranged meetings designed to push back against what he calls the world’s largest state sponsor of terror.
Pompeo’s mission comes as the U.S. sends conflicting signals on Iran, ranging from bellicose to conciliatory and back again.
Amid the tough talk on Iran, Pompeo himself says the U.S. is prepared to negotiate with Iran, without preconditions, in a bid to ease tensions.
That said, new sanctions are to be announced Monday in a bid to force the Iranian leadership into talks.

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The Latest: China’s Qu Dongyu is new chief of UN food agency
Sun, June 23, 2019 07:57 EDT
ROME (AP) — The Latest on picking the new chief for the Food and Agriculture Organization (all times local):
1:55 p.m.
China’s agricultural deputy minister Qu Dongyu has been elected as the new director general of the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
Qu is the first person from a Communist country to hold the FAO director-general’s chair. He will succeed José Graziano da Silva from Brazil for a 4-year term.
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12:30 p.m.
Members of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) have started voting to elect the new head of the U.N. food agency, and China’s candidate is seen as the front-runner.
The 194 member countries, convened at the FAO’s headquarters in Rome for the agency’s 41st conference, were picking the new director general on Sunday among three candidates from China, France and Georgia who all have extensive experience in the sector. The candidates for the first time include a woman.
China has nominated its agricultural deputy minister Qu Dongyu, who, if elected, would be the first person from a Communist country to hold the FAO director-general’s chair.
The U.S. backs Davit Kirvalidze, the former Georgian minister of agriculture, while Catherine Geslain-Lanéelle, former head of France’s agricultural ministry, is the European Union’s candidate.

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