Iran summons Emirates’ top envoy over US drone incident
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran has summoned the United Arab Emirates’ top envoy to Tehran to protest the neighboring Arab nation’s allowing the U.S. to use a base there to launch a drone that Iran says entered its airspace.
The Saturday report by the official IRNA news agency said Iran issued a “strong protest” to the UAE diplomat, saying Iran does not tolerate the facilitation of foreign forces that violate its territory.
The U.S. says its RQ-4A Global Hawk was shot down Thursday over international waters, not inside Iranian airspace.
On Friday, Iran summoned Swiss Ambassador Markus Leitner to hear Iran’s protest over the alleged violation. Switzerland looks after U.S. interests in Iran. Tehran and Washing have had no diplomatic relations since 1979.
Iran says the U.S. drone was a “very dangerous provocation.”
The Latest: Company linked to motorcycle crash cooperating
LANCASTER, N.H. (AP) — 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.
The Latest: Witness says plane nosedived before crash
HONOLULU (AP) — An eyewitness to the crash of a plane carrying sky divers in Hawaii saw the plane take flight, get 75 feet (23 meters) to 100 feet (30 meters) off the ground and turn away from the mountain range nearby.
Steven Tickemyer says the plane started to nosedive, then flip over belly forward so that it was upside down. The aircraft then flipped over again and hit the ground nose first. He says there was an explosion when it hit the ground.
Eleven people died in the crash Friday night on Oahu’s North Shore.
Tickemyer says this all happened in about 20 to 30 seconds.
He and his friends were watching from a beach across the street where they were attending a friend’s small wedding ceremony.
He and his friends hopped in his truck, called 911 and drove over to help.
They screamed to see if anyone would call for help, but no one responded.
TRUMP KIM LETTER
North Korea: Kim receives ‘excellent’ letter from Trump
PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) — A government-controlled new agency says that President Donald Trump sent North Korean leader Kim Jong Un a letter.
The Korean Central News Agency reports Sunday that Kim “said with satisfaction that the letter is of excellent content.”
The agency adds: “Appreciating the political judging faculty and extraordinary courage of President Trump, Kim Jong Un said that he would seriously contemplate the interesting content.”
Nuclear talks between the U.S. and North Korea broke down after the failed summit between Kim and Trump in February in Vietnam.
The U.S. is demanding that North Korea abandon its nuclear weapons entirely before international sanctions are lifted. North Korea is seeking a step-by-step approach in which moves toward denuclearization are matched by concessions from the U.S., notably a relaxation of the sanctions.
Trump and Kim exchanged letters in 2018 after a summit in Singapore to discuss the nuclear issue.
CONFEDERATE MONUMENT PROTEST
Man convicted in Charlottesville attack asks for “mercy”
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A man convicted in a deadly car attack on a crowd of counterprotesters at a white nationalist rally in Virginia is asking a federal court for mercy and a punishment shorter than a life sentence.
Attorneys for James Alex Fields Jr. said in a sentencing memo Friday that he does not deserve to spend the rest of his life in prison because of his young age, traumatic childhood and mental illness.
Fields, 22, has previously pleaded guilty to 29 federal charges stemming from the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville in 2017. Prosecutors agreed not to seek the death penalty. One woman was killed and dozens were injured.
Prosecutors said Friday that Fields has shown no remorse for his crimes and deserves a life sentence.
His sentencing is June 28.
PACIFIC OCEAN-PLASTIC CLEANUP
Device to trap plastic waste in Pacific Ocean relaunches
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A floating device designed to catch plastic waste has been redeployed in second attempt to clean up a huge island of trash swirling in the Pacific Ocean between California and Hawaii.
Boyan Slat, creator of The Ocean Cleanup project, announced on Twitter that a 2,000-foot (600-meter) long floating boom that broke apart late last year was sent back to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch this week after four months of repair.
A ship first towed the U-shaped barrier from San Francisco to the patch last fall to trap the plastic, allowing a support vessel to fish out the collected plastic and transport it to land. But during the first run, the boom broke apart under constant waves and wind and the boom wasn’t retaining the plastic it caught.
UNITED STATES-IRAN-CYBER-THE LATEST
The Latest: US struck Iranian computers earlier this week
WASHINGTON (AP) — Officials say U.S. military cyber forces earlier this week launched a retaliatory cyber strike against Iranian computer systems amid escalating tensions between the two countries.
Three U.S. officials tell The Associated Press that the operation on Thursday evening disabled Iranian computer systems that controlled Iran’s rocket and missile launchers.
The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly. Yahoo News first reported the cyber strike.
Two of the officials say President Donald Trump authorized the cyber strike even as he called off a conventional military response to Iran’s downing of a U.S. surveillance drone.
The officials say defense officials had prepared such a cyber response as a contingency plan for weeks preceding the attack.
ELECTION 2020-SOUTH CAROLINA-THE LATEST
The Latest: Biden says comments taken out of context
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Joe Biden says his controversial comments about segregationists have been taken out of context.
At a fundraiser earlier this week, Biden recalled that in his early days in the Senate, a segregationist lawmaker called him “son,” though not “boy,” a reference to the racist way some whites addressed black men at the time.
Biden tells Al Sharpton on MSNBC that he was trying to demonstrate that the lawmaker didn’t respect him.
Biden says, “I do understand the consequence of the word ‘boy,’ but it wasn’t said in any of that context at all.”
One of Biden’s 2020 rivals, Cory Booker, has called on Biden to apologize for the remarks. Biden didn’t apologize during the MSNBC interview but said “to the extent that anybody thought I meant something different, that is not what I intended.”
South Carolina forum pushes abortion into 2020 spotlight
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Nearly every Democratic presidential candidate is addressing a Planned Parenthood Action Fund forum. It’s the campaign season’s first such event focused on abortion, an issue already roiling the packed filed of White House hopefuls.
Saturday’s event is happening on the sidelines of the South Carolina Democratic Convention, a pivotal gathering of the party faithful in the South’s first primary state.
As Republican-controlled legislatures have approved increasingly tough abortion restrictions, many of the Democratic presidential candidates are vowing to only nominate Supreme Court justices who consider the landmark Roe v. Wade decision legalizing the procedure as settled law.
But tensions still flare. Former Vice President Joe Biden long refused to oppose a congressional ban on using taxpayer money for abortions — only to recently reverse himself amid intense Democratic criticism.
The Latest: Pelosi asked Trump to delay immigration sweep
WASHINGTON (AP) — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called President Donald Trump and asked him to call off planned raids to deport immigrants here illegally.
The California Democrat called Trump on Friday night, according to a person familiar with the situation and not authorized to discuss it publicly. The person spoke on condition of anonymity. Trump announced a two-week delay with a tweet Saturday afternoon.
Pelosi responded with her own tweet, “Mr. President, delay is welcome. Time is needed for comprehensive immigration reform. Families belong together.”
The president had told Pelosi that he would consider the request, said the person familiar with the situation.
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