Articles from Jacksonville - Nation & world

Esper doesn't regret delaying drills, despite N. Korea snub

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) ” U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper said Thursday he does not regret postponing a U.S.-South Korean military exercise, even though the gesture was rejected by North Korea as not enough to restart nuclear diplomacy.The prospects for a resumption of the nuclear diplomacy are unclear, with Pyongyang stepping up its pressures on Washington to make bigger concessions. On Wednesday, the North’s 1st vice foreign minister, Choe Son Hui, repeated it won’t return to a […]

Spain: Court extends jail for ex-colonel in priests' deaths

MADRID (AP) ” Spain’s National Court has extended the detention period for a former Salvadoran colonel who was allegedly involved in the massacre of five Spanish priests in El Salvador in 1989.The court said Thursday that Inocente Orlando Montano could be kept in jail for another two years while his trial is prepared. It cited the seriousness of the charges and the risk of him fleeing if released.The United States extradited Montano to Spain in 2017 to face charges of terrorist […]

More protesters leave Hong Kong campus ahead of weekend poll

HONG KONG (AP) ” More than 20 protesters inside a Hong Kong university campus surrendered to police on Thursday as the city’s largest pro-Beijing political party urged voters to ‘kick out the black force’ in upcoming elections seen as a key gauge of public support for anti-government demonstrations.At least 23 people left Hong Kong Polytechnic University, which has been ringed by riot police for days, as the campus siege edged closer to an end.Ten protesters walked out together […]

Gore kicking off 24 hours of climate talks around the world

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) ” Former Vice President Al Gore said that even though President Donald Trump wants to back out of the Paris Climate Agreement, the U.S. cannot legally pull out until the day after next year’s presidential election.’If there’s a new president – pardon me for a minute,’ Gore said to laughs and then loud applause, as he stretched out his arms and looked up. ‘Now don’t you dare interpret that as a partisan gesture. I have freedom of speech and freedom of prayer,’ he […]

Legal hemp, CBD stir more farmers to grow unfamiliar crop

CLAYTON TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) ” Dave Crabill and two business partners started small for their first foray into farming hemp, growing two strains of the now-legal cousin of marijuana on an acre along a dirt road outside the industrial city of Flint.The endeavor wasn’t easy. Flooding from record rain stunted some plants. Crabill and others had to carefully walk the field and uproot 1,000 undesirable males, a third of the plants, to protect more valuable females. Some plants were stolen. […]

US defense chief ends Asia tour with same troubles, risks

HANOI, Vietnam (AP) ” U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper ended an Asia tour Thursday with the same trio of troubles on the Korean peninsula that he found on arrival last week. Together they pose risks to U.S. national security and to the future of Washington’s alliance with South Korea.The toughest of these problems, and arguably the most consequential, is North Korea’s refusal to restart negotiations with Washington on eliminating its nuclear weapons.Esper has no direct role in […]

Activists: Iran conservationists get prison time amid unrest

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) ” Six conservationists working to save the critically endangered Asiatic cheetah have been sentenced to prison on internationally criticized espionage charges in Iran, activists said Thursday, even as protests and unrest continue in parts of the country amid a government-imposed internet shutdown.The case against members of the nonprofit Persian Wildlife Heritage Foundation show how spying charges and convictions can be levied against dual nationals […]

Utah woman fights charge after kids see her topless at home

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) ” A Utah woman charged with a crime after her stepchildren saw her topless in her own home is fighting the case that could force her to register as a sex offender, citing a court ruling that overturned a topless ban in Colorado.Attorneys for Tilli Buchanan argue that the law is unfair because it treats men and women differently for baring their chests. They are asking a judge to overturn her misdemeanor lewdness charges and declare that part of the law […]

Fiona Hill, adviser with sharp eye for detail, is next up

WASHINGTON (AP) ” They have heard the measured testimony of career diplomats and the mind-boggling account of a first-time ambassador who declared he was in charge of President Donald Trump’s Ukraine policy. Now House impeachment investigators will hear from Fiona Hill, a no-nonsense former White House adviser who was alarmed by what she saw unfolding around her.Hill, who speaks rapid-fire and in the distinctive accent of the coal country of northern England where she grew up, is […]

Key witnesses will cap intense week in impeachment inquiry

WASHINGTON (AP) ” House impeachment investigators will hear from two key witnesses Thursday who grew alarmed by how President Donald Trump and others in his orbit were conducting foreign policy in Ukraine, capping an intense week in the historic inquiry.David Holmes, a political counselor at the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv, says he was having lunch with Ambassador Gordon Sondland this summer when he heard Trump on the phone asking the envoy about the investigations he wanted from the Ukraine […]