Veteran emissary Richardson hopeful for Griner, Whelan swap
Bill Richardson, the former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and a frequent emissary in hostage negotiations, says he's hopeful about the chances of a two-for-two prisoner swap that could result in the release of WNBA star Brittney Griner and another jailed American, Paul Whelan.
Richardson adds to diplomatic wins with journalist's release
Bill Richardson’s success in helping secure the release of journalist Danny Fenster from a Myanmar prison is the latest demonstration of the former New Mexico governor’s knack for flying into some the most closed societies on earth and persuading those in charge to do Washington a favor.
Venezuela gives US oilmen house arrest in gesture to Biden
Six American oil executives jailed in Venezuela more than three years ago on corruption charges have been granted house arrest in a gesture of goodwill toward the Biden administration as it reviews its policy toward the politically turbulent South American country.
Venezuela gives US oilmen house arrest in gesture to Biden
Six American oil executives jailed in Venezuela more than three years ago on corruption charges were granted house arrest on Friday in a gesture of goodwill toward the Biden administration as it reviews its policy toward the politically turbulent South American country. The partial release of the six employees of Houston-based Citgo was confirmed to The Associated Press by family members of the men. Tomeu Vadell, Jose Luis Zambrano, Alirio Zambrano, Jorge Toledo, Gustavo Cardenas and Jose Pereira were hauled away by masked security agents while at a meeting in Caracas just before Thanksgiving in 2017.news.yahoo.com
US weighs policy on Venezuela as Maduro signals flexibility
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s government is intensifying efforts to court the Biden administration as the new U.S. president weighs whether to risk a political backlash in Florida and ease up on sanctions seeking to isolate the socialist leader.
Myanmar cracked down brutally on protests. It may get worse.
In this Feb. 26, 2021, file photo, an injured protester is escorted as police tried to disperse a demonstration against the military coup in Mandalay, Myanmar. Myanmar's security forces have killed scores of demonstrators protesting a coup. (AP Photo)TOKYO – Myanmar's security forces have killed scores of demonstrators protesting a coup. Before that opening up began, Myanmar had languished under a strict military rule for five decades that led to international isolation and crippling sanctions. But even tough sanctions from those countries are unlikely to yield anything, though they may weigh heavily on ordinary people.
Biden names Democrats to lead nuclear, pipeline agencies
(AP Photo/Evan Vucci)WASHINGTON – Moving quickly to assert influence over energy issues, President Joe Biden has named two Democrats to lead regulatory agencies that oversee nuclear power, natural gas and other energy infrastructure. Christopher Hanson, the new chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and Rich Glick, leader of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, replace Republicans who led the panels under President Donald Trump. The NRC regulates commercial nuclear power plants and other uses of nuclear materials, including in medicine, while FERC regulates interstate transmission of electricity, natural gas and oil. It also reviews proposals to build liquefied natural gas terminals, interstate natural gas pipelines and hydropower projects. He also has served as a senior adviser in the Energy Department’s Office of Nuclear Energy and other department roles in the Obama administration.
Window opens for Virgin Galactic test flight from spaceport
Virgin Galactic is celebrating the second successful glide flight of its spaceship over Spaceport America in southern New Mexico. Virgin Galactic posted on social media that the flight crew is ready but do not plan to fly before Saturday. Officials with Virgin Galactic and the state-financed spaceport said the test flight will mark another key milestone in the march toward commercial flights. The impending flight will be the third space flight for Virgin Galactic and the first from New Mexico. In addition to those who have put down deposits for a ride with Virgin Galactic, several thousand more have registered their interest online.
Family of jailed oil exec asks for Venezuelan leader's mercy
(Courtesy of John Pereira via AP)CARACAS – The family of a Houston-based Citgo oil executive convicted and ordered to prison in Venezuela alongside five others appealed directly to President Nicolás Maduro on Friday for mercy. “Our purpose for this letter is not to enter into legal tirades about the case,” the letter says. The so-called Citgo 6 are employees of Houston-based Citgo refining company, which is owned by Venezuela’s state oil company, PDVSA. Judge Lorena Cornielles, who oversaw the trial, did not respond to a letter from The Associated Press seeking permission to observe. Pereira's family said in the letter that he suffers from at least seven chronic health problems including diabetes and back trouble that requires surgery.
Venezuela judge convicts 6 American oil execs, orders prison
Jesus Loreto, an attorney representing Tomeu Vadell, one of six U.S. oil executives jailed for three years in Venezuela, shows a letter written by Vadell, in Caracas, Venezuela, Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2020. The so-called Citgo 6 are employees of Houston-based Citgo refining company, which is owned by Venezuela’s state oil company, PDVSA. Despite his circumstances, Vadell held out hope. With encouragement from his family, Vadell broke his silence, taking a risk relatives said was necessary. During his 35-year career with PDVSA and Citgo, Vadell ended up running a refinery in Lake Charles and then became vice president of refining.
Joe Biden nears final decision on running mate
WASHINGTON As Joe Biden nears the announcement of his vice presidential choice, the top contenders and their advocates are making final appeals. That's one week before Democrats will hold their convention to officially nominate Biden as their presidential nominee. As Biden prepares to make his choice, a committee established to vet running mates has provided him with briefing materials. He has pledged to select a woman and is facing calls to choose the first Black woman to compete on a presidential ticket. Too much is at stake for our community and we believe having a Black woman vice presidential candidate is the clearest path to the victory in November that our country needs to move forward, said Rev.
Joe Biden's search for a running mate enters final stretch
WASHINGTON As Joe Biden nears the announcement of his vice presidential choice, the top contenders and their advocates are making final appeals. Bill Richardson, who was vetted for vice president in 2008. The selection amounts to the most significant choice Biden has confronted in his nearly five-decade political career. On Friday night, Biden held a virtual fundraiser with Elizabeth Warren, who has also been considered as a running mate. The two talked for nearly an hour but did not mention the vice presidential selection process.
Detained US Navy veteran freed by Iran as part of deal
White, a Navy veteran who's been detained in Iran for nearly two years has been released and is making his way home, with the first leg on a Swiss government aircraft. White's release was cheered by Trump, whose administration has said it considers the release of detainees and hostages a priority. Despite widespread speculation, Whites release was not related to the deportation to Iran this week of Iranian scientist Sirios Asghari, the officials said. Trump administration officials in recent months stepped up public pressure to release White. The U.S. has also urged Iran to release other Americans jailed in Iran.
Civil unrest could influence Biden's search for running mate
WASHINGTON Joe Bidens search for a running mate could be reshaped by the police killing of George Floyd and the unrest it has ignited across the country, raising questions about contenders with law-and-order backgrounds and intensifying pressure on the presumptive Democratic nominee to select a black woman. Biden, who has already pledged to pick a woman, has cast a wide net in his search. Biden was pressed to pick a black woman on Monday when he visited a black church in Wilmington, Delaware. Well, weve never seen a black woman selected as a vice presidential candidate, she said. Its important for him to see the candidate, talk to the candidate, get body language from the candidate.
Virgin Galactic reveals futuristic outpost for space tourism
The once-empty hangar that anchors the taxpayer-financed launch and landing facility has been transformed into a custom-tailored headquarters where Virgin Galactic will run its commercial flight operations. On the upper deck, shades of white and gray speak to Virgin Galactic's more lofty mission. Company officials say the space is meant to create "an unparalleled experience" as customers prepare for what Virgin Galactic describes as the journey of a lifetime. Billionaire Richard Branson , who is behind Virgin Galactic, and former New Mexico Gov. Virgin Galactic posted on social media earlier this week that its main operating base was now at the spaceport.chicagotribune.com