North America

UN appoints US diplomat to lead new mission in Haiti

UNITED NATIONS, Oct 15 (NNN-Prensa Latina) — UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres appointed US diplomat Helen Meagher La Lime as special representative for Haiti and head of the United Nations Integrated Office there.

The appointment comes on the eve of the Security Council’s consideration of the status of the United Nations Mission for Justice Support in Haiti (MINUJUSTH).

US slaps sanctions on Turkey as Syrian government returns to north

WASHINGTON, Oct 15 (NNN-AGENCIES) — The United States slapped sanctions on Turkey Tuesday as it demanded an end to its deadly incursion against Syrian Kurdish fighters, accusing its NATO partner of putting civilians at risk and allowing the release of Daesh extremists.

The actions came hours after Syrian government troops returned for the first time in years to parts of northeastern Syria, invited by Kurdish fighters desperate for protection as the United States pulls out.

U.S. scientists find new catalyst to generate hydrogen

WASHINGTON, Oct. 14 (Xinhua) -- U.S. scientists found a new catalyst that can split water and generate hydrogen, which could bring down the cost of producing gas, said a study published on Monday.

The catalyst, consisting of cobalt phosphide nanoparticles deposited on carbon, could replace the expensive platinum catalyst to generate hydrogen on an electrolyzer equipment, according to the study that appears in Nature Nanotechnology.

UN chief "gravely concerned" over Turkish incursion into NE Syria

UNITED NATIONS, Oct. 14 (Xinhua) -- UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres "is gravely concerned over the military developments in northeast Syria," as the number of civilian casualties increase and the number of displaced persons swells to 160,000, his spokesman said on Monday.

Stephane Dujarric, the spokesman, said Guterres continues to call for maximum restraint, reminding that any military operation must fully respect international law and humanitarian aid access.

California regulator criticizes utility over power outages

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — California’s top utility regulator blasted Pacific Gas and Electric on Monday for what she called “failures in execution” during the largest planned power outage in state history to avoid wildfires that she said, “created an unacceptable situation that should never be repeated.”

The agency ordered a series of corrective actions, including a goal of restoring power within 12 hours, not the utility’s current 48-hour goal.

‘Nothing-burger’: US-China truce leaves big issues for later

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump heralded a breakthrough in U.S.-China trade talks, and markets rallied in relief over a de-escalation in tensions between the world’s two biggest economies.

But closer inspection suggests there isn’t much substance, at least not yet, to the temporary truce Trump announced Friday at the White House after the U.S. and China wrapped up their 13th round of trade talks.

White House: Trump condemns violent parody, hasn’t seen it

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump “strongly condemns” a graphic and violent parody video that depicts a likeness of him shooting and stabbing opponents and members of the news media, the White House said Monday. But his press secretary said he hadn’t yet watched the two-minute clip.

The video, which drew widespread condemnation, was played during a conference held by conservative supporters of the president at his Miami golf resort last week.

Los Angeles fire began under power lines, cause not known

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A destructive fire that exploded on the edge of Los Angeles began beneath a high-voltage transmission tower owned by Southern California Edison, fire officials said Monday.

Los Angeles Fire Department arson investigators determined the origin of the Saddle Ridge Fire was beneath power lines on a dry, steep hillside above the city’s Sylmar neighborhood, Capt. Erik Scott told The Associated Press. The cause remained under investigation.

Former White House adviser objected to ambassador’s ouster

WASHINGTON (AP) — Fiona Hill, a former White House adviser on Russia, told House impeachment investigators behind closed doors Monday that she had strongly and repeatedly objected to the ouster earlier this year of former ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, according to a person familiar with the testimony.

Yovanovitch testified Friday that President Donald Trump pressured the State Department to fire her.

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