Former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan Dies at Age 80

(GENEVA) — Kofi Annan, one of the world’s most celebrated diplomats and a charismatic symbol of the United Nations who rose through its ranks to become the first black African secretary-general, has died. He was 80.

His foundation announced his death in a tweet on Saturday, saying that he died after a short unspecified illness.

Annan spent virtually his entire career as an administrator in the United Nations. He served two terms as secretary-general from Jan. 1, 1997 to Dec. 31, 2006, capped nearly mid-way when he and the U.N. were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2001.

During his tenure, Annan presided over some of the worst failures and scandals at the world body, one of its most turbulent periods since its founding in 1945.

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Source:: Time – World

      

Short sentence recommended for former Trump campaign adviser

WASHINGTON — A former Trump campaign adviser should spend at least some time in prison for lying to the FBI during the Russia probe, prosecutors working for special counsel Robert Mueller said in a court filing Friday that also revealed several new details about the early days of the investigation.

The prosecutors disclosed that George Papadopoulos, who served as a foreign policy adviser to President Donald Trump’s campaign during the 2016 presidential campaign, caused irreparable damage to the investigation because he lied repeatedly during a January 2017 interview.

Those lies, they said, resulted in the FBI missing an opportunity to properly question a professor Papadopoulos was in contact with during the campaign who told him that the Russians possessed “dirt” on Hillary Clinton in the form of emails.

The filing by the special counsel’s office strongly suggests the FBI had contact with Professor Joseph Mifsud while he was in the U.S. during the early part of the investigation into Russian election interference and possible coordination with Trump associates.

The filing says the FBI “located” the professor in Washington about two weeks after Papadopoulos’ interview and Papadopoulos’ lies “substantially hindered investigators’ ability to effectively question” him. But it doesn’t specifically relate any details of an interview with the professor as it recounts what prosecutors say was a missed opportunity caused by Papadopoulos.

“The defendant’s lies undermined investigators’ ability to challenge the Professor or potentially detain or arrest him while he was still in the United States,” Mueller’s team wrote, noting that the professor left the U.S. in February 2017 and has not returned since.

Prosecutors note that they also missed an opportunity to interview others about the professor’s comments or anyone else at that time who might have known about Russian efforts to obtain derogatory information on Clinton during the campaign.

“Had the defendant told the FBI the truth when he was interviewed in January 2017, the FBI could have quickly taken numerous investigative steps to help determine, for example, how and where the Professor obtained the information, why the Professor provided the information to the defendant, and what the defendant did with the information after receiving it,” according to the court filing.

Prosecutors also detail a series of difficult interviews with Papadopoulos after he was arrested in July 2017, saying he didn’t provide “substantial assistance” to the investigation. Papadopoulos later pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI as part of a plea deal.

The filing recommends that Papadopoulos spend …read more

Source:: Deseret News – U.S. & World News

      

Miss America: Leadership bullied, manipulated, silenced me

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — The reigning Miss America says she has been bullied, manipulated and silenced by the pageant’s current leadership, including Gretchen Carlson.

In a letter sent Friday to former Miss Americas, Cara Mund says she decided to speak out despite the risk of punishment.

Her letter is reminiscent of the movie “Mean Girls,” in which characters Gretchen and Regina bully the heroine and make her life miserable. That’s what happened to her in real life, Mund wrote. Gretchen Carlson is chairwoman of the Miss America Organization; Regina Hopper is its CEO.

Her letter exponentially increased the turmoil surrounding the pageant three weeks before the next Miss America is to be crowned in Atlantic City.

“Let me be blunt: I strongly believe that my voice is not heard nor wanted by our current leadership; nor do they have any interest in knowing who I am and how my experiences relate to positioning the organization for the future,” Mund wrote. “Our chair and CEO have systematically silenced me, reduced me, marginalized me, and essentially erased me in my role as Miss America in subtle and not-so-subtle ways on a daily basis. After a while, the patterns have clearly emerged, and the sheer accumulation of the disrespect, passive-aggressive behavior, belittlement, and outright exclusion has taken a serious toll.”

The Miss America Organization said it would reach out to her directly to address her concerns.

“The Miss America Organization supports Cara,” the group said in a statement. “It is disappointing that she chose to air her grievances publicly, not privately. Her letter contains mischaracterizations and many unfounded accusations.”

Mund said she’s been left out of interviews, not invited to meetings and called by the wrong name. When she obliquely hinted at trouble with pageant leadership in an interview earlier this month with The Press of Atlantic City, Mund said she was swiftly punished by having her televised farewell speech cut to 30 seconds, and was told a dress she had been approved to wear in the traditional “show us your shoes” parade cannot be worn.

This year’s competition will not include swimsuits, and pageant officials from at least 19 states have called for the current leadership to resign.

Mund said she was given three talking points to be made in every appearance: “Miss America is relevant. The #MeToo movement started with a Miss America, Gretchen Carlson. Gretchen Carlson went to Stanford.” (Mund said she was allowed to mention that she went …read more

Source:: Deseret News – U.S. & World News