AP News in Brief 02-07-19

Images suggest Iran launched satellite despite US criticism

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Iran appears to have attempted a second satellite launch despite U.S. criticism that its space program helps it develop ballistic missiles, satellite images released Thursday suggest. Iran has not acknowledged conducting such a launch.

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Images released by the Colorado-based company DigitalGlobe show a rocket at the Imam Khomeini Space Center in Iran’s Semnan province on Tuesday. Images from Wednesday show the rocket was gone with what appears to be burn marks on its launch pad.

Iranian state media did not immediately report on the rocket launch, though such delays have happened in previous launches.

Iran has said it would launch its Doosti, or “Friendship,” satellite. A launch in January failed to put another satellite, Payam or “Message,” into orbit.

The U.S. alleges such launches defy a U.N. Security Council resolution calling on Iran to undertake no activity related to ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons.

Warren struggles to move past Native American heritage flap

WASHINGTON — Sen. Elizabeth Warren is on the verge of launching a presidential campaign that should be all about her vision for the future. But first she has to explain her past.

For the second time in two weeks, the Massachusetts Democrat apologized Wednesday for claiming Native American identity on multiple occasions early in her career. The move followed a report that she listed her race as “American Indian” — in her own handwriting — on a 1986 registration card for the Texas state bar.

By providing fresh evidence that she had personally identified her race, the document resurrected the flap just as she’s trying to gain momentum for her 2020 presidential bid, which she’s expected to formally announce on Saturday. Warren didn’t rule out the possibility of other documents in which she identified as a Native American.

In a Democratic primary already dominated by candidates expressing remorse for past actions, Warren’s repentance stood out, both for the distraction the controversy has become for her candidacy and the complexity of her efforts to move beyond it.

From wire sources

While her competitors are fine-tuning their messages and trying to demonstrate competence and polish, Warren has repeatedly opened herself up to criticism by relitigating the past.

“It’s not exactly how you’d want to enter the arena” as a presidential candidate, said Paulette Jordan, a former Democratic state representative in Idaho and a member of the Coeur d’Alene Tribe who became the party’s gubernatorial nominee last year. Jordan warned that Warren’s treatment of her heritage raises “a whole lot of questions and doubt” about her integrity: “If you cannot uphold that, then it makes things challenging.”

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San Francisco police release sketch of “Doodler’ killer

SAN FRANCISCO — More than 40 years after a serial killer dubbed the “Doodler” terrorized San Francisco’s gay community, police released a sketch Wednesday of what the man might look like today and announced a $100,000 reward for details leading to his capture.

Police believe the killer stabbed at least five men to death from early 1974 to late 1975.

He became known as the “Doodler” after a victim who survived an attack told police the man was doodling while they talked at a late-night diner and said he was a cartoonist.

At a news conference, police released a pair of images that showed a 1975 sketch of the man and an “age-progression” showing what he might look like now.

“In the 1970s, this was gripping the gay community and San Francisco,” police Commander Greg McEachern told the news conference, saying authorities were releasing the new sketch in hopes of bringing justice to victims of the “horrendous homicides.”

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Army aims for more combat-ready troops with new fitness test

FORT BRAGG, N.C. — Army soldiers struggle to haul heavy sleds backward as fast as they can down a grassy field at Fort Bragg, filling the brisk North Carolina morning air with grunts of exertion and the shouts of instruction from their coaches.

Watching from the sidelines, Sgt. Maj. Harold Sampson shakes his head. As a military intelligence specialist he spends a lot of time behind a desk. Over his two decades in the Army, he could easily pound out the situps, pushups and 2-mile run that for years have made up the service’s fitness test.

But change has come. The Army is developing a new, more grueling and complex fitness exam that adds dead lifts, power throws and other exercises designed to make soldiers more fit and ready for combat. “I am prepared to be utterly embarrassed,” Sampson said on a recent morning, two days before he was to take the test.

Commanders have complained in recent years that the soldiers they get out of basic training aren’t fit enough. Nearly half of the commanders surveyed last year said new troops coming into their units could not meet the physical demands of combat. Officials also say about 12 percent of soldiers at any one time cannot deploy because of injuries.

In addition, there has long been a sense among many senior officials that the existing fitness test does not adequately measure the physical attributes needed for the battlefield, said Gen. Stephen Townsend, head of U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command.

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Reporter alleges Jill Abramson lifted material for her book

NEW YORK — Former New York Times executive editor Jill Abramson is facing allegations that she lifted material from other sources for her new book, “Merchants of Truth.”

A Twitter thread posted Wednesday by Vice correspondent Michael Moynihan lists several examples of passages in “Merchants of Truth: The Business of News and the Fight for Facts” that closely resemble material in The New Yorker, Time Out and other publications. Released this week, “Merchants of Truth” is a critique of the news business focused on two long-running newspapers, the Times and the Washington Post, along with Vice and fellow digital company BuzzFeed.

Appearing Wednesday night on Fox News, Abramson disputed the allegations, saying: “All I can tell you is I certainly didn’t plagiarize in my book and there’s 70 pages of footnotes showing where I got the information.” Writers are generally expected to credit their sources directly in the body of the text if the material is similar.

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Abramson did not immediately return phone and email messages from The Associated Press seeking comment. A Simon &Schuster spokesman had no immediate comment.

Abramson wrote for the Times and the Wall Street Journal among others before becoming the Times’ first female executive editor in 2011. She was fired three years later after frequently clashing with fellow staff members. She currently teaches creative writing at Harvard University.

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