Veteran Becomes Part Of American Paralympic Fencing Team
Physical disability is quickly ceasing to be an obstacle on the path to professional sport. Thanks to the advanced equipment and technical progress, more and more men and women are able to dedicate their lives to sport. Genia Dulot met with a U.S. veteran who, after losing his leg to cancer, became part of the US Paralympic Fencing team.
OJ Simpson Turns to Twitter 25 Years After Grisly Murders
Just days after the 25th anniversary of the gruesome double murder of which he was accused but acquitted, OJ Simpson has opened a Twitter account with a vow to do “a little getting even.”
“Hey, Twitter world, this is yours truly,” the former football star and actor says in a video that, for now, was his first post.
Coming Soon!!! pic.twitter.com/R1tXOuuLgO
— O.J. Simpson (@TheRealOJ32) June 15, 2019
Simpson lawyer Malcolm LaVergne confirmed to CNN that the account was authentic, as was the video, apparently filmed by Simpson on a smartphone in the yard of a Las Vegas residence.
Simpson’s Twitter account — @TheRealOJ32 — refers to the number he wore on his jersey as a star running back at the University of Southern California and then with the NFL’s Buffalo Bills.
As of 16 hours after its posting, the video had drawn 52,000 “likes,” and Simpson had accrued no fewer than 219,000 followers, a number rising by the minute.
A smiling and relaxed-looking Simpson promises in the video that soon “you’ll get to read all my thoughts and opinions on just about everything.”
Warning that “there’s a lot of fake OJ accounts out there,” he says that this one is official, saying, “It should be a lot of fun.”
Simpson then adds — raising a few eyebrows, no doubt — “I’ve got a little getting even to do.”
June 12 was the 25th anniversary of the murders in Los Angeles of Nicole Brown Simpson, the football player’s ex-wife, and her friend Ron Goldman.
Simpson, arrested after a slow-speed car chase broadcast live on TV, was accused of the murders, based partly on bloody footprints and a bloody glove found at the scene.
After one of the most sensational trials in decades, a jury found him not guilty.
Yet in a wrongful death lawsuit brought by the victims’ families, he was held responsible and ordered to pay millions in damages.
Subsequently convicted of robbery in Las Vegas, he served time in prison before being released in October 2017.
His lawyer, LaVergne, insisted that Simpson “will not be negative” on Twitter, calling him “the most positive person I’ve ever met.”
But Simpson’s post drew no shortage of doubters and cynics on Twitter.
“I’m sure this will only bolster Twitter’s widespread reputation for civil, nuanced discussion,” said one poster.
“Too soon,” added another.
Buttigieg Returns to South Bend After Man Killed by Police
A police officer fatally shot a black man in South Bend, Indiana, leading mayor Pete Buttigieg to return home early from a presidential campaign trip to address the public and reach out to community members.
The shooting happened early Sunday after someone called police to report a suspicious person going through cars, the St. Joseph County prosecutor’s office said. A police officer confronted a man in a vehicle at an apartment building parking lot. The man exited the vehicle and approached the officer with a knife raised and the officer opened fire, it said. Authorities didn’t release the name or race of the officer.
The man, 53-year-old Eric Jack Logan of South Bend, later died at a hospital. An autopsy was scheduled for Monday.
Buttigieg, who is part of a crowded field seeking the Democratic nomination to run for president next year, cut short a campaign trip to New York to return to South Bend, where he will complete his second term as mayor this year.
At a news conference late Sunday, he said the circumstance of the shooting would be thoroughly investigated and he called on anyone who may have witnessed the shooting to come forward and to speak to investigators.
“We will be striving to reach out to community members,” said Buttigieg, whose campaign said he canceled plans to speak at a Democratic National Committee LGBTQ Gala in New York on Monday evening.
Buttigieg has had a sometimes tense relationship with the black community dating back to his first term in office, when he fired the city’s first black police chief. He has also faced criticism for his handling of other police-involved shootings.
He said Sunday that he was sometimes hesitant to speak publicly after police-involved shootings earlier in his time as mayor, and that he heard from the black community that he needed to be more open and transparent. He said he planned to meet Monday with faith and community leaders.
“One of the reasons we’re communicating up front right now is because of lessons learned from members of the community,” he said Sunday night.
Teen Immigrant Dreams of Landing Silicon Valley Job
In December of 2018, the White House released its Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math or STEM education strategy for the next five years to encourage students to study in those fields. With high demands for STEM jobs, students across the country are eager to pursue those careers. Ahmad Sarwari, 12, an Afghan immigrant student dreams of working in Silicon Valley and many say he has the talent to take him there. VOA’s Munaza Shaheed visited Sarwari and his school and filed this report.
Boeing CEO Admits Mistake in Handling Warning-System Problem
The chief executive of Boeing said the company made a “mistake” in handling a problematic cockpit warning system in its 737 Max jets before two crashes killed 346 people, and he promised transparency as the aircraft maker works to get the grounded plane back in flight.
Speaking before the industry-wide Paris Air Show, Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg told reporters Boeing’s communication with regulators, customers and the public “was not consistent. And that’s unacceptable.”
The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration has faulted Boeing for not telling regulators for more than a year that a safety indicator in the cockpit of the top-selling plane didn’t work as intended.
Boeing and the FAA have said the warning light wasn’t critical for flight safety. But the botched communication has eroded trust in Boeing as the company struggles to rebound from the passenger jet crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia.
“We clearly had a mistake in the implementation of the alert,” Muilenburg said.
Pilots also have expressed anger that Boeing did not inform them about the new software that’s been implicated in the fatal crashes.
Muilenburg expressed confidence that the Boeing 737 Max would be cleared to fly again later this year by U.S. and all other global regulators.
“We will take the time necessary” to ensure the Max is safe, he said.
The model has been grounded worldwide for three months, and regulators need to approve Boeing’s long-awaited fix to the software before it can return to the skies.
Muilenburg called the crashes of the Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines jets a “defining moment” for Boeing, but said he thinks the result will be a “better and stronger company.”
In the United States, Boeing has faced scrutiny from members of Congress and the FAA over how it reported the problem involving a cockpit warning light.
The company discovered in 2017 that a warning light designed to alert pilots when sensors measuring the angle of a plane’s nose might be wrong only worked if airlines had purchased a separate feature.
The angle-measuring sensors have been implicated in the Lion Air crash in Indonesia last October, and the Ethiopian Airlines crash in March. The sensors malfunctioned, alerting software to push the noses of the planes down. The pilots were unable to take back control of the planes.
Boeing told the FAA of what it learned in 2017 after the Indonesia crash.
Repairing trust in the Max is Boeing’s No. 1 priority, Muilenburg said — ahead of an upgraded 777 and work on its upcoming NMA long-range jet.
The Max, the newest version of Boeing’s best-selling 737, is critical to the company’s future. The Max was a direct response to rival Airbus’ fuel-efficient A320neo, one of the European plane maker’s most popular jets; Airbus has outpaced Boeing in sales in the category.
The Max crashes, a slowing global economy, and damage from tariffs and trade fights threaten to cloud the mood at the Paris Air Show. Along with its alternating-years companion, the Farnborough International Airshow near London, the Paris show is usually a celebration of cutting-edge aviation technology.
Muilenburg forecast a limited number of orders at the Paris event, the first major air show since the crashes, but said it was still important for Boeing to attend to talk to customers and others in the industry.
He also announced that Boeing was raising its long-term forecast for global plane demand, notably amid sustained growth in Asia.
Boeing expects the world’s airlines will need 44,000 planes within 20 years, up from a previous forecast of 43,000 planes.
Muilenburg projected that within 10 years, the overall aviation market — including passenger jets, cargo and warplanes — would be worth $8.7 trillion, compared to earlier forecasts of $8.1 trillion.
Both estimates are higher than the ones from Airbus, which sees slower growth ahead.
However, Airbus is heading into the Paris show with confidence. It is expected to announce several plane sales and unveil its A321 XLR long-range jet. Airbus executives said the Max crashes aren’t affecting their sales strategy, but are a reminder of the importance to the whole industry of ensuring safety.
Israel Renames Jewish Settlement for Trump
The “Trump” name appears on high-rise hotels, office towers, and golf resorts.
It is now the name of a tiny Jewish settlement in the Golan Heights.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Nentanyahu and U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman were on hand Sunday when the Bruchim settlement was officially renamed “Trump Heights.”
“It’s absolutely beautiful,” Friedman said. “I can’t think of a more appropriate and a more beautiful birthday present,” he said.
Trump, who celebrated his 73rd birthday Friday, tweeted “Thank you Prime Minister Netanhayu and the State of Israel for this great honor.”
About 10 people live in the small settlement.
The Israeli Cabinet renamed it as a sign of gratitude to Trump for recognizing Israel sovereignty over the Golan Heights. Israel seized the territory from Syria in the Six Day War in 1967 and annexed it in 1981 — a move many nations have called illegal, but which Israel says was essential for its national security.
“The Golan Heights was and always will be an inseparable part of our country,” Netanyahu said Sunday.
Israeli officials hope rebranding the settlement to Trump Heights will lead to new development in the Golan Heights.
But opposition lawmaker Zvi Hauser calls naming the area after Trump a cheap public relations stunt.
“There’s no funding, no planning, no location,” he said.
US Senate Scrutinizes Saudi, UAE Arms Sales
Later this week, the U.S. Senate is expected to mount an effort to block an $8 billion arms sale to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, as many American lawmakers continue to seethe over Riyadh’s human rights record, the war in Yemen and last year’s murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. The Trump administration sought to bypass congressional review of the weapons sale by tying it to a national emergency declaration to counter threats from Iran.
Passions over Saudi Arabia run high in the U.S. Senate.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, a Republican, says relations with the kingdom have deteriorated.
“The current relationship with Saudi Arabia is not working for America … I am never going to let this go until things change in Saudi Arabia.”
Sen. Chris Murphy, Democrat, says the kidnapping and murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi last October in Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, by Saudi special agents was a breaking point.
“What kind of ally kidnaps a resident of your country [Khashoggi] who was seeking our protection, brings him into a consulate, chops him up and makes him disappear? The nature of this alliance [with Saudi Arabia] has been exposed.”
Months after the Senate narrowly approved a resolution to end U.S. support for the Saudi-led air campaign in Yemen’s bloody civil war, the chamber could vote against pending sales of U.S. bombs, guided munitions and military support to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. The Trump administration’s attempt to fast-track the arms deal under an emergency declaration irks lawmakers of both parties.
“I am glad to know I am not the only one in this body disturbed by the president’s willingness to bypass Congress and sell this weaponry without any consideration of the recent events that have strained our relationship with Saudi Arabia,” said Sen. Robert Menendez, a Democrat.
While simple majorities are believed to exist to pass resolutions of disapproval, it is doubtful that two-thirds super-majorities could be mustered to override likely presidential vetoes of the resolutions.
Last week, the Senate declined to consider an effort to block arms sales to Bahrain and Qatar. Floor debate demonstrated that arms sales to the Middle East remain popular among significant numbers of Republicans, especially given a spate of troubling incidents in the Persian Gulf region.
“As Iran’s economy staggers under the weight of new American sanctions, the ayatollahs are lashing out and raging against the world. It is essential we support our Gulf partners during this dangerous time so they can defend themselves from Iranian aggression,” said Sen. Tom Cotton, a Republican.
Other Republicans argued that withholding arms sales will only serve to compel longstanding allies to purchase weaponry from America’s adversaries.
Homeowners Plant Trees to Help with Energy Conservation
Planting trees is Anka Meyer’s favorite hobby. She says there are so many reasons to love them. Trees bring life to her garden. This is the second year Meyer has participated in the Energy-Saving Trees program. VOA’s Faiza Elmasry reports.