SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO

Governor, legislators

clash over next leader

Puerto Rico's political crisis appeared to deepen on Wednesday as the island's outgoing governor and legislators — including those from his own party — clashed over who should be the next leader of a U.S. territory unbalanced by massive protests.

Gov. Ricardo Rosselló announced that he had chosen Puerto Rico's former nonvoting representative to Congress, Pedro Pierluisi, as his secretary of state — a post that would put Pierluisi in line to be governor when Rosselló steps down on Friday.

But he's unlikely to be approved by legislators, several of whom proposed instead naming Senate President Thomas Rivera Schatz, a declared candidate for the 2020 governor's election.

 

SALT LAKE CITY

YouTube star dies

in paraglider accident

The creator of the YouTube channel "King of Random," whose experiments and hands-on science tips drew 11 million subscribers, has died in a Utah paragliding crash.

Jonathan Grant Thompson, 38, was found dead on Monday, Washington County Sheriff's Lt. David Crouse said. The cause is under investigation.

Thompson's videos have been watched more than a billion times.

 

TEHRAN, IRAN 

Iran, UAE officials hold

first talks in six years   

For the first time in six years, officials from Iran and the United Arab Emirates met in Tehran to discuss maritime security amid an increase in tensions in the Persian Gulf, both countries confirmed Wednesday.

This week's meeting was significant because the UAE, a close ally of Iran's top rival Saudi Arabia, had downgraded ties with Tehran in 2016. Abu Dhabi, the UAE's seat of power, has long pushed for more hawkish U.S. policies toward Iran, including supporting tough American sanctions.

 

NEW YORK

Judge sets tentative date

for Jeffrey Epstein's trial

A subdued Jeffrey Epstein listened passively in court Wednesday as a judge said he won't face trial on sex trafficking charges before June 2020, and more likely a few months afterward.

There was no mention at the Manhattan federal court appearance or any visible sign of injuries after the 66-year-old financier was found on the floor of his cell last week with neck bruises.

 

KINSHASA, CONGO

Second person dies

from Ebola in Goma

A second person died Wednesday of Ebola in Congo's major crossroads city of Goma, again raising fears the virus could spread beyond the country's borders as the outbreak enters a second year.

The man may never have known he had Ebola and was contagious for days before the illness was confirmed, officials said — alarming some in the city of more than 2 million people on the Rwandan border that has an international airport.

 

WASHINGTON

Senate confirms next

envoy to United Nations

The Senate has confirmed Kelly Craft to become the next U.S. envoy to the United Nations despite Democratic concerns about her inexperience and potential conflicts of interest.

Craft, a longtime GOP activist from Kentucky, is currently U.S. ambassador to Canada. She was confirmed 56-34, ending a more than seven-month vacancy in the key diplomatic position.

 

SHANGHAI

US calls trade talks

with China 'constructive'

U.S. and Chinese envoys held "constructive" trade talks on Wednesday, the White House said, after President Donald Trump rattled financial markets by accusing Beijing of trying to stall in hopes he will fail to win re-election in 2020.

The meeting, aimed at ending a tariff war over trade and technology, ended about 40 minutes ahead of schedule. Neither delegation spoke to reporters before U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin left for the airport.

 

 

NEW YORK

Organizers cancel

Woodstock 50 festival

Woodstock 50 is officially canceled. Organizers announced Wednesday that the troubled festival that hit a series of setbacks in the last four months won't take place next month.

The three-day festival was originally scheduled for Aug. 16-18, but holdups included permit denials and the loss of a financial partner and a production company.

Last week Jay-Z, Dead & Company and John Fogerty announced that they wouldn't perform at the event after organizers said it was moving to Maryland from New York.

 

Beacon Journal/Ohio.com wires