#AceWorldNews – UNITED STATES(Albany) – September 20 – Food safety advocates say a guilty verdict in a rare federal food-poisoning trial should send a stern warning to anyone who may be tempted to place profits over people’s welfare AP reported.
More than five years after hundreds of Americans got sick from eating salmonella-tainted peanut butter, the top executive in the company that owned the Georgia plant where it was made was convicted Friday of conspiracy, obstruction of justice, wire fraud and other crimes related the nationwide outbreak in 2008 and 2009.
U.S. prosecutors take aim against Peanut Corp. of America officials accused in conspiracy to sell tainted products.
Jury selection begins today in Albany, Ga., in the case against three former company officials accused of scheming to manufacture and ship salmonella-tainted peanuts that killed nine people, sickened more than 700 and prompted one of the largest food recalls ever.
The defendants are Stewart Parnell, PCA’s former chief executive; along with his brother,
Michael Parnell, a former company vice president; and Mary Wilkerson, the ex-manager of quality control.
Federal investigators found filthy conditions at the company’s Georgia plant and said the defendants fabricated certificates that claimed peanut product shipments were safe when tests showed otherwise.
#AceNewsServices UKRAINE September 15 Nato countries have started an annual military exercise in west Ukraine, with Kiev saying some Nato states have also begun to ship weapons.
The exercise – “Rapid Trident” – began on Monday (15 September) in Yavoriv, near the Polish-Ukrainian border.
According to a Nato statement, the 11-day drill will practice “peacekeeping and stability operations”, including “countering improvised explosive devices, convoy operations, and patrolling”.
It includes 200 US soldiers from the 173rd Airborne Brigade, based in Italy.
It also includes 1,100 troops from Bulgaria, Canada, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Romania, Spain, and the UK and from former Soviet republics Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine itself.
Rapid Trident is taking place at the same time as “Maple Arch” – another Nato drill involving Canandian, Lithuanian, and Polish soldiers in Poland.
Ukraine has taken part in similar events since 2006 under its “Partnership for Peace” programme with the Western alliance.
With his distinctive red beard, al Shishani has become one of the most recognisable faces of a group now notorious for extreme brutality in its pursuit of an Islamic state across large swathes of Iraq and Syria.
But his father remembers a young man who was never particularly religious, but who always wanted to be a soldier.
Born in the remote Pankisi Gorge in Northern Georgia, an area once seen as a stronghold for Chechen militants, his real name is Tarkhan Batirashvili.
When he was younger, he worked as a shepherd boy in the hills above the gorge, where he reportedly first met Chechen fighters, crossing the Caucasus mountains to fight Russian forces across the border.
"He was a very good boy, very well behaved," Timur Batirashvili remembers.
"Always very intelligent, very nice, he hated when people lied.
"Do you know what I think now? I didn’t know my son. I didn’t know him at all."
Tarkhan joined the Georgian army and served in the Russia-Georgia war in 2008.
His father said he seemed happy, that he had found his place in the world.
By Katie Stallard, Moscow Correspondent, in Pankisi, Georgia @ Sky News
#AceWroldNews – GEORGIA – April 29 – Authorities in Georgia are searching for the gunman who opened fire inside a Georgia FedEx building Tuesday, injuring six, MyFoxAtlanta.com reported.
According to crews on the scene, authorities have secured the entire area to safely search and apprehend the suspect. The injuries were considered minor to serious, the station reported. Hundreds of law enforcement officers are at the facility, which is in the town of Kennesaw, located in Cobb County, north-west of Atlanta.
A bomb team from the FBI is on the scene and assisting in the investigation.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that six people were taken to WellStar Kennestone Hospital and more are expected.
Ace Related News:
1. Fox Atlantic – April 29 – http://tinyurl.com/mtrfhtn
2. Well Star – April 29 – http://tinyurl.com/n4r8myd
#AceWorldNews – MOLDOVA – April 27 – All citizens of Moldova with biometric passports will no longer need to be in possession of visas to enter and travel around the European Union from Monday, according to a European Commission statement.
The EU is making steps towards forging stronger ties with eastern European states in response to the Ukraine crisis, with Moldova, Georgia and Ukraine all seeking stronger Eastern Partnership links with the bloc, which would facilitate stronger trade and business ties without full EU membership being granted.
#AceWorldNews – GENEVA – March 26 – The 27th round of Geneva discussions on security and stability in Transcaucasia have started in Geneva.
The consultations are held under the auspices of the UN, the European Union and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and involve delegations of Russia, Abkhazia, South Ossetia, Georgia and the United States.
The delegations have met within two working groups – for security and humanitarian issues.
The priority task is to work out guarantees of Georgia’s non-use of force against neighbouring states. Russia’s initiative on making a statement by all participants is on the agenda.
The parties fail to make the statement because Georgia gives it up. Georgia demands Russia make a unilateral statement on the non-use of force against Georgia. Moscow declines and calls on its partners not to regard it as a party to the Georgian conflict.
The latest Geneva discussions were held in December 2013.
Head of the Russian delegation, Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin told Itar-Tass that Georgia had not changed its position.
The lack of progress has been conditioned by the fact that “it is rather difficult to get rid of old inertia when Mikhail Saakashvili was Georgia’s president”, the Russian top diplomat said.
#AceWorldNews – UNITED STATES – 24 March – Latest – The US State Department concerns over the Georgian prosecutors’ decision to interrogate former President Mikhail Saakashvili is considered by Tbilisi merely as a partner’s advice, RIA Novosti quoted Georgia’s Deputy Foreign Minister David Dzhalagania as saying on Monday.
This would not affect the determination of Georgian authorities to complete investigations, the official said.
The former president, who is in the Netherlands, his wife’s native country, told Georgian Rustavi 2 television on Sunday that he would not obey the summons to appear on Thursday for questioning in the 2005 death of his prime minister and other cases, AP reported. Saakashvili left Georgia shortly after his second term ended in November.
Ace Related News
1. March 24 – 11.35 GMT – Extract – #AceWorldNews – TBILISI – March 24 – If former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili fails to turn up for questioning in the country’s Prosecutor General’s Office as a witness in several criminal cases, he will be put on wanted list, Georgian Prime Minister Irakly Garibashvili said on Monday.http://wp.me/p165ui-4vk
#AceWorldNews – TBILISI – March 24 – If former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili fails to turn up for questioning in the country’s Prosecutor General’s Office as a witness in several criminal cases, he will be put on wanted list, Georgian Prime Minister Irakly Garibashvili said on Monday.
Saakashvili “should turn up for questioning, because he had served as the Georgian president for 9 years, and the country’s Prosecutor General’s Office has many questions for him in several important cases,” the prime minister said in an interview with newspaper Kviris Palitra.
“If Saakashvili does not arrive in Georgia and does not show up for questioning, the prosecutor’s office will act according to the law, and Saakashvili will be put on wanted list,” Garibashvili stated.
Russian News and Media Sources
#AceWorldNews – British troops would participate in military drills in Ukraine in July, the British newspaper Guardian said on Thursday.
The personnel would be part of a group of about 1,300 troops, mostly American, to participate in the Rapid Trident 2014 exercise, the newspaper said.
Rapid Trident 2014 is to “promote regional stability and security, strengthen partnership capacity and foster trust while improving interoperability between the land forces of Ukraine, and NATO and partner nations,” according to the US forces in Europe website.
In addition to US and UK troops, Rapid Trident 2014 will include units from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Canada, Georgia, Germany, Moldova, Poland, Romania and Ukraine.
#AceWorldNews – Geneva – March 18, 22:35 – Switzerland is not planning to automatically repeat the sanctions imposed by the European Union and the United States against Russia, Swiss Confederation President Didier Burkhalter said in an interview with the Neue Zurcher Zeitung.
“We will take a time-out and will not act exactly the same way as the ‘X’ or the ‘Y’ alliance has acted. Switzerland is neither the EU nor the United States,” the president said, adding that Bern intended to “act impartially and maintain trust in a long-term prospect”.
Didier Burkhalter said Switzerland must be “doubly unbiased” as this year Switzerland held the presidency of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).
“Switzerland has good relations with China, the US, Russia and the EU,” he said, adding that Switzerland could be useful “as a mediator in such situations”.
After the 2008 South Ossetia war, Switzerland has been representing Russia’s interests in Georgia and Georgia’s interests in Russia.
Russian News and Media Sources
#AceWorldNews says that a court in Georgia has convicted a former prime minister, Vano Merabishvili, of embezzlement and abuse of office and sentenced him to five years in prison, AP reported.
The top ally of former President Mikhail Saakashvili served for nearly eight years as interior minister before he became the head of government ahead of a parliamentary election in 2012.
After Saakashvili’s party suffered a defeat, prosecutors filed charges against many of the ex-president’s allies. Merabishvili was arrested in May 2013 and accused of putting nearly 22,000 party campaign workers on the Labour Ministry payroll.
He also was accused of illegally appropriating a seaside residence.
#AceWorldNews says Georgia’s president, Georgy Margvelashvili, will not be travelling to the Sochi Olympic Games according to a statement released on Thursday. “The Georgian official delegation will not attend the Olympic Games in Sochi,” Vano Machavariani, Margvelashvili’s foreign policy adviser, told Reuters. “Georgia will be represented in Sochi by our sportsmen and representatives of the Georgian Olympic Committee,” he said.
The Kremlin previously said that Margvelashvili could meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin there in what would have been their first meeting since the five-day war in 2008, when Mikhail Saakashvili was president. Margvelashvili was elected late last year.