Yuma Sun

Nation & World Glance


Honda recalling 500,000 vehicles to fix seat belt issue

DETROIT — Honda is recalling a half-million vehicles in the U.S. and Canada because the front seat belts may not latch properly.

The recall covers some of the the automaker’s top-selling models including the 2017 through 2020 CR-V, the 2018 and 2019 Accord, the 2018 through 2020 Odyssey and the 2019 Insight. Also included is the Acura RDX from the 2019 and 2020 model years.

Honda says in documents posted Wednesday by U.S. safety regulators that the surface coating on the channel for the buckle can deteriorat­e over time. The release button can shrink against the channel at lower temperatur­es, increasing friction and stopping the buckle from latching.

If the buckle doesn’t latch, a driver or passenger may not be restrained in a crash, increasing the risk of injury.

Honda says it has no reports of injuries caused by the problem.

Dealers will replace the front seat belt buckle release buttons or the buckle assemblies if needed. Owners will be notified by letter starting April 17.

US, Russia ratchet up rhetoric over downing of drone

KYIV, Ukraine — Russia and the United States ratcheted up their confrontat­ional rhetoric over a U.S. surveillan­ce drone that encountere­d Russian warplanes and crashed near the Crimean Peninsula.

At the same time, U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin spoke to his Russian counterpar­t, Sergei Shoigu, for the first time in five months.

The Kremlin said Tuesday’s drone incident again proved Washington is directly involved in the fighting. It said Moscow will try to recover the aircraft’s wreckage from the Black Sea. U.S. officials said the incident shows Russia’s aggressive and risky behavior and would continue surveillan­ce. It also signals Moscow’s increasing readiness to raise the ante amid soaring tensions between the two nuclear powers.

Honduras ditching Taiwan raises geopolitic­al concerns

MEXICO CITY – Honduras’ decision to cut diplomatic ties with Taiwan in favor of China is yet another sign of growing Chinese influence in Latin America.

For decades the Asian superpower funneled billions of dollars into investment and infrastruc­ture projects across the region. Now, as geopolitic­al tensions simmer between China and the Biden administra­tion, that spending has paid off.

Honduras’ decision was the second foreign policy coup in a week for China, which brokered an agreement between Iran and Saudi Arabia to reestablis­h diplomatic relations last week.

Now, Taiwan will be recognized by only 13 countries. But some of the few remaining in Latin America, like Paraguay and Guatemala, promised Wednesday to keep their support for Taiwan.

Honduras’ minister of foreign relations, Enrique Reina, told The Associated Press on Wednesday that Hondurans “are grateful” for their past relationsh­ip with Taiwan, but that their economic links to China ultimately pushed their government to cut diplomatic ties.

Tiktok dismisses calls for Chinese owners to sell stakes

WASHINGTON – Tiktok was dismissive Wednesday of reports that the Biden administra­tion was calling for its Chinese owners to sell their stakes in the popular video-sharing app, saying such a move wouldn’t help protect national security.

The company was responding to a report in The Wall Street Journal that said the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S., part of the Treasury Department, was threatenin­g a U.S. ban on the app unless its owners, Beijing-based Bytedance Ltd., divested.

“If protecting national security is the objective, divestment doesn’t solve the problem: a change in ownership would not impose any new restrictio­ns on data flows or access,” Tiktok spokespers­on Maureen Shanahan said. “The best way to address concerns about national security is with the transparen­t, U.s.based protection of U.S. user data and systems, with robust third-party monitoring, vetting, and verificati­on, which we are already implementi­ng.”

The Journal report cited anonymous “people familiar with the matter.” The Treasury Department and the White House’s National Security Council declined to comment. Late last month, the White House gave all federal agencies 30 days to wipe Tiktok off all government devices.

Nkorea launches ICBM before Skorea-japan summit

SEOUL, South Korea – North Korea test-launched an interconti­nental ballistic missile Thursday just hours before the leaders of South Korea and Japan were to meet at a Tokyo summit expected to be overshadow­ed by North Korean nuclear threats.

The North’s first ICBM test in a month and third weapons tests this week also comes as South Korean and U.S. troops continue joint military exercises that Pyongyang considers a rehearsal to invade.

The missile flew about 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) with a maximum altitude of 6,000 kilometers (3,730 miles) during the 70-minute flight, according to South Korean and Japanese assessment­s. That’s similar to the flight details from a February launch of another ICBM, which experts said demonstrat­ed a potential range to reach deep into the U.S. mainland.

The missile fell in the waters between the Korean Peninsula and Japan after being launched on a steep trajectory, apparently to avoid neighborin­g countries. Japan said the missile landed outside its exclusive economic zone and that there were no reports of damage of ships and aircraft.

North Korea has yet to test ICBMS on a standard trajectory, but it has repeatedly claimed it possesses functionin­g nuclear missiles. Some foreign experts still doubt the North has mastered the technologi­es needed to build warheads small enough to be placed on those missiles and protect the warheads during atmospheri­c reentry.

El Salvador: 2,000 more to prison, vows will ‘never return’

SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador – El Salvador’s government sent 2,000 more suspects to a huge new prison built especially for gang members Wednesday, and the the justice minister vowed that “they will never return” to the streets.

The tough statement came as the administra­tion of President Nayib Bukele asked for yet another extension of an anti-gang emergency measures that would take the crackdown into its 13th month. Over the last 354 days, about 65,000 people have been arrested in the antigang campaign. Human rights groups say that there have been many instances of prisoner abuses and that innocent people have been swept up in police raids.

The government announced the mass inmate transfer with a slickly produced video posted on social media. It showed prisoners forced to run barefoot and handcuffed down stairways and over bare ground, clad only in regulation white shorts. They were then forced to sit with their legs locked in closely clumped groups in cells.

Gustavo Villatoro, the government’s minister for justice and peace, said the suspected gang members would never return to the streets, even though about 57,000 of those arrested are still awaiting formal charges or a trial.

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