Nation and world news briefs

©Tribune News Service

Ron Paul hospitalized after medical incident

AUSTIN, Texas — Ron Paul, the former Republican congressman from southeast Texas and presidential candidate, was hospitalized Friday after suffering an apparent medical incident while speaking during a video livestream.

Following reports that the 85-year-old was admitted to a Texas hospital for “precautionary reasons,” Paul tweeted a photo from his hospital bed.

“Message from Ron Paul: ‘I am doing fine. Thank you for your concern,’” the tweet read.

Video posted on Twitter showed Paul interviewing a guest on video when his speech began to slur and his words became garbled.

Paul unsuccessfully ran for president three times: as the Libertarian nominee in 1988 and then as a Republican candidate in 2008 and 2012.

Paul was a physician, who served as a congressman for 23 years, first in the 22nd Congressional District and then the 14th Congressional District from 1997 to 2013.

He is the father U.S. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, whose office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

“Thank God, Dad is doing well,” Rand Paul tweeted. “Thank you for all your prayers today.”

—Austin American-Statesman

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2 survive, 25 killed as military aircraft crashes in Ukraine

By Andreas Stein and Ulf Mauder

—dpa

(TNS)

KYIV, Ukraine — Only two people survived and 25 people were killed late on Friday when an Antonov An-26 military aircraft crashed in eastern Ukraine, the civil defense authority in Kiev said.

Two seriously injured survivors who were said to have jumped from the plane have been recovered from the wreckage in the city of Chuhuiv in the Kharkiv region, the authority said.

A total of 27 people were believed to have been on board the aircraft when it crashed on the approach to the runway, including seven crew members and 20 students from the Air Force University.

A wreck burning in the dark could be seen in pictures posted on social media.

Kharkiv Governor Alexei Kuchera had posted a message on Telegram about the crash, also saying there were survivors and confirming there were dead. He said he was on his way to the site.

Kuchera said that one of the plane’s engines failed. However the cause of the crash during what was supposed to have been a training flight was still uncertain.

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Japan’s Suga makes fresh pitch for meeting with Kim Jong Un

TOKYO — Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga declared his willingness to meet North Korea’s Kim Jong-Un without preconditions, affirming the policy of his predecessor in his debut speech to the United Nations.

Japan would seek to normalize ties with North Korea by resolving nuclear weapons and missile issues, as well as the past abductions of Japanese citizens, Suga told the General Assembly, in remarks that local media said had been recorded almost a week earlier.

“Establishing a constructive relationship between Japan and North Korea will not only serve the interests of both sides, but will also greatly contribute to regional peace and stability,” Suga said.

Suga also vowed that Tokyo would host the Summer Olympics next year as proof that humankind had defeated the virus pandemic.

While the speech was Suga’s first opportunity to lay out a vision for Japan’s role in the world after his election as prime minister on Sept. 16, his remarks emphasized continuity. Suga — a 71-year-old strawberry farmer’s son — has less diplomatic experience than his globe-trotting former boss Shinzo Abe, who also publicly offered to meet Kim, with little success.

Suga has previously said that Japan’s alliance with the U.S. would remain the cornerstone of the country’s foreign policy, even as President Donald Trump’s administration clashes with China over trade and security. Some in Suga’s own party are also calling for a harder line with the Chinese government over territorial disputes and the clampdown on Hong Kong.

That presents Suga with a problem. Abe mended relations with China, his country’s biggest trade partner, only to see his plans to celebrate the improvement with a state visit by President Xi Jinping derailed by the coronavirus.

—Bloomberg News

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Neiman Marcus has officially exited bankruptcy

DALLAS — Neiman Marcus has completed its bankruptcy court-led restructuring in four and a half months.

The Dallas-based luxury retailer’s plan was confirmed two weeks ago, but Friday marks the official exit. The restructuring frees Neiman Marcus of $4 billion in debt and interest payments of more than $200 million, which sapped it of its ability to be profitable and invest in its business.

Neiman Marcus now has $1.25 billion in debt, down from $5.1 billion, and no near-term maturities. It also exits with a $750 million term loan from Credit Suisse. The company said this week that its cutting staff at its stores and restaurants, but it didn’t quantify the cuts.

“With the successful implementation of our restructuring, Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman will continue to be the preeminent luxury shopping destinations for years to come. While the unprecedented business disruption caused by COVID-19 has presented many challenges, it has also given us the opportunity to reimagine our platform and improve our business,” said van Raemdonck in a statement.

—The Dallas Morning News

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