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Bailey found, goes on trial

Here’s an update to a story the No Coast Network has been following.  A Grinnell man who was wanted on several charges, including stalking, has been found in Georgia.  34-year-old Jonathan Bailey appeared in Powesheik County Court on Monday (12/2).  He’s charged with eight counts of child endangerment, seven counts of second degree sexual abuse and one count of sexual exploitation.  According to court records, Bailey is prohibited from contacting the two alleged victims, as well as his wife and two other adults.

Surprising 1st results from NASA’s sun-skimming spacecraft

By MARCIA DUNN

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — NASA’s sun-skimming spacecraft, the Parker Solar Probe, is surprising scientists with its unprecedented close views of our star.

Scientists released the first results from the mission Wednesday. They observed bursts of energetic particles never seen before on such a small scale as well as switchback-like reversals in the out-flowing solar magnetic field that seem to whip up the solar wind.

NASA’s Nicola Fox compared this unexpected switchback phenomenon to the cracking of a whip.

“They’re striking and it’s hard to not think that they’re somehow important in the whole problem,” said Stuart Bale of the University of California, Berkeley, who was part of the team.

Researchers said they also finally have evidence of a dust-free zone encircling the sun. Farther out, there’s so much dust from vaporizing comets and asteroids that one of 80 small viewfinders on one instrument was pierced by a grain earlier this year.

“I can’t say that we don’t worry about the spacecraft. I mean, the spacecraft is going through an environment that we’ve never been before,” Fox said.

Launched in 2018, Parker has come within 15 million miles (25 million kilometers) of the sun and will get increasingly closer — within 4 million miles (6 million kilometers) — over the next six years. It’s completed three of 24 orbits of the sun, dipping well into the corona, or upper atmosphere. The goal of the mission is to shed light on some of the mysteries surrounding the sun.

Parker will sweep past Venus on Dec. 26 for the second gravity-assist of the $1.5 billion mission and make its fourth close solar encounter in January.

The findings in the journal Nature were made during a relatively quiet phase of solar activity.

“We’re just starting to scratch the surface of this fascinating physics,” said Princeton University’s David McComas, the chief scientist of one of the spacecraft’s instruments.

As Parker gets even closer to its target, the sun will go through an active phase “so we can expect even more exciting results soon,” University College London’s Daniel Verscharen wrote in an accompanying editorial. Verscharen was not part of the mission.

Over the summer, Fox shared these early results with solar astrophysicist Eugene Parker, 92, professor emeritus at the University of Chicago for whom the spacecraft is named. He expressed excitement — “wow” — and was keen to be involved.

It’s the first NASA spacecraft to be named after a person still alive. Parker attended its launch last year from Cape Canaveral.

___

The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.

Osky wrestlers open season

Oskaloosa High’s wrestling team opens its season Thursday night (12/5) with a quadrangular meet at Grinnell.  Chariton and Saydel round out the foursome.  That meet starts at 5:30pm at Grinnell.

Other high school wrestling on Thursday: Knoxville hosts Pella and Nevada, Ottumwa hosts Dowling Catholic and Waukee, the English Valleys/Tri-County wrestlers host BGM, HLV and Iowa Valley, Montezuma hosts Sigourney, Cardinal, Baxter and Waco, Lynnville-Sully hosts North Mahaska, Colfax-Mingo and Belle Plaine and in Thursday’s only dual meet, Newton hosts Indianola.

Sheriff confirms Lu Verne bank employee shot and killed

BY 

The Kossuth County Sheriff’s Department is confirming an employee of a bank in Lu Verne was shot and killed Wednesday.

The sheriff’s department says deputies were called to the Security State Bank in Lu Verne at around 8:40 a-m about a possible shooting.

Deputies found 43-year-old Jessica Wieshaar of Algona lying on the sidewalk in front of the bank. They say Wieshaar — who was a bank employee — was dead from an apparent gunshot wound. Video surveillance and witnesses provided deputies with a description of the possible shooter.

A person matching the description was stopped on Interstate 35 and is in custody. That person’s name has not been released.

 

Centerville woman sentenced in infant son’s death

A judge in Centerville has cancelled a plea deal for a Centerville woman who pleaded guilty in the death of her infant son.  In August, 31-year-old Brittney Keller pleaded guilty to child endangerment and drug charges.  Keller acknowledged that in May of this year, she left the bathtub running with her 11-month-old son and his sister in the tub.  Her son was taken to the hospital, where he died.  A plea deal was set up where Keller would get a suspended jail sentence and be ordered to have mental health and drug treatment.  But on Wednesday (12/4), Judge Rose Anne Mefford sentenced Keller to two years on each count.  The sentences will run concurrently and Keller will get credit for time served.  Keller was originally charged with child endangerment causing death.

Elon Musk in court dances around meaning of ‘pedo guy’ tweet

By BRIAN MELLEY

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Elon Musk has owned up to insulting a British spelunker in a rash tweet, but wouldn’t concede on the witness stand that he called the man a pedophile.

The Tesla CEO returns to the witness stand Wednesday after spending several hours at his defamation trial trying to dance around the meaning of the “pedo guy” tweet he aimed at Vernon Unsworth, a cave diver who helped rescue a dozen boys and their soccer coach from a flooded Thailand cave last year.

Musk said the insult meant only “creepy old man” and did not literally mean he was calling Unsworth a pedophile.

The spat began when Unsworth ridiculed Musk’s effort in the rescue by having engineers at his companies, including Space X and The Boring Co., develop a mini-submarine that could transport the boys to safety. Despite working around the clock to build the sub in short order, Musk arrived in Thailand late in the rescue effort and the craft was never used.

Unsworth called it nothing more than a “PR stunt” and said Musk could stick the sub “where it hurts.” Musk watched the CNN clip of Unsworth several times before lashing out in a series of tweets July 15, 2018.

“It was wrong and insulting, so I insulted him back,” the billionaire told a Los Angeles federal court jury. “It was an unprovoked attack on what was a good-natured attempt to help the kids.”

Unsworth is seeking unspecified damages for pain, suffering and emotional distress from the tech entrepreneur whose net worth exceeds $20 billion.

Musk’s lawyer, Alex Spiro, said during opening statements that Unsworth deserves nothing for what he called “joking, taunting tweets in a fight between men.”

The shame and mortification Unsworth said he experienced is undercut by the attention he received after the rescue, Spiro said, including honors from the Thai king and British prime minister and offers from agents and film crews.

Musk, who was dressed in a charcoal gray suit and white shirt, remained composed on the witness stand during questioning from Unsworth’s lawyer, who called him as his first witness.

His answers were at times humorous and sometimes seemed like those of an executive under court order to be careful about what he says.

Musk is required to have his tweets about Tesla screened as part of court settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission over allegations he posted misleading information about the company that caused wild stock swings.

His tweet about Unsworth caused Tesla’s stock to drop about 3% the following day, though it recovered a day later.

After company officials tried to get Musk to apologize for the tweet, he responded in an email that he didn’t want look “foolish and craven” by doing so right after the stock dropped.

Musk projected an air of humility as he was asked about his influence in the world. He said he didn’t think his efforts to address climate change were taken seriously, that few people were aware of his goal to colonize Mars and he didn’t really pay attention to how his fortune stacks up against other billionaires.

With his arms crossed, Musk at times squinted and stared off in the distance as he searched for answers to events that occurred more than a year ago.

He clashed at one point with attorney L. Lin Wood, telling him he interpreted the lawyer’s letter threatening to sue as a shakedown and extortion attempt.

“I get these shakedown letters a lot,” Musk said. “I think you’re looking for a significant payday.”

Spiro attempted to humanize Musk, having him discuss his family — sets of 15-year-old twins and 13-year-old triplets, all boys. Musk choked up talking about a son who died as a baby and when asked about his childhood in South Africa.

“It wasn’t good,” he said after a long pause.

Musk said he was asked to help with the cave rescue and decided to get involved when he heard a Thai Navy diver died in the cave system and that a monsoon was forecast that could drown the soccer team.

Musk received no compensation for his efforts, though he acknowledged his work could have been interpreted as a “narcissistic” publicity effort.

Musk deleted the July 15, 2018, tweets and apologized on Twitter, though subsequent statements he made have called into question what he meant.

Musk responded to a question on Twitter about whether he had accused Unsworth of being a pedophile by saying, “Bet ya a signed dollar it’s true.”

He told a Buzzfeed reporter seeking comment on the threat of a lawsuit by Unsworth to “stop defending child rapists,” followed by expletives.

Musk was asked about an almost comical attempt to dig up dirt on Unsworth when it became clear he could be sued.

One of his executives created a fake email account to communicate with a man who said he was an investigator, but then signed his own name on a nondisclosure agreement.

The investigator turned out to be a con man who was paid $52,000 and produced nothing damning about Unsworth.

Musk said he didn’t know Unsworth had helped with the rescue when he first tweeted about him and said “pedo guy” wasn’t asserted as a fact.

“Just as I didn’t literally mean he was a pedophile, I’m sure he didn’t literally mean shoving a sub up my ass,” Musk testified, provoking snickers.

When asked about the final line of his email to the Buzzfeed reporter that said he hoped Unsworth would sue him, Musk quipped: “I guess be careful what you wish for.”

Osky’s Lighted Christmas Parade moves to Saturday

Oskaloosa’s annual Lighted Christmas Parade is coming up this week.  But not on Thursday, when the parade is usually scheduled.  This year’s parade will be held on Saturday (12/7).  Oskaloosa Main Street Executive Director Emily Brown says the parade has traditionally been on Thursday because that’s the day that downtown stores are open at night.  Brown says feedback from citizens led to the change this year.

“Over the years, we started to hear more from people that they wished it was on a weekend, so their family could come visit.  We’ve heard quite a bit of that the last couple of years.  We decided we had heard it enough, we needed to try it and that’s where we’re at now.”

Saturday’s Oskaloosa Lighted Christmas Parade starts at 7 on the square in downtown Oskaloosa.  There will be a pre-parade show with music by Tyler Richton and the High Bank Boys from 5 to 6pm at Penn Central Mall’s Central Court.  There’s more information about the Lighted Christmas Parade at the Oskaloosa Chamber’s website: oacdg.org.

Johnson named Oskaloosa Officer of the Year

At Monday’s (12/2) Oskaloosa City Council meeting, Senior Officer Nathan Johnson was named the City’s Police Officer of the Year.  Johnson talked about why he received the honor.

“I think I stepped up in a leadership position and adapted to the new department very easily and just continued to work hard every day.”

Johnson is in his first year with the Oskaloosa Police Department.  Previously, he had served on the Bloomfield Police Department for ten years.

Trump barrels into NATO summit, clashes with France’s Macron

By AAMER MADHANI and ZEKE MILLER

LONDON (AP) — President Donald Trump barreled into a NATO leaders’ meeting on Tuesday aiming insults at French President Emmanuel Macron, slamming ’“unpatriotic” Democrats at home for holding an impeachment hearing while he is abroad and playing down the impact his domestic troubles are having on his standing on the global stage.

Trump began his first of two days at the NATO conference by harshly rebuking Macron, once arguably his closest European ally among foreign leaders, for recently saying NATO was experiencing “brain death” as a result of diminished U.S. leadership in the alliance under Trump.

Before meeting with Macron on the sidelines of the meeting, Trump laced into the French president for what he said were “very, very nasty” comments.

“I think that’s insulting to a lot of different forces,” Trump said. “You just can’t go around making statements like that about NATO. It’s very disrespectful.”

Hours after the broadside, Macron and Trump sat side by side for a one-on-one meeting. Macron said he stood by his comments about the health of the NATO alliance. He also firmly expressed his frustration that Trump withdrew hundreds of American troops from Syria in October.

The decision by Trump, made without consulting NATO allies, gave Turkey, another NATO member, a green light to launch operations against Syrian Kurdish forces who played a key role in the fight to clear a huge swath of Syria of the Islamic State.

Trump and Macron have had an up-and-down relationship in the nearly three years Trump’s been in office.

Macron, who early in Trump’s presidency had looked to cultivate a close relationship with Trump, hosted Trump in France in 2017 for Bastille Day celebrations in Paris. Trump reciprocated by honoring Macron last year with the first state visit of a foreign leader during his time in the White House.

But the relationship has been put under new stress in the aftermath of Trump pulling out U.S. troops from Syria without coordinating with France and other NATO allies.

As they answered questions from reporters, the chasm between Trump and Macron was most apparent as they discussed their concerns over Turkey’s plan to purchase an anti-aircraft system from Russia.

Macron said there is a disconnect in allowing Turkey to buy an anti-aircraft S-400 missile system from Russia and also be a NATO member. Trump said he is weighing issuing sanctions against Ankara if they move forward with plans to buy the weapons.

Ahead of the meeting, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he would oppose a NATO plan to defend the Baltic region if the alliance does not back Turkey over its fight against Kurdish groups it considers terrorists.

“I’m sorry to say we don’t have the same definition of terrorism around the table,” Macron said in a swipe at Turkey.

Trump showed a measure of deference to Erdogan, noting that Turkey was “very helpful” during an October U.S. special commando raid that lead to the death IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi near Syria-Turkey border.

“We flew over areas that was totally controlled by Turkey and Turkish military,” Trump said. “They were very supportive actually. We didn’t tell them what we were doing or where we were going. Turkey could not have been nicer, could not have been more supportive.”

Trump criticized Democrats at the outset Tuesday, calling the impeachment push by his political rivals “unpatriotic” and “a bad thing for our country.”

Trump, who initially commented while meeting with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, is upset that Democrats scheduled an impeachment hearing while he is abroad.

The House Judiciary Committee has set a hearing on the constitutional grounds for Trump’s possible impeachment on Wednesday just before the NATO summit concludes.

“I think it’s very unpatriotic of the Democrats to put on a performance,” Trump said. “I think it’s a bad thing for our country.”

Trump insists he’s solely focused on scoring domestic and foreign policy wins, including making NATO members spend more on defense. But he’s often appeared consumed by the day-to-day battle against impeachment.

“I’m not even thinking about it,” Trump insisted anew Tuesday.

Before the trip to London, Trump slammed “Do Nothing Democrats” for scheduling the hearing during the NATO meeting as “Not nice!”

He also said that, during the flight, he had read a newly issued Republican-prepared report on impeachment that called his decision to hold up military aid to Ukraine “entirely prudent.”

Democrats contend Trump abused his presidential powers by holding up the aid to pressure Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to investigate meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, who had a seat on the board of Ukrainian energy company.

But Trump was adamant that the cloud of impeachment wasn’t undercutting his negotiating position on the international stage.

“I know most of the leaders,” Trump said. “I get along with them. It’s a hoax. The impeachment is a hoax. It’s turned out to be a hoax. It’s done for purely political gain. They’re going to see whether or not they can do something in 2020 because otherwise they’re going to lose.”

But even as he boasted of his relationships with NATO leaders, Trump rebuked Macron for recent comments that NATO was experiencing “brain death.” Macron argues that the U.S. under Trump’s leadership has turned away from the alliance.

“Nobody needs NATO more than France,” said Trump, who himself in the past has questioned the long-term prospects of NATO, arguing that too few member nations are on track to meet the alliance goal of spending at least 2% of GDP on their own defense by 2024. “You can’t just go around making statements like that about NATO. It’s very disrespectful,” Trump said.

Trump also lashed out at France for a French digital service tax that he said unfairly discriminates against U.S. tech companies, including Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon. There is no direct effect on the United States from the French tax, which only applies to the tech companies’ revenues in France, not the United States.

Robert Lighthizer, the chief U.S. trade representative, on Monday recommended $2.4 billion in new tariffs on French cheese, wine, and other products to retaliate for the digital tax.

Heather Conley, an analyst at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, said the trip offered Trump an opportunity to highlight to voters back home that he’s making progress on a foreign policy issue. The president views it “as his own personal foreign-policy success” that NATO members have increased defense spending by $130 billion since 2016.

“The deficit for many, many years has been astronomical (between) the United States and Europe,” Trump boasted. “And I’m changing that, and I’m changing it very rapidly.”

However, in 2014 — before Trump was elected — NATO members agreed to move “toward” spending 2% of their gross domestic product on their own defense by 2024. Stoltenberg said in late June that the majority of NATO allies have plans to reach that goal.

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