Ukraine, Canada urge Iran to release black box recordings of Flight 752

Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks on the first day of the Munich Security Conference in Munich, Germany, Friday, Feb. 14, 2020. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press via AP)

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Several countries are demanding that Iran release the black boxes from the plane crash that killed 176 people back in January. On the sidelines of Friday’s security conference in Germany, foreign ministers from Canada and Ukraine urged Iran to be transparent.

The country has refused to release the final recordings of the January plane crash to the international community, despite its lack of expertise or technology to decode them.

Officials have encouraged Iran to send the black boxes to France, which has the equipment necessary to assess these recordings.

“The type of equipment you need is not something you can transport to another location. This is more like a lab, you need to go there physically in order to have the download and get the latest equipment to do that. Now that we’ve passed the 30 days mark, we think there’s urgency for that to happen as quickly as possible.” – François-Philippe Champagne, Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs

This came after Iran admitted its military accidentally shot down the plane after initially denying blame for the incident.

RELATED: Canada’s Trudeau Demands From Iran Independent Probe Into Downed Airliner

A rescue worker searches the scene where an Ukrainian plane crashed in Shahedshahr, southwest of the capital Tehran, Iran, Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2020. A Ukrainian airplane carrying 176 people crashed on Wednesday shortly after takeoff from Tehran’s main airport, killing all onboard. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)

Original Article

Tom Ridge says Trump’s Ukraine call left him ‘disappointed and troubled,’ says he won’t back president in 2020

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President Trump abused the power of his office by asking the leader of Ukraine to investigate Democrat Joe Biden, the nation’s first homeland security secretary said Tuesday.

Tom Ridge, who led the Department of Homeland Security from its creation in 2003 until February 2005, made the remarks in Harrisburg, the Pennsylvania capital, just a short distance from where Trump addressed a rally in Hershey later in the day.

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“I am disappointed and troubled by the very fact that my president – and he is my president – would ask a foreign leader of a troubled country who’s been besieged by an enemy of the United States, to do him a political favor,” Ridge said at a renewable energy event sponsored by the Pennsylvania Conservative Energy Forum, PennLive.com reported. “As far as I’m concerned, it is abuse of power.”

Ridge, now 74, was a Republican governor of Pennsylvania from 1995 until 2001, when he resigned soon after taking the job of homeland security adviser to former President George W. Bush soon after the terror attacks of Sept. 11. The adviser job eventually evolved into the Cabinet-level position it remains today.

Tom Ridge was the inaugural secretary of Homeland Security under former President George W. Bush. (Associated Press)

Tom Ridge was the inaugural secretary of Homeland Security under former President George W. Bush. (Associated Press)

He made it clear that he won’t support Trump in 2020 and has said previously that he didn’t support Trump in 2016. He said his 2020 choice will be whichever candidate can bring “experience and demeanor and global perspective” to the job, when Republican or Democrat.

But he won’t publicly endorse a Democrat, he added.

“I’m going to wait and see what the Democrats do before I make my final decision,” he told PennLive. “People know how I feel about Trump so obviously I will be looking for an alternative. If not, as I’ve said to folks before, I wrote in the names of two Republican governors before because I love govs.”

Ridge added that he thinks Trump’s handling of foreign policy has allowed other countries to assert their own agendas, particularly Russia.

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Russian President Vladimir Putin “has got to be one of the happiest world leaders,” Ridge said.

“Even in his wildest imagination he never imagined when he played in our election in 2016, and he’s playing with it in 2019 and 2020, that he would have four years of incredible political destabilization because of what he did and he’ll keep doing it.”

Original Article