‘Everybody Should See This’: Perseids Light up Bosnian Sky

A meteor shower lit up the skies above eastern Bosnia Saturday night, giving star gazers a rare opportunity to see a display of shooting stars with the naked eye.

“I think that everybody should see this,” said Miralem Mehic, a Bosnian from an international group of star gazers who watched the light show at the Sand Pyramids, an area of naturally occurring sand columns, near the town of Foca.

The so-called Perseids meteor shower returns to the skies every August and are best viewed in the northern hemisphere in isolated areas where there is little light pollution.

They arise when the Earth passes through the debris of Comet 109P/Swift-Tuttle, which was discovered in 1862.

Meteors are parts of rock and dust that hit the Earth’s atmosphere, heat up and glow. Most vaporize as they descend, but some explode.

“This year the moon is young and will not obstruct the vision, so we will be able to see 100 ‘shooting stars’ an hour,” Muhamed Muminovic, a member of the Sarajevo Orion astrological society, told Reuters.

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NASA Sends Parker Solar Probe to ‘Go Touch the Sun’

A NASA spacecraft rocketed toward the sun Sunday on an unprecedented quest to get closer to our star than anything ever sent before.

The Parker Solar Probe will fly straight through the wispy edges of the corona, or outer solar atmosphere, that was visible during last August’s total solar eclipse. It eventually will get within 3.8 million (6 million kilometers) of the sun’s surface, staying comfortably cool despite the extreme heat and radiation, and allowing scientists to vicariously explore the sun in a way never before possible.

No wonder scientists consider it the coolest, hottest mission under the sun, and what better day to launch to the sun than Sunday as NASA noted.

“Fly baby girl, fly!!” project scientist Nicola Fox of Johns Hopkins University tweeted just before liftoff. She urged it to “go touch the sun!”

Protected by a revolutionary new carbon heat shield and other high-tech wonders, the spacecraft will zip past Venus in October. That will set up the first solar encounter in November. Altogether, the Parker probe will make 24 close approaches to the sun on the seven-year, $1.5 billion undertaking.

​Parker watches namesake go

For the second straight day, thousands of spectators jammed the launch site in the middle of the night as well as surrounding towns, including 91-year-old astrophysicist Eugene Parker for whom the spacecraft is named. He proposed the existence of solar wind, a steady, supersonic stream of particles blasting off the sun, 60 years ago.

“All I can say is, ‘Wow, here we go.’ We’re in for some learning over the next several years,”  Parker said.

It was the first time NASA named a spacecraft after someone still alive, and Parker wasn’t about to let it take off without him. Saturday morning’s launch attempt was foiled by last-minute technical trouble.

“I’m just so glad to be here with him,” said NASA’s science mission chief, Thomas Zurbuchen. “Frankly, there’s no other name that belongs on this mission.”

The Delta IV Heavy rocket thundered into the pre-dawn darkness, thrilling onlookers for miles around. NASA needed the mighty 23-story rocket, plus a third stage, to get the diminutive Parker probe, the size of a small car and well under a ton, racing toward the sun.

From Earth, it is 93 million miles to the sun (150 million kilometers), and the Parker probe will be within 4 percent of that distance. That will be seven times closer than previous spacecraft.​

Speed record on agenda

Parker will start shattering records this fall.On its very first brush with the sun, it will come within 15.5 million miles (25 million kilometers), easily beating the current record set by NASA’s Helios 2 spacecraft in 1976. By the time Parker gets to its 22nd orbit of the sun, it will be even deeper into the corona and traveling at a record-breaking 430,000 mph (690,000 kilometers per hour).

Nothing from Planet Earth has ever hit that kind of speed.

Even Fox has difficulty comprehending the mission’s derring-do.

“To me, it’s still mind-blowing,” she said. “Even I still go, ‘Really? We’re doing that?’”

Zurbuchen considers the sun the most important star in our universe — it’s ours, after all — and so this is one of NASA’s big-time strategic missions. By better understanding the sun’s life-giving and sometimes violent nature, Earthlings can better protect satellites and astronauts in orbit, and power grids on the ground, he noted. In today’s tech-dependent society, everyone stands to benefit.

With this mission, scientists hope to unlock the many mysteries of the sun, a commonplace yellow dwarf star around 4.5 billion years old. Among the puzzlers: Why is the corona hundreds of times hotter than the surface of the sun and why is the sun’s atmosphere continually expanding and accelerating, as the University of Chicago’s Parker accurately predicted in 1958?

“The only way we can do that is to finally go up and touch the sun,” Fox said. “We’ve looked at it. We’ve studied it from missions that are close in, even as close as the planet Mercury. But we have to go there.”

The spacecraft’s heat shield will serve as an umbrella, shading the science instruments during the close, critical solar junctures. Sensors on the spacecraft will make certain the heat shield faces the sun at the right times. If there’s any tilting, the spacecraft will correct itself so nothing gets fried. With a communication lag time of 16 minutes each way, the spacecraft must fend for itself at the sun. The Johns Hopkins flight controllers in Laurel, Maryland, will be too far away to help.

​Technology catches up to the dream

A mission to get close up and personal with our star has been on NASA’s books since 1958. The trick was making the spacecraft small, compact and light enough to travel at incredible speeds, while surviving the sun’s punishing environment and the extreme change in temperature when the spacecraft is out near Venus.

“We’ve had to wait so long for our technology to catch up with our dreams,” Fox said. “It’s incredible to be standing here today.”

More than 1 million names are aboard the spacecraft, submitted last spring by space enthusiasts, as well as photos of Parker, the man, and a copy of his 1958 landmark paper on solar wind.

“I’ll bet you 10 bucks it works,” Parker said.

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NASA Sends Parker Solar Probe to ‘Go Touch the Sun’

A NASA spacecraft rocketed toward the sun Sunday on an unprecedented quest to get closer to our star than anything ever sent before.

The Parker Solar Probe will fly straight through the wispy edges of the corona, or outer solar atmosphere, that was visible during last August’s total solar eclipse. It eventually will get within 3.8 million (6 million kilometers) of the sun’s surface, staying comfortably cool despite the extreme heat and radiation, and allowing scientists to vicariously explore the sun in a way never before possible.

No wonder scientists consider it the coolest, hottest mission under the sun, and what better day to launch to the sun than Sunday as NASA noted.

“Fly baby girl, fly!!” project scientist Nicola Fox of Johns Hopkins University tweeted just before liftoff. She urged it to “go touch the sun!”

Protected by a revolutionary new carbon heat shield and other high-tech wonders, the spacecraft will zip past Venus in October. That will set up the first solar encounter in November. Altogether, the Parker probe will make 24 close approaches to the sun on the seven-year, $1.5 billion undertaking.

​Parker watches namesake go

For the second straight day, thousands of spectators jammed the launch site in the middle of the night as well as surrounding towns, including 91-year-old astrophysicist Eugene Parker for whom the spacecraft is named. He proposed the existence of solar wind, a steady, supersonic stream of particles blasting off the sun, 60 years ago.

“All I can say is, ‘Wow, here we go.’ We’re in for some learning over the next several years,”  Parker said.

It was the first time NASA named a spacecraft after someone still alive, and Parker wasn’t about to let it take off without him. Saturday morning’s launch attempt was foiled by last-minute technical trouble.

“I’m just so glad to be here with him,” said NASA’s science mission chief, Thomas Zurbuchen. “Frankly, there’s no other name that belongs on this mission.”

The Delta IV Heavy rocket thundered into the pre-dawn darkness, thrilling onlookers for miles around. NASA needed the mighty 23-story rocket, plus a third stage, to get the diminutive Parker probe, the size of a small car and well under a ton, racing toward the sun.

From Earth, it is 93 million miles to the sun (150 million kilometers), and the Parker probe will be within 4 percent of that distance. That will be seven times closer than previous spacecraft.​

Speed record on agenda

Parker will start shattering records this fall.On its very first brush with the sun, it will come within 15.5 million miles (25 million kilometers), easily beating the current record set by NASA’s Helios 2 spacecraft in 1976. By the time Parker gets to its 22nd orbit of the sun, it will be even deeper into the corona and traveling at a record-breaking 430,000 mph (690,000 kilometers per hour).

Nothing from Planet Earth has ever hit that kind of speed.

Even Fox has difficulty comprehending the mission’s derring-do.

“To me, it’s still mind-blowing,” she said. “Even I still go, ‘Really? We’re doing that?’”

Zurbuchen considers the sun the most important star in our universe — it’s ours, after all — and so this is one of NASA’s big-time strategic missions. By better understanding the sun’s life-giving and sometimes violent nature, Earthlings can better protect satellites and astronauts in orbit, and power grids on the ground, he noted. In today’s tech-dependent society, everyone stands to benefit.

With this mission, scientists hope to unlock the many mysteries of the sun, a commonplace yellow dwarf star around 4.5 billion years old. Among the puzzlers: Why is the corona hundreds of times hotter than the surface of the sun and why is the sun’s atmosphere continually expanding and accelerating, as the University of Chicago’s Parker accurately predicted in 1958?

“The only way we can do that is to finally go up and touch the sun,” Fox said. “We’ve looked at it. We’ve studied it from missions that are close in, even as close as the planet Mercury. But we have to go there.”

The spacecraft’s heat shield will serve as an umbrella, shading the science instruments during the close, critical solar junctures. Sensors on the spacecraft will make certain the heat shield faces the sun at the right times. If there’s any tilting, the spacecraft will correct itself so nothing gets fried. With a communication lag time of 16 minutes each way, the spacecraft must fend for itself at the sun. The Johns Hopkins flight controllers in Laurel, Maryland, will be too far away to help.

​Technology catches up to the dream

A mission to get close up and personal with our star has been on NASA’s books since 1958. The trick was making the spacecraft small, compact and light enough to travel at incredible speeds, while surviving the sun’s punishing environment and the extreme change in temperature when the spacecraft is out near Venus.

“We’ve had to wait so long for our technology to catch up with our dreams,” Fox said. “It’s incredible to be standing here today.”

More than 1 million names are aboard the spacecraft, submitted last spring by space enthusiasts, as well as photos of Parker, the man, and a copy of his 1958 landmark paper on solar wind.

“I’ll bet you 10 bucks it works,” Parker said.

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Iran: French Firm Out of South Pars Gas Project, China’s Is In

Iran’s official IRNA news agency is reporting that China’s state-owned petroleum corporation has taken a majority share of the country’s South Pars gas project after French oil and gas company Total announced it would pull out because renewed U.S. economic sanctions against Iran.

The Saturday report quotes Mohammad Mostafavi, an official in Iran’s state oil company, as saying CNPC now owns 80 percent of the shares in the $5 billion project, having bought shares from Total.

CNPC originally had about 30 percent of shares in the project.

The renewal of U.S. sanctions took effect on Tuesday.

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Iran: French Firm Out of South Pars Gas Project, China’s Is In

Iran’s official IRNA news agency is reporting that China’s state-owned petroleum corporation has taken a majority share of the country’s South Pars gas project after French oil and gas company Total announced it would pull out because renewed U.S. economic sanctions against Iran.

The Saturday report quotes Mohammad Mostafavi, an official in Iran’s state oil company, as saying CNPC now owns 80 percent of the shares in the $5 billion project, having bought shares from Total.

CNPC originally had about 30 percent of shares in the project.

The renewal of U.S. sanctions took effect on Tuesday.

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Tense Confrontation Amid Peaceful Vigils in Charlottesville

The city of Charlottesville marked the anniversary of last summer’s white supremacist violence that sent ripples through the country with largely peaceful vigils and other events, but police had a brief, tense confrontation with students angry over the heavy security presence there this weekend.

“Why are you in riot gear? We don’t see no riot here,” activists chanted Saturday evening.

Shortly before a planned evening rally to mark the anniversary of a campus confrontation between torch-carrying white nationalists and counterprotesters, activists unfurled a banner that said, “Last year they came w/ torches. This year they come w/ badges.”

A group of more than 200 protesters then marched to another part of the University of Virginia’s campus, where many in the crowd shouted at officers in riot gear who had formed a line.

Kibiriti Majuto, a coordinator for UVA Students United, said the students moved to the other part of campus because they didn’t want to be “caged” in the area where the rally had been planned.

“How does that create a sense of community? How are we going to be safe in that situation?” he asked.

Majuto said police “were not on our side” last year when white supremacists surrounded counterprotesters on the rotunda.

“Cops and Klan go hand in hand,” he said.

Charlottesville city councilman Wes Bellamy said he tried to diffuse the situation and told the police commander that the students were upset by the officers’ tactics, calling the officers’ riot gear “over the top.”

After a few minutes, most of the demonstrators began to walk away. There were no immediate reports of arrests on campus.

​Quiet rest of the day

In the popular downtown shopping district Saturday morning, law enforcement officers outnumbered visitors. Concrete barriers and metal fences had been erected, and police were searching bags at two checkpoints where people could enter or leave.

“It’s nice that they’re here to protect us,” said Lara Mitchell, 66, a sales associate at a shop that sells artwork, jewelry, and other items. “It feels good that they’re here in front of our store. Last year was a whole different story. It looked like a war zone last year compared to what it is today.”

​Unite the Right anniversary

Saturday marked the anniversary of a nighttime march by torch-toting white supremacists through the University of Virginia’s campus a day ahead of a larger rally in Charlottesville’s downtown.

On Aug. 12, hundreds of white nationalists, including neo-Nazis, skinheads and Ku Klux Klan members, descended on Charlottesville in part to protest the city’s decision to remove a monument to Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee from a park.

Violent fighting broke out between attendees and counterprotesters that day. Authorities eventually forced the crowd to disperse, but a car later barreled into a crowd of peaceful counterprotesters, killing 32-year-old Heather Heyer.

The day’s death toll rose to three when a state police helicopter that had been monitoring the event and assisting with the governor’s motorcade crashed, killing two troopers.

Remembrance events

Among the remembrance events that occurred Saturday was a “morning of reflection and renewal” at UVA that featured musical performances, a poetry reading and an address from University President James Ryan.

Ryan recalled how a group of students and community members faced off against the white supremacist marchers near a statue of Thomas Jefferson on campus, calling it a “remarkable moment of courage and bravery.”

Clara Carlson was one of those counterprotesters. Carlson, 22, said she feared for her life when she and a group of her friends were surrounded by the phalanx of young white men at the statue.

Carlson’s group locked arms and chanted slogans of their own, including “Black Lives Matter!” and “No Nazis, No KKK, No Fascist USA!”

“We don’t want to be painted as victims,” Carlson said Saturday, several hours before students and activists gathered for a rally near the statue on the anniversary of the campus confrontation.

Carlson said police didn’t intervene to help her or her friends that night last year.

“I remember the police just standing around. They weren’t there to protect us,” she recalled. “I was grateful that I was able to come out of that alive.”

​Heavy security

On Saturday, however, campus security personnel used metal detectors to screen rally participants and journalists before they entered the university’s famed Rotunda. A helicopter buzzed overhead. Large trucks blocked off the nearby roads.

By midafternoon, the city said hundreds of people had passed through the downtown checkpoints. Police arrested three men in or near the secured perimeter for trespassing, possessing prohibited items and being drunk in public, the city said in a news release.

Some community activists were concerned that this year’s heavy police presence could be a counterproductive overreaction.

Rally investigation

An independent investigation of the rally violence, led by a former federal prosecutor, found the chaos last year stemmed from a passive response by law enforcement and poor preparation and coordination between state and city police.

Lisa Woolfork, a University of Virginia professor and Black Lives Matter Charlottesville organizer, said police are mounting a “huge, overwhelming show of force to compensate for last year’s inaction.”

“Last year, I was afraid of the Nazis. This year, I’m afraid of the police,” Woolfork said. “This is not making anyone that I know feel safe.”

But others said Saturday they were comforted by the security measures.

Kyle Rodland, who took his young sons to get ice cream downtown, said he felt much safer than last year, when he left town with his family and stayed with his parents after seeing people armed with long rifles walking around outside his home.

Events marking the anniversary were also expected Sunday in both Charlottesville and Washington, where Jason Kessler, the primary organizer of last summer’s rally, has obtained a permit for a “white civil rights” rally.

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Tense Confrontation Amid Peaceful Vigils in Charlottesville

The city of Charlottesville marked the anniversary of last summer’s white supremacist violence that sent ripples through the country with largely peaceful vigils and other events, but police had a brief, tense confrontation with students angry over the heavy security presence there this weekend.

“Why are you in riot gear? We don’t see no riot here,” activists chanted Saturday evening.

Shortly before a planned evening rally to mark the anniversary of a campus confrontation between torch-carrying white nationalists and counterprotesters, activists unfurled a banner that said, “Last year they came w/ torches. This year they come w/ badges.”

A group of more than 200 protesters then marched to another part of the University of Virginia’s campus, where many in the crowd shouted at officers in riot gear who had formed a line.

Kibiriti Majuto, a coordinator for UVA Students United, said the students moved to the other part of campus because they didn’t want to be “caged” in the area where the rally had been planned.

“How does that create a sense of community? How are we going to be safe in that situation?” he asked.

Majuto said police “were not on our side” last year when white supremacists surrounded counterprotesters on the rotunda.

“Cops and Klan go hand in hand,” he said.

Charlottesville city councilman Wes Bellamy said he tried to diffuse the situation and told the police commander that the students were upset by the officers’ tactics, calling the officers’ riot gear “over the top.”

After a few minutes, most of the demonstrators began to walk away. There were no immediate reports of arrests on campus.

​Quiet rest of the day

In the popular downtown shopping district Saturday morning, law enforcement officers outnumbered visitors. Concrete barriers and metal fences had been erected, and police were searching bags at two checkpoints where people could enter or leave.

“It’s nice that they’re here to protect us,” said Lara Mitchell, 66, a sales associate at a shop that sells artwork, jewelry, and other items. “It feels good that they’re here in front of our store. Last year was a whole different story. It looked like a war zone last year compared to what it is today.”

​Unite the Right anniversary

Saturday marked the anniversary of a nighttime march by torch-toting white supremacists through the University of Virginia’s campus a day ahead of a larger rally in Charlottesville’s downtown.

On Aug. 12, hundreds of white nationalists, including neo-Nazis, skinheads and Ku Klux Klan members, descended on Charlottesville in part to protest the city’s decision to remove a monument to Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee from a park.

Violent fighting broke out between attendees and counterprotesters that day. Authorities eventually forced the crowd to disperse, but a car later barreled into a crowd of peaceful counterprotesters, killing 32-year-old Heather Heyer.

The day’s death toll rose to three when a state police helicopter that had been monitoring the event and assisting with the governor’s motorcade crashed, killing two troopers.

Remembrance events

Among the remembrance events that occurred Saturday was a “morning of reflection and renewal” at UVA that featured musical performances, a poetry reading and an address from University President James Ryan.

Ryan recalled how a group of students and community members faced off against the white supremacist marchers near a statue of Thomas Jefferson on campus, calling it a “remarkable moment of courage and bravery.”

Clara Carlson was one of those counterprotesters. Carlson, 22, said she feared for her life when she and a group of her friends were surrounded by the phalanx of young white men at the statue.

Carlson’s group locked arms and chanted slogans of their own, including “Black Lives Matter!” and “No Nazis, No KKK, No Fascist USA!”

“We don’t want to be painted as victims,” Carlson said Saturday, several hours before students and activists gathered for a rally near the statue on the anniversary of the campus confrontation.

Carlson said police didn’t intervene to help her or her friends that night last year.

“I remember the police just standing around. They weren’t there to protect us,” she recalled. “I was grateful that I was able to come out of that alive.”

​Heavy security

On Saturday, however, campus security personnel used metal detectors to screen rally participants and journalists before they entered the university’s famed Rotunda. A helicopter buzzed overhead. Large trucks blocked off the nearby roads.

By midafternoon, the city said hundreds of people had passed through the downtown checkpoints. Police arrested three men in or near the secured perimeter for trespassing, possessing prohibited items and being drunk in public, the city said in a news release.

Some community activists were concerned that this year’s heavy police presence could be a counterproductive overreaction.

Rally investigation

An independent investigation of the rally violence, led by a former federal prosecutor, found the chaos last year stemmed from a passive response by law enforcement and poor preparation and coordination between state and city police.

Lisa Woolfork, a University of Virginia professor and Black Lives Matter Charlottesville organizer, said police are mounting a “huge, overwhelming show of force to compensate for last year’s inaction.”

“Last year, I was afraid of the Nazis. This year, I’m afraid of the police,” Woolfork said. “This is not making anyone that I know feel safe.”

But others said Saturday they were comforted by the security measures.

Kyle Rodland, who took his young sons to get ice cream downtown, said he felt much safer than last year, when he left town with his family and stayed with his parents after seeing people armed with long rifles walking around outside his home.

Events marking the anniversary were also expected Sunday in both Charlottesville and Washington, where Jason Kessler, the primary organizer of last summer’s rally, has obtained a permit for a “white civil rights” rally.

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France Fumes at Proposed Post-Brexit EU Sea Trade Links

France deems unacceptable a European Commission proposal to exclude French ports from a rerouting of a strategic trade corridor between Ireland and mainland Europe after Brexit, the government said.

At the moment much of Ireland’s trade with the continent goes via Britain in trucks. However, with less than eight months to go until Britain leaves the European Union, there is still little clarity on its future trade relations with the bloc and on the nature of the Irish Republic’s border with the British

province of Northern Ireland.

The new route put forward by the commission would connect Ireland by sea with Dutch and Belgian ports, including Zeebrugge and Rotterdam. French ports such as Calais and Dunkirk would be bypassed.

“France and Ireland maintain important trade channels, both overland via Britain and via direct maritime routes. The geographical proximity between Ireland and France creates an obvious connection to the single market,” French Transport Minister Elisabeth Borne wrote to the EU’s transport

commissioner in a letter dated August 10.

“Surprisingly, the commission proposal in no way takes this into account. This proposal therefore is not acceptable to France.”

At stake are jobs, millions of dollars’ worth of port revenues and possibly EU infrastructure funding.

Borne said that French ports had the necessary resources to ensure they could handle the likely increase in trade flows, hinting at concerns about congestion in ports such as Calais, France’s busiest passenger port.

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France Fumes at Proposed Post-Brexit EU Sea Trade Links

France deems unacceptable a European Commission proposal to exclude French ports from a rerouting of a strategic trade corridor between Ireland and mainland Europe after Brexit, the government said.

At the moment much of Ireland’s trade with the continent goes via Britain in trucks. However, with less than eight months to go until Britain leaves the European Union, there is still little clarity on its future trade relations with the bloc and on the nature of the Irish Republic’s border with the British

province of Northern Ireland.

The new route put forward by the commission would connect Ireland by sea with Dutch and Belgian ports, including Zeebrugge and Rotterdam. French ports such as Calais and Dunkirk would be bypassed.

“France and Ireland maintain important trade channels, both overland via Britain and via direct maritime routes. The geographical proximity between Ireland and France creates an obvious connection to the single market,” French Transport Minister Elisabeth Borne wrote to the EU’s transport

commissioner in a letter dated August 10.

“Surprisingly, the commission proposal in no way takes this into account. This proposal therefore is not acceptable to France.”

At stake are jobs, millions of dollars’ worth of port revenues and possibly EU infrastructure funding.

Borne said that French ports had the necessary resources to ensure they could handle the likely increase in trade flows, hinting at concerns about congestion in ports such as Calais, France’s busiest passenger port.

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Facing Indictment, US Congressman Ends Re-Election Bid

In an about-face, U.S. Rep. Chris Collins is ending his re-election bid days after the Republican was charged with insider trading.

 

Collins released a statement Saturday morning saying his will suspend his campaign and finish the rest of his term. Collins was indicted Wednesday on charges he passed inside information about a biotechnology company to family members so they could profit from illicit trades. He had said later that day he would remain on the ballot despite the indictment and fight the charges.

 

“I have decided that it is in the best interests of the constituents of NY-27, the Republican Party and President Donald Trump’s agenda for me to suspend my campaign for re-election to Congress,” the statement said.

 

He went on to say he will fill out his term and “continue to fight the meritless charges brought against me.” He has denied any wrongdoing.

 

Wednesday’s indictment charges Collins and two others, including his son, with conspiracy, wire fraud and other counts.

 

Prosecutors say the charges relate to a scheme to gain insider information about a biotechnology company headquartered in Sydney, Australia, with offices in Auckland, New Zealand.

 

It is unclear whether Collins’ name can be removed from the November ballot at this point and whether Republican Party officials will be able to nominate another candidate for the seat.

 

Under New York state election law, Collins’ name could be taken off the ballot under certain narrowly defined circumstances that include death or being nominated for a different office.

 

Jessica Proud, a spokeswoman for the New York state Republican Party, said party officials are weighing their options. She said no decision has been made about a possible replacement for Collins on the ballot – if they are able to replace him.

 

A spokesman for Nate McMurray, the Democrat in the race, said McMurray planned a news conference later Saturday.

 

The district spans an area between the Rochester and Buffalo suburbs and is considering the most Republican-leaning district in New York. The race had not been considered competitive by many observers, including those predicting a “blue wave” that gives Democrats control of the House.

 

The area backed President Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton by nearly 25 percentage points in 2016, when Collins beat his Democratic challenger by more than 2-1.

 

Collins was an early supporter of Trump’s presidential campaign and has been one of Trump’s most ardent defenders. In his statement Saturday, Collins warned that of Democrats winning the House in the midterm elections “and then launching impeachment proceedings against President Trump.”

 

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