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Iran stands by UN envoy pick amid US ‘bullying’

– Iran rejected naming a new diplomat Saturday to represent it at the United Nations, with one lawmaker urging the Islamic Republic to stand up to “bullying” from the U.S., which has rejected granting its pick a visa.

The standoff over Hamid Aboutalebi, a member of the group responsible for the 1979 takeover of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, comes as world powers negotiate with Iran over its contested nuclear program.

The Obama administration said Friday that the U.S. had informed Iran it would not grant a visa to Aboutalebi. On Saturday, Iranian state television anchors discussed the U.S. rejection, with a crawl at the bottom of the screen reading: “The Foreign Ministry says Aboutalebi is Iran’s only choice as its U.N. envoy.”

Prominent lawmaker Alaeddin Boroujerdi said the U.S. had no right to intervene in Iran’s U.N. envoy pick. “Naming Aboutalebi as Iran’s U.N. envoy has nothing to do with the U.S. American opposition to Aboutalebi’s entry is a misuse of the geographical location of the U.N.,” the Iranian parliament’s website quoted Boroujerdi as saying Saturday. “The Iranian government should stand up to this U.S. bullying.”

Earthquake shakes Solomon Islands

A powerful magnitude-7.6 earthquake triggered large waves in the Solomon Islands today, and authorities were trying to determine if there were any injuries or serious damage.

Government spokesman George Herming said people throughout the Pacific island chain awoke to the strong quake at 7:14 a.m. He said that people on Makira and nearby islands southeast of the capital, Honiara, reported seeing three large waves after the quake.

He said there were no immediate reports of damage or injuries.

NYC police shoot, kill 86-year-old man

Police shot and killed an 86-year-old New York City man who they say killed his daughter then pointed a shotgun at officers.

Authorities say Jack Calvello called 911 Saturday and said he’d shot his daughter.

Police say Calvello refused to put down his gun when officers arrived at the scene and was shot once in the torso.

Officers found 65-year-old Carolann Matyka in the kitchen of the Queens home with a gunshot wound to the head.

Calvello and Matyka were both pronounced dead at a hospital.

Interstate shootings occur in Missouri

Several shootings have targeted apparently random vehicles along a tangle of interstates in south Kansas City, Mo.

Police have said 12 of the shootings that have been reported since March 8 are connected but wouldn’t elaborate. Most of the shootings, in which three people have been wounded, are in an area on the city’s south side known both as Three Trails Crossing and the Grandview Triangle, where three interstate highways and U.S. 50 intersect.

A reward for information leading to an arrest has been increased to $10,000.

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