From Washington, this is VOA news. Turkish riot police and protesters clash. President Obama pushes immigration reform. I’m Ray Kouguell reporting from Washington.
Turkey’s largest city, Istanbul, was a scene of more protest Tuesday as nationwide unrest continues against the government. Thick crowds of tear gas fired by riot police forced thousands of Turkish anti-government protesters to flee the city’s Taksim Square after a night of some of the worst violence in more than a week.
Turkey’s prime minister plans to meet with demonstrators today. Dorian Jones reports.
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has previously called demonstrators “looters,” warning them that his patience was limited. But his deputy confirmed that the prime minister had agreed to meet the protesters.
The square along with the adjacent Gezi Park has been the center of 11 days of nationwide unrest against the government. The initial protest was against government plans to redevelop Gezi Park but has increasingly focused on what demonstrators claim is increasingly authoritarian rule of the prime minister.
Dorian Jones, VOA news, Istanbul.
Two suicide bombers blew themselves up Tuesday in a central square in the Syrian capital of Damascus, killing at least 14 people.
Activists and Syrian state media say one of the explosions took place inside a police station and many among the dead were policemen.
State television blamed terrorist suicide bombers for the explosions.
Afghan police say at least 17 people have been killed in a suicide car bombing that targeted staff of the Afghan Supreme Court.
Police say the explosion went off Tuesday as Supreme Court employees were boarding a bus outside the courthouse in Kabul.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for that attack.
Three big Internet companies want the Obama administration to let them reveal details of federal court orders to turn over information about their users to U.S. spy agencies.
Google, Facebook and Microsoft say they want everything transparent and out in the open.
The National Security Agency has acknowledged leaked newspaper reports that its program called PRISM collects emails and other data from Internet companies.
President Obama says the moment is now to reform the U.S. immigration system. Mr. Obama spoke about it at the White House Tuesday shortly before the Senate took its first votes on the legislation.
Mr. Obama said overhauling America’s dysfunctional immigration system cannot wait.
“The system is still broken. And to truly deal with this issue, Congress needs to act. And that moment is now.”
The legislation being considered would create a path to citizenship for many of the 11 million people who are in the country illegally. It would also further strengthen security at the U.S.-Mexican border.
In addition, Mr. Obama said the legislation would make it easier for foreign students to stay in the United States. He said existing laws encourage people to study here, but to take their knowledge elsewhere.
Kent Klein, VOA news, the White House.
South Korea says high-level talks with the North set to begin today in Seoul are postponed indefinitely due to a dispute over who would lead their respective delegations.
The South Korean Unification Ministry said Tuesday the North notified Seoul that it will not sent its delegation to the planned talks because it objects to a South Korean vice minister heading the South’s delegation.
Witnesses say a Tibetan Buddhist nun set herself on fire Tuesday in China’s southwestern Sichuan province, in an apparent protest against China’s policies in Tibet.
Sources tell VOA the unidentified nun self-immolated near a monastery in the Tawu district. Her condition is still not immediately known.
It’s up, up in a way in China, where a manned space mission was launched Tuesday as part of the country’s goal of building its own space station. Shannon Van Sant has details.
China launched the manned Shenzhou-10 spacecraft from a satellite launch center in the Gobi desert. The space craft is carrying two men and one woman and will travel through space for 15 days.
Chinese President Xi Jinping met with the astronauts before take off.
Xi said the astronauts made Chinese people feel very proud. He said he is confident the crew will complete the mission successfully and he looks forward to the astronauts’ triumphant return.
Shannon Van Sant, for VOA news, Beijing.
Former South African President Nelson Mandela remains in serious but stable condition at a Pretoria hospital where he is being treated for a recurring lung infection.
And New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is proposing an almost $20-billion plan to protect New York City from storms and rising sea levels due to global warming.
The plan includes a permanent 15-to-20-foot levee in part of Staten Island and a system of gates and levees in Brooklyn.
I’m Ray Kouguell, VOA news. More at voanews.com.
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