From Washington, this is VOA news. A new national security adviser for President Obama. Syria peace conference off until next month. I’m Ray Kouguell reporting from Washington.
President Obama picked U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice to be his next national security adviser.
Speaking at the White House, Mr. Obama said Ambassador Rice is a “fearless” and “tough” patriot who understands that there is no substitute for American leadership.
Ambassador Rice offered her appreciation for his confidence in her.
“I look forward to working closely with you, your extraordinary national security team, our country’s most experienced leaders from both parties and your superb national security staff.”
Ms. Rice is replacing Tom Donilon, who will leave the job next month. The post of national security adviser does not require Senate confirmation.
President Obama nominated former journalist and professor Samantha Power to succeed Ambassador Rice at the United Nations. Her nomination does go to the Senate for approval.
International negotiators say a proposed peace conference to halt the Syria conflict will not occur until next month at the earliest. Edward Yeranian reports from our Middle East bureau in Cairo.
The United Nations special representative for Syria says an international peace conference to end the civil war will not likely take place until July because the two sides in the conflict are unprepared to commit to a diplomatic solution.
Lakhdar Brahimi said Wednesday that he will chair a second round of preparatory talks on June 25, after Russian, U.S. and United Nations officials meeting in Geneva Wednesday failed to resolve questions about the proposed peace negotiations.
Edward Yeranian for VOA news, Cairo.
Anti-government protesters in Turkey have given the deputy prime minister a list of demands, including firing officials responsible for using force against the marchers.
Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc met Wednesday with demonstrators who are demanding freedom for all jailed protesters.
Two people have been killed, [thousand Turk] and thousands of others arrested since all the protests began last Friday.
The American soldier charged with deliberately killing 16 civilians in Afghanistan last year pleaded guilty in order to avoid the death penalty.
At a hearing in a military courtroom in the northwestern U.S. state of Washington on Wednesday, Army Sergeant Robert Bales entered his plea to 16 counts of premeditated murder.
The military judge accepted the agreement. His sentencing hearing, expected in August, will determine if he ever will be eligible for parole.
Pakistan’s newly elected prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, was sworn into office for an unprecedented third term Wednesday.
In his first speech in parliament, Mr. Sharif said his administration’s top priorities include fixing the economy and ending corruption.
A major weather warning for Pakistan from the United millions of people could be left vulnerable to the effects of the upcoming monsoon season if a U.N. appeal for funds is not met soon. VOA’s Margaret Besheer has details.
Pakistani weather websites are forecasting monsoon level downpours could strike the central and southern part of the country by the first week in July.
The U.N.’s director of Humanitarian Operations, John Ging, warned Wednesday that the U.N. is facing a funding crisis in preparing for this year’s monsoon season in Pakistan, and as a result, millions of vulnerable Pakistanis may suffer.
“We may be called upon in a couple of weeks to support the Pakistani authorities in responding to flooding. That has been the pattern over the last number of years, so we need to be prepared. And yet the stocks are not there.”
Ging said just over $43 million is needed for the emergency stocks which include tents and supplies.
Margaret Besheer, VOA news, the United Nations.
The Nigerian military says it has arrested another 49 members of the Islamist militant group Boko Haram.
The military says it captured the suspected militants in Yobe, one of three northeastern states placed under emergency rule as part of a military offensive against the group.
Malian army soldiers have taken a village in the north from the Tuareg rebel group MNLA and are making plans to attack the rebel-held town of Kidal.
The clashes took place Wednesday in Anefis, a village of 100 kilometers south of Kidal.
A Malian military commander says 10 MNLA rebels were killed in the fighting and 28 taken as prisoners.
Mali’s interim government says the army must retake Kidal before nationwide elections scheduled for the end of next month.
I’m Ray Kouguell, VOA new. More at voanews.com.
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