VOA news: July 28th, 2014
From Washington, this is VOA news. Another attempt at a cease-fire in the Middle East. Militants kidnap the wife of Cameroon’s vice premier along with the mayor of a town near the Nigerian border. I’m Ira Mellman reporting from the VOA news center.
Israeli forces began shelling in the Gaza Strip late Sunday hours after Hamas declared a 24-hour cease-fire. The Israeli government said it was resuming military operations because Palestinian fighters had not observed previous calls for a truce.
VOA’s Scott Bobb has more from Jerusalem.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told television viewers on the U.S.-based CBS program “Face the Nation” that Hamas had violated several previous cease-fires by continuing to fire rockets from Gaza into Israel.
“They’re firing at us as we speak. So, Israel is not obliged and will not let a terrorist organization to decide when it’s convenient for them to stop for a moment to rearm and continuing fires on our citizens.”
The Hamas group that controls Gaza had declared a 24-hour temporary cease-fire until midday Monday as residents prepared to mark the end of Ramadan, the Muslim month of fasting.
Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri. He says there was discussion between the factions. He said they have reached an agreement to accept the offer, starting Sunday.
Scott Bobb, VOA news, Jerusalem.
Ukrainian armed forces mandated a major onslaught against pro-Russian separatist fighters Sunday by an apparent attempt to gain control over the area where a Malaysia Airlines plane was downed earlier this month.
Reports of the intensifying unrest in eastern Ukraine prompted a postponement of a trip to the site by a team of Dutch and Australian police officers who had planned to start searching for evidence and the remaining bodies.
In the Netherlands, Prime Minister Mark Rutte said his government has rejected the idea of deploying armed troops to secure the crash site because there is no way they could achieve “military superiority” in a region where heavily armed pro-Russian rebels are battling Ukrainian government forces.
The U.S. State Department, meanwhile, released satellite images that it says backs up its claims that rockets have been fired from Russia into eastern Ukraine and heavy artillery for separatists also has crossed the border.
Boko Haram militants kidnapped the wife of Cameroon’s vice prime minister along with the mayor of a town near the Nigerian border Sunday. Three others were killed when heavily armed men suspected of be part of Nigerian Islamist militant group Boko Haram raided homes in Kolofata in the northern part of the country.
A Cameroonian military spokesman did not confirm the kidnappings but did say on state radio there had been fierce fighting between Cameroonian soldiers and heavily armed men from Nigeria in the area.
A source close to the kidnapped mayor told VOA the attackers headed for the border with the wife of Vice Prime Minister Ahmadou Ali and the abducted mayor with a local religious leader.
A senior doctor working at Liberia’s largest hospital has died of the Ebola virus.
The Liberian Health Ministry says Dr. Samuel Brisbane died Saturday at an Ebola treatment center on the outskirts of the capital, Monrovia.
He is the first Liberian doctor to die in an outbreak the World Health Organization says has killed 129 people in the country alone.
The U.S.-based aid group Samaritan’s Purse said Saturday an American doctor working in Liberia is also sick.
Ken Isaacs, spokeswoman for the group, says Dr. Kent Brantly is undergoing intensive medical treatment.
“Dr. Kent is in stable condition. Our doctors feel like that intensive supportive care that he is receiving is helpful to him. He still has a fever. He has body aches and pains. He is not out of woods yet. We continue to pray for him and we remain optimistic that he will survive.”
The World Health Organization says highly contagious Ebola virus has killed at least 672 people in four African countries this year.
The WHO says the outbreak, the largest ever recorded, has also killed 319 people in Guinea and 224 in Sierra Leone.
Over the past 24 hours, at least 61 people have died in Libya, raising the death toll to nearly 150 in two weeks of clashes in the North African country.
An estimated 38 people were killed in the eastern city of Benghazi as Libyan government forces clashed with armed Islamist militants on Saturday and on Sunday.
I’m Ira Mellman in Washington. That’s the latest world news from VOA.
VOA news: July 29th, 2014
From Washington, this is VOA news. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon blames both Israel and Hamas for their conflict. Downing of a Malaysian airliner may be a war crime. I’m Ray Kouguell reporting from Washington.
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says that war-torn Gaza is in critical condition and that both Israel and Hamas militants are to blame. The U.N. chief accused both sides of behaving in an irresponsible, “morally wrong way” in their conflict.
“In the name of humanity, the violence must stop.”
Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu quashed hopes Monday for an immediate cease-fire in the Gaza Strip, telling Israelis to prepare for a “prolonged campaign” against Hamas.
The U.N. Security Council adopted a statement calling for an immediate and unconditional humanitarian truce.
However, Mr. Netanyahu said the proposal would only help Hamas while neglecting Israel’s security needs.
World leaders have so far failed to ease the crisis that has killed more than !1,000 Palestinians, most of them civilians, as well as 55 Israeli troops and 3 Israeli civilians since July 8th.
Ukraine’s military says it captured more territory Monday from pro-Russian rebels near the site of a downed Malaysian airliner and its says flight data shows the jetliner was destroyed by missile shrapnel.
Military spokesman Andriy Lysenko spoke Monday in Kyiv as security forces pressed their offensive against heavily armed pro-Russian separatists near the Russian border. Lysenko also accused separatists of firing mortar and artillery into the crash site to destroy evidence of their involvement in the July 17th shootdown, which killed all 298 people on board.
The U.N. high commissioner for human rights, Navi Pillay, says the shooting down of the Malaysia Airlines plane on July 17th “may amount to a war crime.” Lisa Schlein has details.
U.N. rights chief Navi Pillay is calling for a “prompt, thorough, independent investigation” to establish the circumstances that led to the of downing Malaysia Airlines Flight 17.
Her spokesman, Rupert Colville, says no 1 believes that it was an accident. He says it’s widely accepted that the plane was shot down.
“The proof about who exactly is not there yet and that is why you need a full investigation. But, if this plane was shot down, as most people seem to think, then obviously the question of whether this is a war crime would come up. It contained around 300 civilians and they were killed.”
Lisa Schlein, for VOA news, Geneva.
The black boxes from an Air Algerie flight that crashed in Mali last week, killing all 118 people on board, arrived in Paris Monday.
France’s transport minister says reviewing the data from the jet could take “weeks.”
France has sent crash experts and 20 police officers to the site in the Mali desert to identify the victims and try to find the cause of the disaster.
Two female suicide bombers carried out deadly attacks Monday in northern Nigeria. It’s the latest violence to rock the city of Kano.
One woman blew herself up while standing in line with other women who were waiting to buy kerosene for cooking, killing 3 people.
Hours later, a 2nd bomber blew herself up in a commercial district of the city, injuring 6.
A 2nd oil storage tank is on fire near the Libyan capital, overwhelming firefighters in a situation 1 official says is “out of control.”
A spokesman for the national oil company says a rocket hit the 2nd tank Monday during clashes between militias fighting for control of the nearby airport.
Residents within a 5-kilometer radius near Tripoli International Airport were told to evacuate.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says countries that undermine religious freedoms ultimately threaten their own security. VOA’s Scott Stearns reports on his comments regarding annual U.S. report on International Religious Freedom.
Secretary Kerry says those who attack religious freedom not only unjustly threaten the people they target but undermine their own stability.
“From South Asia to the Sahel, governments have silenced members of religious groups with oppressive laws, harsh punishments, and brutal tactics that have no place in the 21st century.”
Kerry says the United States must be clear about what it stands for.
“We are not arrogantly telling people what to believe. We’re not telling people how they have to live everyday. We’re asking for the universal value of tolerance, of the ability of people to have a respect for their own individuality and their own choices.”
Scott Stearns, VOA news, at the State Department.
And I’m Ray Kouguell, VOA news. That’s the latest world news from VOA.
VOA news: July 30th, 2014
From Washington, this is VOA news. Hamas military commander rejects cease-fire with Israel. New EU sanctions against Russia. I’m Ray Kouguell reporting from Washington.
The reclusive Hamas military commander surfaced to reject any cease-fire with Israel until the group’s demands are met.
Mohammad Deif appeared on Palestinian media Tuesday to repeat Hamas’s demands that Israel end its blockade of Gaza.
Deif is confined to a wheelchair because of an Israeli assassination attempt.
A day of attacks from Israeli airstrikes and gunfire killed at least 100 Palestinians Tuesday, bringing a death toll in Gaza to more than !1,100. Most of the victims have been civilians including many children. Fifty-three Israeli soldiers and 3 civilians have been killed.
Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says the military operation against Hamas will not stop until Israel destroys a network of tunnels Hamas uses to smuggle weapons and terrorists into Israel.
European Union governments have agreed to impose new sanctions against Russia that will target its defense sector. Washington is expected to follow. Lisa Bryant reports.
Agreed to by European Union ambassadors meeting in Brussels, the new sanctions are expected to go into effect rapidly. While the details are still sketchy, the aim (is) to hit sensitive areas of Russia’s economy, including its oil, technology, banking and defense sectors. The ambassadors also extended their list of people subject to EU travel bans and asset freezes.
The 28-member bloc only recently slapped sanctions against Russia over its support of the rebellion in Ukraine, but sanctions widely considered to have limited effect.
Analysts say strong pressure from Washington, coupled with the downing of the Malaysian airliner in eastern Ukraine that killed almost 200 Dutch citizens, has changed Europe’s thinking.
Lisa Bryant, for VOA news, Paris.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says there is not a “shred of evidence” that Russia seeks to end the violence and bloodshed in eastern Ukraine.
The 39-year-old doctor who led the fight against Ebola in Sierra Leone has died from the virus. Dr. Umar Khan’s death comes less than a week after he tested positive for Ebola.
Dr. Khan is credited with treating more than 100 Ebola patients. 3 nurses at the same facility where he worked have died from the virus.
The current Ebola outbreak began in February and health experts are calling it the worst on record.
The World Health Organization reports close to 700 people in West Africa have died.
Afghan officials say a suicide bomber killed a cousin of President Hamid Karzai in the southern province of Kandahar.
Hashmat Karzai was an adviser to Presidential candidate Ashraf Ghani. He was hosting guests at his house for the Eid al-Fitr holiday when a man detonated explosives as the pair greeted 1 another.
There is no claim of responsibility.
The United States and India will be holding talks this weekend in New Delhi. It’s the 1st high-level interaction between them since the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi took over. Anjana Pasricha has details.
For months, India-U.S. ties have grabbed headlines for the wrong reasons: Washington’s denial of a visa to the Hindu nationalist leader who is now India’s prime minister, and an ugly spat over an Indian diplomat’s arrest in New York last December.
But the mood is more positive as India’s Bharatiya Janata Party government prepares to host U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry for the 5th India-U.S. Strategic Dialogue, which will begin later this week.
The issue of the visa denial was set to rest after Modi’s election, when the U.S. government reached out to him and invited him to visit Washington in September.
Anjana Pasricha, for VOA news, New Delhi.
A U.S. federal judge ordered agents to seize 1 million barrels of Kurdish oil after crude is unloaded from a tanker off the Texas coast and brought ashore.
One hundred million dollars worth of oil is waiting off the coast of Galveston. It’s not clear who is buying the oil.
The Iraqi government filed suit against the Kurdish regional government in a U.S. court, saying that Iraq’s natural resources belong to Baghdad. It says the Kurds are trying to sell the oil without its permission.
A magnitude 6.3 earthquake shook eastern Mexico Tuesday. No reports of injuries or major damage.
Residents in 8 Mexican states felt the quake from the epicenter in Veracruz to Mexico City, 500 kilometers away.
I’m Ray Kouguell in Washington. That’s the latest world news from VOA.
VOA news: July 31st, 2014
From Washington, this is VOA news. Coming up, U.N. school in Gaza gets direct artillery hit. Concerns mounting about Ebola outbreak in West Africa. Hello everyone, I’m Steve Norman.
The United Nations says all indicators are that Israeli artillery hit a U.N. school in northern Gaza Wednesday, killing at least 15 people who were sheltering there. Some of those were children. VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports.
U.N. Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson was emotional as he spoke about the attack which also injured more than 100 people.
“Sometimes you run out of words.” He said U.N. officials received the news of the attack with “shock and dismay.”
The elementary school in Jabaliya is the fifth U.N. school sheltering Palestinian families to be attacked since hostilities began.
“They were there under U.N. protection, under our protection, and after warnings from the Israeli Defense Forces who had numerous times been informed about the presence of over 3,000 civilians at this location.”
Speaking in Costa Rica on Wednesday, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon strongly condemned the attack, saying “Nothing is more shameful than attacking sleeping children.”
Margaret Besheer, VOA news, the United Nations.
Israel says it was responding to mortar fire from near the school. It has consistently condemned Hamas for using civilians, including infants, as human shields by launching attacks from civilian areas.
The White House condemned Wednesday’s shelling but did not blame anyone for it.
Israeli shells also killed 16 at a Gaza market.
Two U.S. Peace Corps volunteers in Liberia have been isolated after suspected exposure to Ebola although neither one is showing symptoms of the deadly virus.
As a precautionary measure, the U.S. Peace Corps is temporarily removing its volunteers from Liberia, as well as Sierra Leone and Guinea due to the increasing spread of the Ebola virus.
In Sierra Leone, Anja Wolz of Doctors Without Borders, also known by its French acronym MSF, said her medical crew is confined to its field hospital as the disease spreads.
“In a moment, as MSF only has capacity to work in the case management centers. We don’t have a capacity to go outside. The situation is quite difficult. I would say we are on the top of an iceberg in a moment because a contact race isn’t really functioning And this is 1 of the major issues that we have because to find the patients as soon as possible and to to encasements. And it’s the basic for an Ebola outbreak.”
The World Health Organization reports almost 700 people have died from Ebola in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone during the current outbreak. It began back in February. There is no vaccine nor cure for the disease.
Russia banned imports of fresh produce from Poland Wednesday, a day after the European Union and the United States hit Moscow with tough new sanctions for its role in the Ukrainian crisis.
Moscow also warned it could extend the import ban to the entire 28-member EU.
Russian ban comes just 2 days after Poland demanded new Western sanctions to punish the Kremlin for supplying Ukrainian rebels with missiles that downed a Malaysian airliner on July the 17th.
Earlier on Wednesday, the Russian Foreign Ministry called the EU-U.S. sanctions, which target Moscow’s energy, defense, technology and finance sectors, destructive and shortsighted.
Pakistan says it’s repulsed an attack on a military outpost by Afghanistan-based militants, killing at least 7 attackers. That story now from Ayaz Gul.
Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry summoned a senior Afghan diplomat to lodge a strong protest about what it called “another attack launched by terrorists from across the Afghan border.” It urged the Kabul government to take effective steps to stop what it said was the use of Afghan soil for repeated cross-border fire and physical aggression against Pakistan.
The incident comes while Pakistani troops are conducting counterinsurgency operations in another border area farther south, the tribal region of North Waziristan. Afghanistan has long asserted that the area serves as a training and recruiting ground for the Afghan Taliban insurgency.
Ayaz Gul, for VOA news, Islamabad.
North Korea has fired 4 more short-range projectiles into the sea, the latest in a series of missile and artillery tests.
The South Korean Defense Ministry says the North fired 2 Wednesday morning and 2 more later in the day from an area northeast of Pyongyang. The type of projectile used is not yet known.
That’s the latest world news from VOA.
VOA news: August 1st, 2014
From Washington, this is VOA news. Coming up, a cease-fire in the Middle East. Also ahead the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. Hello everyone, I’m Steve Norman.
The United States and the United Nations have announced that Israel and Hamas have agreed on a cease-fire.
Stephane Dujarric is U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s spokesperson: “This humanitarian cease-fire will commence at 8am local time on Friday, August 1st, 2014. It will last for a period of 72 hours unless extended. During this time the forces on the ground will remain in place. We urge all parties to act with restraint until this humanitarian cease-fire begins, and to fully abide by their commitments during the cease-fire.”
Hamas says it accepts the truce while Israel has not yet commented. But U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Mr. Ban say they have assurances that both parties agree to the unconditional cease-fire.
Three weeks of Israeli ground and air campaign in response to Hamas’s rocket attacks from Gaza have killed more than 1,300 Palestinians, most of them civilians. 56 Israeli soldiers and 3 civilians have died.
An international team of investigators on Thursday managed to reach the crash site of the Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 for the 1st time since it was brought down by a missile 2 weeks ago as fighting continues to rage on in eastern Ukraine.
Ertugrul Apakan is the chief monitor of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission in Ukraine: “All parties, you know, were responsive in the manner that the international team reach over there, and we count on the arrangements that our team will be able to go there each day, every day, in order to carry out this investigation in the upcoming 2 or 3 weeks’ time.”
Clashes along routes to the wreckage site between government troops and pro-Russian separatist rebels had kept the delegation from reaching the area to retreat bodies that have been lying in open fields, where mid-summer temperatures have hovered around 32 degrees Celsius for the last several weeks.
Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister Volodimir Groysman vowed to maintain a route leading to the crash site safe so it can continue to [use access] be used to access to the embattled region.
The plane was shot down on July 17th, killing all 298 passengers and crew, including 43 Malaysians and 195 Dutch.
Now the latest on the Ebola outbreak, here is Anne Look at the VOA West Africa bureau.
This is the worst outbreak of Ebola since the disease was discovered in 1976, but the strategy for fighting it is the same: containment. That means isolating the sick and monitoring those who have had contact with a sick person.
Ebola spread into Sierra Leone and Liberia from Guinea in April.
Health experts say it’s unlikely the outbreak will move beyond West Africa, but further cross-border contagion within the region is still a concern.
Ebola has killed more than 700 people in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone since March. It has reached the densely populated capitals of all 3 countries.
There is no cure for the virus. But available statistics show that just over 1/3 of those infected during this outbreak have been able to fight off the infection.
Anne Look, VOA news, Dakar.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met with India’s finance minister Thursday during a visit aimed at boosting economic relations between the world’s largest democracies.
Mr. Kerry is in New Delhi to urge India to drop its opposition to global trade reforms that economists say would stimulate the world economy.
Thursday was the World Trade Organization’s deadline for adopting the reforms.
Secretary Kerry said earlier this week that India’s willingness to support a rules-based trading system would attract greater investment from the United States and around the world.
U.S. electric car manufacturer Tesla Motors and the Japanese company Panasonic agreed to build the world’s largest battery manufacturing plant.
According to the deal signed Thursday, the plant known as Gigafactory will be built in the U.S. and be managed by Tesla, while Panasonic will supply equipment for the mass production of lithium-ion cells.
I’m Steve Norman in Washington. That’s the latest world news from VOA.
VOA news: August 2nd, 2014
From Washington, this is VOA news. A Middle East cease-fire ends abruptly on Friday morning. A major plan launched to battle Ebola’s outbreak. I’m Vincent Bruce reporting from Washington.
President Barack Obama has defended his handling of the conflict in Gaza as fighting shows no signs of letting up despite intense U.S. diplomatic efforts. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
At a White House briefing Friday, President Obama hoped to focus on positive job growth numbers. Instead, he dealt with questions on the failure of U.S. diplomatic efforts to secure cease-fire in Gaza.
“I think it’s going to be very hard to put a cease-fire back together again if Israelis and the international community can’t feel confident that Hamas can follow through on a cease-fire commitment.”
In Gaza, a cease-fire brokered with U.S. help collapsed moments after it was announced when 2 Israeli soldiers were killed and a third was captured.
Luis Ramirez, VOA news, at the White House.
The head of the World Health Organization, Margaret Chan, has warned the Presidents of West Africa’s Ebola-stricken nations Friday that the outbreak is moving faster than efforts to control it.
Dr. Chan met with the Presidents of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone Friday in Guinea’s capital, Conakry, and said if the epidemic continues to worsen, the consequences could be catastrophic in terms of lost lives and socioeconomic disruption. VOA’s Lisa Schlein in Geneva has more detail.
The WHO spokesman Gregory Hartl tells VOA the outbreak is probably worse than the figures indicate.
“There could well be cases in the community that we have missed because this has been one of the biggest challenges in terms of also tracing contacts. People run away. They do not want to be treated in the health centers. They are afraid.”
Lisa Schlein, for VOA news, Geneva.
President Obama has spoken by telephone with Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, with Mr. Obama saying the United States remains deeply concerned about Moscow’s increased support for separatists in Ukraine.
Speaking to reporters at the White House Friday, President Obama said he discussed his preference for a diplomatic solution with the Russian leader.
“Right now, what we’ve done is impose sufficient costs on Russia that objectively speaking they should, President Putin should want to resolve this diplomatically. Get these sanctions lifted. Get their economy growing again and have good relations with Ukraine.”
More than 2 weeks after Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 plunged from the skies over eastern Ukraine, a full team of international investigators reached the crash site Friday.
Parts of the plane are strewn across 50 square kilometers. It’s believed that around 80 bodies are yet to be found.
Australian Federal Police commander Brian McDonald emphasized that his forces are in Ukraine only to recover bodies.
Uganda’s Constitutional Court has overturned a tough anti-homosexuality law that allows life sentences for those convicted of consentual homosexual acts.
The court announced Friday it had struck down the measure because of procedural technicalities.
The U.S. unemployment rate rose slightly, .1%, to hit 6.2% in July.
Friday’s report from the Department of Labor also said the economy had a net gain of 209,000 jobs.
The data surprised economists, who had predicted that the unemployment rate would be steady and economy would create 1000s more jobs.
While the job participation rate has risen slightly, the job gains have yet to translate into bigger paychecks for most Americans.
Still, key indicators suggest U.S. recovery is finally gaining momentum 5 years after the financial crisis.
President Obama, speaking with reporters, said there could be additional actions to improve jobs, including rebuilding infrastructure and raising the minimum wage.
However, the President said none of those actions have been taken by Congress.
“And the fact is, we could be much further along, and we could be doing even better and the economy could be even stronger and more jobs could be created if Congress would do the job that the people sent them here to do.”
Vietnam says all ships under the management of its Fisheries Surveillance Force will be equipped with weapons following a tense standoff with China over a disputed oil rig.
Vietnamese and Chinese ships clashed several times during the standoff over the oil rig near the Paracel Islands. Hanoi says several of its fishing vessels were damaged and 1 sank after being rammed by Chinese vessels. Beijing said Vietnamese ships were the aggressors.
More on these stories at voanews.com. I’m Vincent Bruce in Washington. That’s the latest world news from VOA.
VOA news: August 3rd, 2014
From Washington, this is VOA news. An Israeli soldier earlier thought missing now confirmed dead. Ebola patient now in the U.S. for treatment. I’m Vincent Bruce reporting from Washington.
The Israeli army says it has determined the 23-year-old soldier it earlier said was captured by Hamas on Friday was killed in action.
An army spokesman says its chief rabbi determined Second Lieutenant Hadar Goldin is dead and personally delivered the news to his family.
The army initially said Hamas fighters abducted Goldin when a suicide bomber attacked Israeli soldiers dismantling a tunnel near Rafa Friday.
That attack left two other Israeli soldiers dead and ended a cease-fire after a little more than one hour.
Earlier in the day, Saturday evening, in a televised address, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israeli troops will finish the job of destroying Hamas tunnels under the Gaza-Israeli border and continue to operate in accordance with Israel’s security needs.
Mr. Netanyahu called on the international community for its support.
“I call on all responsible international leaders, and decent people everywhere, to stand with Israel now. Stand with Israel as it confronts Hamas. Stand with Israel as it defends itself against Hamas’ deliberate and indiscriminate attacks on our civilians.”
Meanwhile, Israeli forces continued to strike targets in southern Gaza Saturday a day after the collapse of a short-lived cease-fire agreement.
Palestinian officials said some 50 Palestinians were killed. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza.
The Israeli military struck targets across Gaza, including the Islamic University and an insurance company in Gaza City and dozens of homes near Rafa in southern Gaza.
Israeli officials said their military offensive would continue until the network of tunnels and rocket launching sites in Gaza is eliminated.
The Israeli military told residents of the northern neighborhood of Beit Lahia late Saturday that they could return home, indicating that Israel’s ground operations there had ended.
But residents were also warned to watch out for explosive devices planted there by their Hamas fighters that may still be in the area.
Scott Bobb, VOA news, Gaza.
A doctor who was stricken with the Ebola virus while helping victims in Liberia has returned to the United States, becoming the first known Ebola patient on U.S. soil.
Dr. Kent Brantly was flown from Liberia to the southern U.S. state of Georgia on Saturday on a specially equipped chartered medical plane for treatment at Emory University in Atlanta.
In Guinea’s capital, Conakry, the head of the World Health Organization, Margaret Chan, announced Friday that the leaders of West Africa’s Ebola-stricken nations gathered to finalize a !$100,000,000 emergency response to the health crisis.
“They agree to focus special attention to the cross-border areas in where the three countries, you know, meet. The common borders is an area which account for !70% of the Ebola cases.”
Doctor Chan met with the presidents of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.
U.S. President Barack Obama said Friday that the United States is closely following the situation in West Africa ahead of a summit next week in Washington for nearly 50 African leaders.
Citing a need for more clarification by presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah, Afghan officials say the auditing of votes from the country’s runoff election has been suspended.
Officials say the count is delayed because Abdullah has not yet agreed on how ballots will be determined to be valid or invalid.
Analysts say Afghanistan’s economy is being hurt by the political uncertainty and further delays in the election audit could seriously jeopardize Afghanistan’s future.
International investigators have recovered the remains of more victims at the Malaysia Airlines wreckage site in eastern Ukraine.
Alexander Hug with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe Mission in Ukraine says the team of 70 Dutch and Australian investigators [are working] completed their work for their 2nd day of the 20-square-kilometer crash site on Saturday.
He also told the French news agency, AFP, that the artillery hit about 2 kilometers away but his group is prepared for the possibility of being fired upon in that area.
There is more on all of these stories at our website voanews.com 24 hours a day. I’m Vincent Bruce in the VOA news room reporting from Washington. That’s the latest world news from VOA.
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