VOA news: August 4th, 2014
From Washington This is VOA News.
Coming up, brief Monday truce declared in the Gaza conflict. U.S. doctor infected with Ebola improving.
Hello everyone, I’m Steve Norman.
Israel says its troops will hold fire in most of the Gaza Strip for 7 hours on Monday to allow Palestinians access to humanitarian aid and for displaced civilians to return to their homes.
On Sunday Israeli air strikes in the Gaza killed dozens.
At least 10 people were killed, another 35 wounded, at a U.N. operated school sheltering displaced persons in Gaza by what a U.N. official said appeared to be an Israeli airstrike.
More now from VOA’s Scott Bob in Gaza City.
Hospitals in Gaza struggled to cope with a new influx of wounded from Israeli airstrikes in recent days.
Palestinian officials said the death toll had surpassed 1,700 people.
Israel said 6ty 4 of its troops had been killed, including a soldier who was thought at 1st to have been kidnapped by Hamas fighters.
That incident Friday broke a short- lived ceasefire.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Saturday the ground operation to destroy infiltration tunnels into Israel was nearly ended.
He said Israeli Defense forces would continue to work until the tunnels are destroyed and he added the forces were preparing to continue operating according to Israel’s defense needs until security is restored to Israel.
Scott Bob, VOA news, Gaza. Chinese officials say an earthquake at a remote and mountainous region of the country’s southwest killed at least 357 people and collapsed 1000s of buildings.
More than 4teen hundred people were injured in Sunday’s quake, many people still missing.
Quakes epicenter was in the southwestern Yunnan province and the US Geological survey says the quake had a magnitude of 6.1.
Deadly clashes between Ukrainian forces and pro-Russia separatists continued on Sunday as investigators searched the site of the Malaysian passenger plane crash for a third day.
Local officials in Donetsk said 6 people were killed there in shelling between the 2 sides. An official tells Reuters news agency 3 other people were killed in Luhansk.
And the head of the Dutch Police mission working at the crash site, Pieter-Jaap Aalbersberg, spoke Sunday with reporters.
“At the moment we are only searching the area for human remains and personal belongings.
The whole area we have 5 selected and prioritized spots where we expect to find most of this.”
Investigators focusing on recovering several dozen bodies still missing more than 2 weeks after the Malaysian plane was shot down killing all 298 passengers and crew.
Most of the victims were from the Netherlands.
A top U.S. health official says that the American doctor who contracted the deadly Ebola disease in Liberia seems to be improving.
Head of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Tom Frieden, said Sunday that he cannot predict the future for individual patients but it’s encouraging the doctor Ken Brantly appears to be getting better.
Brantly arrived in the US on Saturday from Monrovia, Liberia. He is in a special isolation unit.
He had been in Liberia working for the Christian charities Samaritans Purse.
Frieden told NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sunday, Ebola, can, in West Africa, be stopped.
“It is currently out of control in Africa with a high risk of spreading further in Africa.
What we’re doing now at CDC is surging our response.
We are going to put at least 50 health, public health experts in the 3 countries in the next 30 days because actually we do know how to stop Ebola.
It’s old fashioned plain and simple public health. Find the patients, make sure they get treated, find their contacts, track them , educate people, do infection control in hospitals .
You do those things but you have to do them really well and Ebola goes away.”
The Ebola virus has killed more than 700 people in Africa mainly in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.
It could have catastrophic consequences if allowed to spread according to World health officials.
50 African heads of state expected to attend a 3-day Africa summit beginning Monday, here in Washington, where the US will unveil nearly $1,000,000,000 in business deals, more funding for peacekeeping and commit billions of dollars to food and power programs in the continent.
China, Europe and Japan have all tried similar events to encourage investments in Africa.
That’s the latest world news from VOA.
VOA news: August 5th, 2014
From Washington This is VOA News. Coming up, the latest on the Gaza conflict.
Deaths from Ebola on the increase in West Africa.
Hello everyone, I’m Steve Norman. Israel and Hamas have agreed to a 72-hour ceasefire in the Gaza Strip beginning early Tuesday.
The announcement came late Monday in Cairo where Egyptian mediators held talks with the Palestinian delegation on terms of a durable truce in the Gaza conflict.
Earlier on Monday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the country’s military forces were nearing the end of their push to destroy tunnels Hamas has used to store weapons and infiltrate Israel. But, he said, Israel’s 28-day campaign to demilitarize Gaza and end Hamas rocket launches into Israel will end only when there is a prolonged period of quiet and security for Israeli citizens.
A New York City hospital is testing a man with symptoms of Ebola virus as the death toll from the outbreak in West Africa has jumped to nearly 900.
Officials in Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York say a man suffering from a high fever and gastrointestinal problems arrived at the emergency room early Monday and was quickly isolated.
They say the patient recently travelled to a West African country where Ebola has been reported and is now undergoing tests to determine the cause of his illness.
No other details about the man were given. In Italy, which has been the destination for about 70,000 migrants from Africa so far this year, some people are concerned over the Ebola outbreak.
The country’s chief infectious diseases expert, Dr. Giovanni Reza, says it’s likely, unlikely, Ebola has migrated to Italy but if it does he says, medical personnel can identify it and contain the virus. “We have a very long experience, quite a long experience now because for the last years we have 10,000s of migrants coming from the coast of North Africa. So people who care for them are experts in determination of symtoms, taking all the appropriate measures they had to take.” Meantime authorities in Nigeria, Monday, reported the country’s 2nd confirmed case of Ebola, a doctor who treated the 1st patient who died on July 25th in Lagos.
Events surrounding the summit between President Obama and some 50 African heads of state are underway here in Washington, at a forum on African civil society.
Monday, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry urged participants to push for democracy and individual rights in their country.
At an earlier forum on economic opportunity, Mr. Kerry outlined some of the U.S. goals for the 3 day summit.
“We’re determined to deepen our partnership and to deliver on remarkable opportunities for peace, for security, for economic growth, and perhaps most importantly of all, in the context of what brings us here today, the empowerment of people through their government, through their civil society,” President Obama will address the U.S.-Africa business forum on Tuesday and take part in sessions focused on economic growth, regional security and good governance. On Wednesday, U.S. is set to unveil nearly $1,000,000,000 in business deals.
More funding for peacekeeping and billions of dollars for food and power programs during the 3-day summit.
Ukraine’s Defense Council says preparations are under way to retake the rebel-controlled eastern city of Donetsk- the last stronghold of heavily armed pro-Russian separatists seeking autonomy from Kyiv. Ukraine, Washington and its European allies accuse Moscow of arming rebels and providing them with the missile battery used to bring down a Malaysian airliner last month.
Jetliner, with 298 people on board, was downed July 17th near Donetsk. There was no, there were no survivors.
Search teams on Monday continued their hunt for the remains of more victims from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17. Libya’s newly elected parliament held its 1st session Monday in the eastern city of Tobruk, 1,500 kilometers from fighting in the capital, Tripoli, between rival militias vying for control of the international airport. About 3/4 of the lawmakers showed up for the start of the parliamentary session that was held in a heavily guarded hotel. But the session was largely boycotted by pro-Islamist deputies, including the head of the outgoing parliament, who called for a rival opening session in Tripoli. For more news go to our website at VOAnews.com.
That’s the latest world news from VOA.
VOA news: August 6th, 2014
From Washington This is VOA News. Desperate measures to contain the West Africa Ebola outbreak. More U.S. investment heading to Africa. I’m Victor Beattie reporting from Washington. West African officials desperately try to contain the spread of the deadly Ebola virus which has so far killed nearly 900 people since it was first detected in March.
In Liberia, despite government orders, people trying to avoid quarantine continue dumping corpses of Ebola victims in the streets of many communities.
Some of the bodies have been cremated. The governments of Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea have announced measures to contain the outbreak including closing schools and quarantines of communities. Many clinics in the capital, Monrovia, remain deserted as people remain frightened of catching the illness.
In Sierra Leone, troops have been deployed to guard quarantined Ebola clinics to deter relatives and friends from forcefully taking patients from the hospital. Finance officials in both Sierra Leone and Liberia warn the outbreak will impact economic growth.
Heather Murdock reports Nigerian authorities are warning the public against false remedies to kill Ebola.
On the internet and in markets across Nigeria, people are searching for a cure for the disease. Officials have warned internet scammers, faith healers and traditional doctors that it is a crime in Nigeria to tell people you have a cure for Ebola.
Promoting false cures discourages the public from seeking expert advice and reporting symptoms, which is a key to containing the disease.
Late last month, an American-Liberian, Patrick Sawyer, died of Ebola after arriving in Lagos from Liberia. On Monday, officials said one of Sawyer’s doctors, a woman, was also infected and that 8 health workers are showing symptoms.
In a scramble to prevent Ebola from spreading, the Nigerian government is building isolation wards, screening travelers, and engaging in a massive public education campaign to encourage people to keep themselves clean.
Health workers are reaching out to mosques and churches, encouraging clerics to spread appropriate caution.
And as the Nigerian public waits for the test results from the 8 currently-isolated health workers, he says, there is still hope that Nigeria may avoid a widespread outbreak.
Heather Murdock, for VOA news, Abuja.
White House spokesman, Josh Earnest, Tuesday said the U.S. Centers for Disease Control is coordinating with other global agencies to respond to the outbreak.
“The CDC is redoubling their efforts to add additional resources and to make sure that those resources are well coordinated. That is the best way for us to stem this Ebola outbreak is to make sure that the response is consistent with medical protocol. “ Germany, Tuesday, joined France and the U.S. in advising citizens against travel to the West African region. President Obama says the United States is making a major and long-term commitment to Africa with $33,000,000,000 in new investment. “Today we’re announcing $7,000,000,000 in new financing to promote American exports to Africa. Earlier, today, I signed an executive order to create a new President’s Advisory Council of business leaders to help make sure we’re doing every single thing we can to help you do business in Africa.” Speaking Tuesday at the U.S. Africa business forum in Washington on the sidelines of the U.S.-Africa summit, Mr. Obama said the new investment and financing commitments will support both African and American shops. The Associated Press reports at least 6 South Sudanese aid workers were killed near the Sudanese border this week.
As the government and rebels sit down for peace talks in Ethiopia, Secretary of State John Kerry addressing the regional peace mediators at the U.S. Africa summit, called for an end to the fighting. “They are prepared to issue a final ultimatum to the parties to come to the table. And in addition to that, the United Nations Security council will be visiting, the entire Security Council, next week, to make it clear there is no other alternative except to proceed with the plan that these leaders left on the table.”
Kerry warned the conflict will bring about starvation for 1000s. At least 10,000 have reportedly died since the conflict broke out in December.
Also on the sidelines of the U.S.- Africa summit, Tunisia’s President ask the U.S. for 12 Black Hawk helicopters to meet a threat by Al-Qaeda terrorists.
He said the country may also need night vision and other communications equipment. The U.N., Tuesday, said attacks by the Islamists militant group Boko Haram in northeast Nigeria has forced nearly 650,000 people from their homes.
And Egypt’s President, Adel Fattah al-Sisi, Tuesday inaugurated the digging of a new section of the Suez Canal.
The $4,000,000,000 project to expand the waterway expected to be complete next year.
VOA news: August 7th, 2014
From Washington, this is VOA news. Coming up, Israel agrees to extend a 72-hour cease-fire with the Palestinians in Gaza. And a 2nd Ebola death in Nigeria. Hello everyone, I’m Steve Norman.
President Obama told reporters in Washington Wednesday that Gaza cannot sustain itself and is not capable of providing jobs and economic growth. He said he has no sympathy for the Hamas rulers, but that there has to be a shift in opportunities for the people of Gaza.
Meantime, Israel says it wants to extend the current 72-hour truce with Hamas. The truce is set to expire Friday morning local time. Israel did not say how long it’s willing to extend it, but Hamas officials in Cairo said there is no agreement yet.
And at the U.N., Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says while he welcomes the current cease-fire, it comes at a price almost too much to bear. VOA’s Margaret Besheer has details.
Arab nations called for an urgent meeting of the U.N. General Assembly to discuss the situation in Gaza.
Ban Ki-moon told member states that only a negotiated, political settlement can bring security and peace to both sides.
“Do we have to continue like this: build, destroy, and build and destroy? We will build again – but this must be the last time to rebuild. This must stop now.”
Mr. Ban also reiterated his anger over the deadly shellings of U.N. facilities in Gaza that house fleeing civilians, saying the U.N. flag must be respected and assure protection to those in need.
Margaret Besheer, VOA news, the United Nations.
The World Health Organization says it will convene an ethics panel next week to discuss whether the experimental drug ZMapp should be given to some Ebola patients across West Africa.
2 American medical missionaries who contracted the Ebola virus in Liberia appear to be showing signs of improvement after doses of the experimental serum in recent days.
In Liberia, President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf has declared a state of emergency as her country deals with the Ebola outbreak.
And in Nigeria, new signs of spreading of the disease – the country’s 2nd confirmed victim, as we hear now from Heather Murdock in Abuja.
Officials say a nurse who treated Nigeria’s 1st Ebola patient 2 weeks ago died Tuesday of the disease.
The 5 other patients are now in isolation at a hospital in Lagos. They are all health workers that treated Patrick Sawyer, a Liberian-American who flew into Nigeria from Liberia with the disease and died on July 25th.
Nigerian Minister of Health Onyebuchi Chukwu says the government is establishing a 24-hour-a-day Ebola command center and trying to prepare hospitals around the country in case the disease continues to spread.
Heather Murdock, for VOA news, Abuja.
And the World Health Organization now says the death toll from the outbreak of Ebola, centered in West Africa, is up to 932.
Officials in Cameroon say Boko Haram militants from neighboring Nigeria raided a remote northern border town Wednesday, killing 10 people and kidnapping a child.
The reason for the raid is unclear.
The militants are suspected in last month’s kidnapping of a local religious leader in Cameroon and the deputy prime minister’s wife.
Boko Haram extremists have killed 1000s trying to turn northern Nigeria into a strict Islamic state.
President Obama and African leaders held talks in Washington on Wednesday on expanding trade, improving security and strengthening government accountability across Africa.
It was part of the 3-day U.S.-Africa leadership summit involving some 50 African heads of state and government.
In his opening remarks on Wednesday, Mr. Obama said a “new Africa” is emerging.
He said increased business opportunities in Africa could help transform the relationship between the U.S. and the African continent.
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte has recalled investigators probing the shootdown of a Malaysian airliner in eastern Ukraine, saying fighting near the crash site makes it too dangerous to continue.
Meanwhile, fighting between Ukrainian troops and pro-Russian separatists raged on Wednesday near the Russian border as NATO warned that the Kremlin could intervene with Russian combat troops under the guise of a peacekeeping operation.
And police in the Indonesian capital say they have identified several local supporters of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, also known as ISIL, following the government’s ban on support of the militant group.
According to the Indonesian chief of National Police, as many as 56 Indonesians have joined ISIL.
That’s the latest world news from VOA.
VOA news: August 8th, 2014
From Washington, this is VOA news. United States preparing to deliver aid to beleaguered minorities in Iraq. Hamas threatening to restart fighting with Israel. I’m Ray Kouguell reporting from Washington.
A Pentagon official says the United States will begin an effort to airdrop emergency food, water and other essential supplies to Iraqi Christians facing death at the hands of Islamic extremists in northern Iraq.
The official says airstrikes “remain an option.”
Thousands of Christians are fleeing after Islamic militants seized the minority religious group’s biggest town in Iraq. Edward Yeranian reports.
The advance by Islamic State militants caught many Christian families by surprise, driving them from their homes with little warning and little chance to gather possessions.
Sunni Islamic State militants captured the mainly Christian town of Qaraqosh and 3 other towns in a sudden attack that followed a string of victories farther north over the weekend.
Kurdish Peshmerga fighters were forced to withdraw in the face of the rapid onslaught.
Chaldean Archbishop Joseph Thomas told AFP that “10,000s of terrified Christians are being displaced as we speak.”
Edward Yeranian, for VOA news, Cairo.
Extremists from the Islamic State have taken much of northern Iraq and are threatening to kill religious minorities, including Christians and followers of an ancient religion called Yazidi, unless they convert to Islam.
Hamas militants are threatening to restart fighting with Israel if Israeli negotiators do not meet a key demand at truce talks in Cairo.
A 72-hour cease-fire is set to expire at 8:00a.m. local time Friday unless Hamas accepts Israel’s proposal to extend it.
Hamas is demanding Israel lift its blockade of a Gaza seaport, which has choked the Gazan economy and keeps Palestinians from traveling. Israel is insisting Hamas disarm.
A month of Israeli airstrikes in response to Hamas rocket attacks killed almost 1,900 Palestinians, mostly civilians.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention activated its emergency operation center at the highest level in response to the world’s worst Ebola outbreak.
CDC chief Dr. Thomas Frieden told a congressional hearing on Ebola Thursday that the centers will soon have 50 disease experts in West Africa at the center of the crisis. Dr. Frieden said he is confident no major outbreak in the U.S. will happen.
The World Health Organization says Ebola killed more than 930 people in West Africa so far, mostly in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is in Afghanistan on an unannounced visit to meet with Presidential candidates who are locked in a hard-fought dispute over election results.
Secretary Kerry is expected to press for a resolution between former Finance Minister Ashraf Ghani and challenger Abdullah Abdullah, who disagree about the results of a run-off vote that placed Ghani as the frontrunner.
NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen is calling on Russia to “step back from the brink” of war in Ukraine by withdrawing 1000s of combat troops massed on its border.
He spoke Thursday in the Ukrainian capital in a show of support for Kyiv as government troops battle a pro-Russian insurgency near the Russian border.
Other NATO officials warned that the Russian border force could invade Ukraine under the guise of a peacekeeping mission.
Western analysts say about 20,000 Russian troops have redeployed near the border in recent days, along with armor, infantry, special forces and aircraft.
Former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden is being granted permission to stay in Russia for 3 more years.
His attorney says Snowden is working in the field of information technology and holding a job as a condition of his remaining in Russia.
Snowden is charged in the United States with theft of government property and unauthorized communication of national defense information.
Residents and tourists in the U.S. Pacific island state of Hawaii are bracing for one hurricane, while keeping a close eye on a possible second one.
Hurricane Iselle is on a path toward the state’s largest island, carrying maximum sustained winds near 150 kph. Forecasters issued a hurricane warning for part of the state and expect Iselle to produce heavy rains, life-threatening storm surges and flash floods.
The Hawaiian governor has declared a state of emergency.
I’m Ray Kouguell in Washington. That’s the latest world news from VOA.
VOA news: August 9th, 2014
From Washington, this is VOA news. U.S. drops a new round of bombs over Iraq, and Mideast cease-fire comes to an end. I’m Vincent Bruce reporting from Washington.
The United States military has launched a 2nd round of airstrikes in northwestern Iraq using drones and fighter jets.
A Pentagon spokesman said remotely piloted aircraft struck Islamic State militants near Irbil Friday.
He said fighter planes later dropped 8 bombs on vehicles and a mortar position in the area.
Earlier Friday, the U.S. military dropped 250-kilogram laser-guided bombs on an artillery unit that was shelling Kurdish forces defending Irbil.
White House officials say reports of the dire and deteriorating situation of Iraqi Christians and Kurds, along with the gains made by militants in the past week, triggered President Barack Obama’s decision to authorize airstrikes and other military action in Iraq. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez has a report.
It was a number of factors that finally brought President Obama to authorize U.S. warplanes to strike militants in Iraq.
White House spokesman Josh Earnest said the urgent reports the President saw this week about the dire and deteriorating situation were the No. 1 reason.
The 2nd reason is the intelligence the President has been receiving about the militants’ advances toward the northern Kurdish city of Irbil, where the United States has a consulate and a number of military advisers.
“That also led to the President’s conclusion that a more robust military action could be required to ensure the safety and security of those American officials in Irbil.”
Luis Ramirez, VOA news, at the White House.
More on the story at voanews.com.
Israel pounded Gaza with a series of airstrikes Friday after Hamas resumed rocket attacks against Israel when talks broke down on extending a 3-day truce.
The latest fighting killed at least 5 Palestinians and injured 2 Israelis.
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said he was deeply disappointed that the parties were unable to agree to an extension of the 3-day break in the violence in their talks in Cairo.
Egypt, which is mediating the talks, said the negotiations were making progress and urged a new truce. However, Israel recalled its delegation for the discussions Friday and said it would not negotiate with the Palestinians while militants continued to fire missiles.
Fighting between government forces and pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine continued Friday as Ukraine’s government proposed sanctions against dozens of Russian companies and citizens.
A spokesman for Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council said Friday that 15 Ukrainian servicemen were killed and 79 wounded over the previous 24 hours in fighting in eastern Ukraine.
A senior U.N. human rights official, Ivan Simonovic, on Friday told the U.N. Security Council a “reign of fear and terror” in areas under control of separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine. From the United Nations, VOA’s Margaret Besheer has more.
Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights Simonovic said that since April the Ukrainian government has recorded over 900 abductions by armed groups.
“Abducted individuals have been used as an exchange currency to free members of armed groups detained by the government.”
Speaking to the council via video link from Croatia, Simonovic said that since Ukrainian authorities began regaining control over some areas in the east, many hostages have been freed or released. But he said that more than 450 people are still missing.
Russian envoy Vitaly Churkin criticized the report as an “example of exquisite political rhetoric where facts and conclusions are shaped to fit certain political requirements.”
Margaret Besheer, VOA news, the United Nations.
Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan Friday declared a national emergency over the Ebola outbreak and approved nearly !$12,000,000 of emergency funds to contain the outbreak, which has led to 2 deaths in the commercial capital, Lagos.
Earlier Friday in Geneva, World Health Organization director Dr. Margaret Chan declared the outbreak an international health emergency that requires an extraordinary response to stop its spread.
Rival Afghan Presidential candidates have agreed to end their election dispute and begin working towards a “national unity government.”
Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani have been deadlocked on the ongoing audit of !8,000,000 votes cast during the Presidential runoff, with only a fraction of ballots reviewed for irregularities so far.
After holding a 2nd day of talks with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in Kabul, the candidates on Friday signed an agreement, saying they would cooperate on forming a national unity government.
Stocks, [the S&P, Dow] S&P and Dow, both posted their best day since March on Friday.
I’m Vincent Bruce in Washington. That’s the latest world news from VOA.
VOA news: August 10th, 2014
From Washington, this is VOA news. A report now: fresh airstrikes in Iraq. China rejects calls to freeze provocative acts in the South China Sea. I’m Vincent Bruce reporting from Washington.
Another 4 airstrikes reportedly have been carried out by U.S. military against Islamic State militants who were firing on civilians in northern Iraq.
According to the U.S. Central Command, Saturday’s strikes involved jet fighters and drones and targeted armored carriers and a truck. It described the strikes near Sinjar as successful.
Saturday’s strikes followed word by U.S. President Obama earlier in the day that U.S. military airstrikes in Iraq had successfully destroyed arms and equipment that Islamic State militants could have used against the Kurdish capital of Irbil.
The President said the problem posed by the group will not be solved in weeks and is going to take some time.
Additionally, Mr. Obama said the leaders of both Britain and France have agreed to join the United States in providing help to the refugees.
A White House statement says Mr. Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron agreed Saturday [to develop operations] to develop options to secure the civilians’ safety.
Iraqi leaders have expressed thanks to the United States for airstrikes and relief to stranded Yazidi refugees.
The advance of Islamic State militants toward the Kurdish capital appears to have halted for the time being.
China has dismissed U.S. calls for a freeze on “provocative acts” in disputed waters of the South China Sea.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in attendance at a meeting of ASEAN foreign ministers in the Myanmar capital of Naypyidaw Saturday said the U.S. and ASEAN had a shared responsibility to ensure maritime security in the region.
“The United States and ASEAN have a common responsibility to ensure the maritime security of critical global sea lanes and ports. We need to work together to manage tensions in the South China Sea and to manage them peacefully and also to manage them on a basis of international law.”
But China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi disputed the U.S. positions, saying any talk of rising 10sions was an exaggeration.
The South China Sea has become a center of debate at the regional meetings of ASEAN amid growing 10sions over potentially resource-rich areas claimed by Vietnam, the Philippines, Brunei and Malaysia but more broadly by China.
Israel says it will not negotiate under fire as it continues to bombard Gaza in response to rockets from Hamas militants.
Palestinian officials said they expect an Israeli delegation to return to Cairo Sunday for talks with Egyptian negotiators on a long-term cease-fire. Israelis say they will not join the talks as long as the attacks continue.
Both sides exchanged attacks Saturday a day after a 72-hour-long cease-fire expired with no progress in Cairo towards a longer-term truce. The Israeli army says Hamas fired 100 rockets at Israel since the truce ended, and that Israel targeted what it calls “120 terror sites and 9 operatives.”
Hamas demands Israel lift its long-standing blockade of Gaza while Israel insists Gaza be demilitarized first.
Saturday was the final day of campaigning by candidates in Turkey’s 1st directly elected Presidential vote. Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul.
In Istanbul, supporters of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Presidential bid are campaigning hard in the final hours of Turkey’s election, the 1st time the country will choose its President by direct popular vote.
Mr. Erdogan contends that a directly elected President has a mandate to exert more power.
According to the constitution, Turkey’s President is the head of state but parliament holds the country’s real political power.
In contrast to Mr. Erdogan, his rivals, Selahattin Demirtas and Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, are campaigning against “authoritarianism” and promising they will not make significant changes in the country’s balance of power.
Dorian Jones, VOA news, Istanbul.
Pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine say they are ready for a cease-fire with the government amid gains by Ukrainian forces against the rebels.
Kyiv has not yet responded to the rebel offer. But the government has said it could agree to a cease-fire if the separatists give up their weapons.
More on all of these stories at voanews.com. I’m Vincent Bruce in Washington. That’s the latest world news from VOA.
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