VOA news: July 21st, 2014
From Washington, this is VOA news. Coming up, the death toll in Gaza on the rise. Latest on the downed Malaysian airliner in eastern Ukraine. Hello everyone, I’m Steve Norman.
Palestinian officials say the death toll in almost 2 weeks of Israeli bombardments of Gaza is now up to 425. They say more than 60 people were killed during Israeli military operations over the past 24 hours, making it the most deadly period since the conflict began on July 8th. VOA’s Gabe Joselow reports.
Military forces began pounding the Shijaiyah neighborhood overnight, leaving civilians dead in the streets and reducing buildings and infrastructure to rubble.
An Israeli military spokesman, Captain Eytan Buchman, said Israeli forces faced heavy resistance from militants in the area.
“This is not your standard Gaza suburb, this is a fortified area. There is literally an entire underground network, we discovered 10 terror tunnels dug underground. We encountered anti-tank missiles, RPGs and light-arms fire fired from windows and fired from residences inside of Shijaiyah.”
Israel is seeking to destroy the military capabilities of the Hamas Palestinian group that controls Gaza by targeting tunnels being dug into Israel and sites used to launch rockets across the border.
Gabe Joselow, VOA news, Jerusalem.
And the Israeli army says 13 of its soldiers were killed Sunday, bringing Israel’s death toll to 18 soldiers and 2 civilians.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is blaming Hamas for the continuing fighting in the Gaza Strip.
In a television interview on Sunday, the top U.S. [diplomatic] diplomat, that is, said Hamas militants have “stubbornly” refused to accept a cease-fire to stop the 2-week-old conflict.
“What they need to do is stop rocketing Israel and accept a ceasefire. Hamas needs to join up, be part of a solution.”
On NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Mr. Kerry defended Israel’s right to defend itself against missiles that Hamas has fired into (the) Jewish territory, which sent ground forces into Gaza 3 days ago. He said Hamas “invited further actions” by the Israeli military.
Secretary Kerry described the situation in Gaza as “ugly.”
He also used his Sunday TV appearances to talk about the deadly shoot-down of the Malaysian airliner in eastern Ukraine. Secretary Kerry said the evidence points to Russia supplying pro-Moscow separatists with a sophisticated anti-aircraft system and then training separatists to use it.
“We ourselves track the imagery of the launch of this surface-to-air missile, of the disappearance of the aircraft from radar at that time. We know to a fact that the separatists bragged on the social media immediately afterwards about the shoot-down.”
Mr. Kerry condemned Russia on Sunday for what he called overwhelming evidence of complicity in Thursday’s deadly shoot-down of the Malaysia airliner in eastern Ukraine.
Meanwhile, pro-Moscow rebels claimed to have recovered data recorders from the doomed Malaysian Airlines flight 17.
Also Sunday, rebels said they had taken control of 196 bodies recovered from the crash site and placed them in a refrigerated train car. They said the bodies will remain in the rebel-held town of Torez, 15 kilometers from the crash site until international investigators arrive.
Heavy fighting around Libya’s largest airport killed at least 4 people Sunday amid a grim resurgence of violence in the country as rival militias enter a 2nd week of deadly clashes.
The renewed battles between the Zintan militia, which controls Tripoli International Airport, and the armed Islamist fighters come 2 days after attempts at a cease-fire between the groups collapsed.
Witnesses said fighting on Sunday spilled over into residential neighborhoods and also into the nearby area around the airport.
Forty-five years ago on July 20th, 1969, man 1st walked on the moon (as) part of the historic Apollo 11 mission.
Astronaut Neil Armstrong was the 1st person to step foot on the moon, followed by fellow astronaut Edwin Buzz Aldrin a few minutes later.
NASA estimates that more than a 500,000,000 people worldwide watched the televised lunar landing. Astronauts returned to the moon on multiple missions. However, no human has touched down on the moon surface since 1972.
And Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy wins the British Open.
That’s the latest world news from VOA.
VOA news: July 22nd, 2014
From Washington, this is VOA news. Coming up, the latest on the downed Malaysian airliner in eastern Ukraine. Top U.S. diplomat in Cairo to push a cease-fire in Gaza. Hello everyone, I’m Steve Norman.
Witnesses are saying the pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine have handed over 2 Malaysia experts the flight data recorders from the downed Malaysia airliner.
The transfer occurred late Monday at the meeting in eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk. It came just hours after Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak spoke by telephone with the rebel leader Alexander Borodai.
Earlier on Monday, the United Nations Security Council unanimously passed a resolution condemning the downing of the passenger jet that killed 298 people aboard. The resolution also demanded that pro-Russian separatists controlling the crash site allow investigators unrestricted access to the area.
President Obama spoke Monday with reporters about the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17.
“It’s now been 4 days since Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 was shot down over territory controlled by Russian-backed separatists in Ukraine. Over the last several days, our hearts have been absolutely broken as we’ve learned more about the extraordinary and beautiful lives that were lost– men, women and children and infants who were killed so suddenly and so senselessly.”
European leaders said Monday they were ready to increase sanctions on Russia to force Moscow to use its influence over the rebels to stop the conflict and allow international investigators full, not just limited, access to the crash site.
Palestinian officials say more than 570 Gaza residents, most of them civilians, have been killed in Israeli attacks. Israel’s military death toll stood at 25 late Monday, with scores more wounded in the deadliest Gaza fighting in 5 years.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel is making every effort to avoid civilian casualties but said Hamas is to blame as long as it continues its rocket attacks on Israel.
Israel began a ground offensive in Gaza late Thursday after airstrikes failed to stop Hamas cross-border rocket attacks.
Meantime, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is in Cairo for talks with Egyptian leaders and other senior officials on ways to end the fighting in Gaza. That story from VOA’s Scott Stearns.
In an interview with ABC television before leaving Washington, Kerry said Hamas needs to be part of a solution by accepting a cease-fire.
“Hamas has to understand: you can’t just sit there and claim moral rectitude or the higher ground while you are busy rocketing people, and capturing people, and digging tunnels to attack them. And this has to stop.” Secretary Kerry led 9 months of talks on a 2-state solution that ended in April without agreement.
His task here in Cairo is considerably more difficult than 2 years ago when former Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood negotiated the last cease-fire. Egypt’s new leader, the former general Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, is far less sympathetic to Hamas.
Scott Stearns, VOA news, Cairo.
A Nigerian official says more than !15,000 people have fled an area in the country’s northeast after attacks by the Islamist Boko Haram.
A spokesperson for the National Emergency Management Agency said that civilians escaped from the town of Damboa and from surrounding villages over the last several days.
Residents in Damboa say militants entered the town on Friday, killing scores of people and burning homes.
The exact death toll is not known.
A trip to Venezuela by Chinese President Xi Jinping has renewed ties between the countries.
China has provided $10,000,000,000 in credits to Venezuela guaranteed by oil supplies, with China being Venezuela’s 2nd largest market for oil.
The trade partners aim to increase exports in the coming years.
Venezuela’s local opposition use the Chinese President’s visit as a rallying cry to demand more transparency.
A survey by key U.S. business leaders says sales and employment grew in April, May and June, after the economy faltered at the beginning of the year.
The National Association for Business Economics is made up of economic experts who work in companies across the nation.
Most respondents said sales were growing during the 2nd quarter.
That’s the latest world news from VOA.
VOA news: July 23rd, 2014
From Washington, this is VOA news. U.S. says no direct evidence Russia involved in Malaysian jetliner downing. U.S. prohibits American flights to Tel Aviv Airport following Hamas rocket attack. I’m Ray Kouguell reporting from Washington.
U.S. intelligence officials say they have no evidence of direct Russian involvement in the shooting down of that Malaysian airliner in eastern Ukraine last week. They say ill-trained pro-Russian rebels likely downed the jetliner by mistake.
Officials say the passenger jet was likely brought down by separatists firing a Russian surface-to-air missile. All 298 people on board were killed.
Earlier Tuesday, a train carrying bodies and flight data recorders collected from the crash site arrived in the government-controlled Ukraine city of Kharkiv.
The head of an international team of forensic experts raised questions about the precise number of bodies recovered from the crash site.
Pro-Russian rebels accused of hitting the plane say the 282 bodies and the parts of 16 others were aboard the train. But the Dutch forensics team leader said the refrigerated rail cars contained only 200 bodies.
U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon is calling on the Israelis and Palestinians in Gaza to end their conflict.
He met in Jerusalem Tuesday with Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and called for an urgent end to the death and suffering.
“My message to Israelis and Palestinians is the same: stop fighting, start talking and take on the root causes of the conflict so we are not back to the same situation in another 6 months or a year.”
Mr. Ban met earlier in Cairo with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. Mr. Kerry says Egypt is offering a framework for the international community to help end the fighting in Gaza and return to a 2012 cease-fire between Israel and Hamas.
“Hamas has a fundamental choice to make. And it is a choice that will have a profound impact for the people of Gaza.”
Secretary Kerry says a humanitarian crisis is growing worse by the day.
The Obama administration announced !$47,000,000 in humanitarian assistance for Palestinians, including shelter, food and medical supplies for Gaza.
The U.S. aviation agency is prohibiting U.S. airlines from flying to Israel’s international airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in Gaza landed nearby.
U.S. spokesperson Marie Harf says the Federal Aviation Administration will give up dated instructions to U.S. carriers no later than 24 hours.
“I would very much consider myself to be one of the people that thinks our protection of U.S. citizens abroad is our– one of our, if not our highest priority at the State Department. Obviously, we issue these travel warnings. There’s a process for updating them and changing them, which is what we did here, and this is the timing that came out of that process.”
Several European airlines have canceled their flights as well.
A suicide car bomber killed 23 people and wounded more than 40 others at a police checkpoint in a Shiite neighborhood in northern Baghdad.
There has been no claim of responsibility.
Jakarta governor Joko Widodo was declared the official winner of Indonesia’s Presidential election. He won 53 percent of the vote.
Nigeria President Goodluck Jonathan met with parents of some of the more than 200 schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram militants in April.
Presidential spokesman Ruben Abati said Tuesday’s meeting in Mr. Jonathan’s office was a frank discussion and that the President repeated his promise to find the girls.
“Mr. President’s primary concern is one, to ensure the release of the girls. And also secondly to defend the integrity of the Nigerian state, and that is why, you know, the operation against terror is a continuous one, it is a determined one. And no part of Nigeria will be allowed to be over taken by terrorism.”
The meeting followed another suspected Boko Haram attack that is believed to have killed scores of people in the northeastern town of Damboa.
Peace talks between the government of the Central African Republic and rebels are suspended after the main rebel group failed to show up for the 2nd day of the session.
The talks, in the neighboring Republic of Congo, were put on hold Tuesday due to the absence of former Seleka rebels.
President Obama saluted Tuesday what he calls American ingenuity and human achievement at a 45th anniversary of the 1st moon landing.
Mr. Obama hosted Apollo 11 astronauts Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins and the widow of Neil Armstrong, the 1st human to set foot on the lunar surface.
He paid tribute to their bravery and called them role models to inspire generations of Americans.
I’m Ray Kouguell in Washington. That’s the latest world news from VOA.
VOA news: July 24th, 2014
From Washington, this is VOA news. The U.S. secretary of state continues to attempt to broker a Mideast cease-fire. 2 Ukrainian planes shot down. I’m Ira Mellman reporting from Washington.
The United States top diplomat, Secretary of State John Kerry, said Wednesday that some progress has been made in negotiating a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas as Israel’s President called weeks of deadly violence an impossible situation.
Here is Kerry: “President Abbas understands the road to the solution, and that’s what we’re working for. So we will continue to push for this cease-fire. We will continue to work with President Abbas and others in the region in order to achieve it. And I can tell you that we have, in the last 24 hours, made some progress in moving towards that goal.”
Shuttling between Jerusalem and Ramallah to meet with Israeli and Palestinian leaders, U.S. Secretary of State Kerry is seeking the mediated truce after clashes in Gaza have killed nearly 700 Palestinians and 30 Israelis in 2 weeks.
Israeli President Shimon Peres told Kerry he is still hopeful for a solution. Kerry has since traveled to Cairo.
Meanwhile, the U.N. Human Rights Council agreed in an emergency session in Geneva to investigate alleged violations during Israel’s military offensive in Gaza.
The 47 members adopted a resolution presented by Palestinians by a vote of 29. Only the United States voted against the measure and there were 17 abstentions including some EU members.
Ukraine says it believes Russian forces operating inside Russia shot down 2 of its fighter jets Wednesday.
The claim of direct Russian involvement in the eastern Ukraine conflict came from the spokesman for Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council, Colonel Andriy Lysenko. He told a news conference in Kyiv the fighter jets were flying more than !5,000 meters above rebel-held territory when they were shot down, far above what he says is the maximum capability of separatist anti-aircraft weapons.
Ukraine and Western intelligence agencies say rebels shot down the Malaysia Airlines plane last week from a much higher altitude, but the Russian-supplied system they used was returned to Russia.
Al Pessin, VOA news, Kyiv.
Two military planes carrying the remains of some victims of last week’s downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 arrived in the Netherlands Wednesday, where citizens observed a national day of mourning.
The Dutch and Australian planes touched down at Eindhoven air base Wednesday where dignitaries were gathered on the tarmac.
The bodies carried in plain wooden coffins were silently placed in black hearses and driven away.
Mourners laid flowers at the air base to pay their respects and flags flew with half staff.
Dozens are believed to be dead following the crash of a TransAsia Airways flight in Taiwan. Authorities say 47 people were trapped in the wreckage and presumed dead on an island between the Chinese mainland and Taiwan.
Reports say another 11 survived and have been taken to a nearby hospital.
The domestic flight was attempting to land at Magong Airport as Typhoon Matmo battered the area with heavy rains and strong winds.
Human Rights Watch says indiscriminate Iraqi government airstrikes on cities have killed at least 75 civilians and wounded 100s since early June.
The group says in a new report that Iraqi forces are dropping barrel bombs even as Baghdad denies using the deadly and destructive weapons.
Cities under attack have included the extremist held towns of Fallujah, Mosul, and Tikrit.
Human Rights Watch says the fight against a vicious insurgency is no license to kill civilians anywhere the military thinks extremists may be lurking.
It says Iraqi commanders who order explosives used in populated areas have committed war crimes and should be held accountable.
Former army General Prabowo Subianto, who lost Indonesia’s Presidential election, has decided to challenge the result at the country’s Constitutional Court.
The move was announced by his spokesman Wednesday, a day after the election commission named his rival, ex-Jakarta Governor Joko Widodo, the winner of the July 9th vote.
Subianto says Mr. Widodo’s campaign took part in large-scale vote-buying and other fraud and accuses the election commission of not doing its duty in investigating the claims.
The court challenge should take about a month to complete. Most analysts think it will prove unsuccessful.
I’m Ira Mellman. That’s the latest world news from VOA.
VOA news: July 25th, 2014
From Washington, this is VOA news. Coming up, Russian army tipping the balance in eastern Ukraine. And the latest on the Gaza crisis. Hello everyone, I’m Steve Norman.
Ukraine’s national security spokesperson said Thursday that Russian forces are conducting a multi-faceted campaign from their own side of the border against Ukrainian troops. That story now from VOA’s Al Pessin in Kyiv.
Colonel Andriy Lysenko says the Russian troops across the border are using a variety of weapons to attack Ukrainian units that are fighting Russian-backed separatists.
Lysenko said that in the last 24 hours Russian forces have fired Grad missiles at six Ukrainian checkpoints, including one at the Luhansk airport. He says they also fired artillery shells, grenades and small arms at various locations along the border.
Al Pessin, VOA news, Kyiv.
And here in Washington, the U.S. also is accusing Russia of firing on Ukrainian military positions in the troubled eastern part from inside of Russia. And the White House says Washington contends Moscow intends to supply pro-Russian rebels with bigger and more powerful weaponry to fight Kyiv’s forces.
U.S. State Department spokesperson Marie Harf: “We have new evidence that the Russians intend to deliver heavier and more powerful, multiple rocket launchers to the separatist forces in Ukraine and have evidence that Russia is firing artillery from within Russia to attack Ukrainian military positions.”
A spokesman for the U.S. Defense Department said Russian forces fired artillery shots into Ukraine Thursday and described the Russian assault as a clear escalation of weeks long fighting in eastern Ukraine between separatists rebels and the Ukrainian military attempting to retake control of rebel-held cities.
Another [blood] blast, that is, in Iraq, militants killed at least 51 prisoners and eight policemen in an attack on a convoy north of Baghdad. Thursday’s attack happened as the convoy was carrying prisoners from a military base in the town of Taji, about 20 kilometers from the capital.
Just hours later, Iraq’s parliament elected Kurdish politician Fouad Massoum as the country’s new president. Thursday’s election paves the way for the much delayed formation of a new government in Iraq.
Israeli strikes in Gaza continued Thursday and rockets fired by Hamas fighters landed in Israel. That story now from VOA’s Scott Bobb.
Israeli forces bombarded targets in the Gaza Strip and Hamas-led fighters in Gaza launched rockets and mortar shells on Israel.
Gaza health officials say an Israeli shell slammed into a U.N.-run school in the northern Gaza Strip, killing at least 15 people and injuring dozens more.
The U.N. has confirmed the school at Beit Hanoun was hit but could not confirm the number of casualties.
After meeting with British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Hamas militants are using Palestinian civilians as human shields and complained Israel is being criticized for defending itself.
Scott Bobb, VOA news, Jerusalem.
U.S. airlines are resuming flights in and out of Israel’s Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv after two days of cancellations brought on by the conflict between Israel and Gaza.
The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration removed restrictions after reviewing new information along with the measures Israel is taking to mitigate potential aviation risk.
European Aviation Safety Agency also lifted its restrictions into Israel on Thursday.
Mali’s President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita says searchers have spotted the wreckage of an Air Algerie plane that went missing on a flight from Burkina Faso to Algeria. It was located in northeastern Mali.
There was no word on possible survivors. Authorities said 116 people were on board that flight.
The plane was last seen on radar as it flew over the Malian city of Gao after taking off from Ouagadougou.
There were reports of storms in the area.
Taiwanese authorities have identified 31 people killed when a domestic flight crashed during poor weather on Wednesday. Another 17 bodies remain unidentified.
The crash occurred Wednesday during a landing attempt [during] as Typhoon Matmo battered the island with heavy rains and strong winds.
Officials are looking for flight data (and) recordings to be removed. That’s the black boxes from TransAsia Airways.
That’s the latest world news from VOA.
VOA news: July 26th, 2014
From Washington, this is VOA news. Twelve-hour Middle East cease-fire is announced. And Ebola takes its 1st life in Nigeria. I’m Vincent Bruce reporting from Washington.
Israel has declared a 12-hour-long cease-fire in Gaza for Saturday. That’s according to a U.S. official.
Reportedly, the pause in fighting would start around 7:00 a.m. local time, or 0400 Universal Time, and the cease-fire would be in honor of Eid– the Muslim holiday marking the end of Ramadan, according to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.
This announcement comes after Kerry told reporters in Cairo that he believes Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is committed to working toward a cease-fire.
Israeli media reports say Mr. Netanyahu and his cabinet want changes in a proposed 7-day truce with Hamas militants proposed by Egypt.
Kerry said the pause in the fighting would be used to bring all sides together to look at the underlying issues that have led to weeks of deadly violence between Israelis and Palestinians. The World Health Organization is calling for a humanitarian corridor in Gaza to transport the wounded for urgent treatment to medical facilities outside the conflict zone.
As Lisa Schlein reports from Geneva, the WHO says the emergency medical facilities should be located at crossing points between the Gaza Strip and Israel as well as neighboring Egypt and Jordan.
WHO reports 4 hospitals, 12 clinics and 10 ambulances as well as a specialized center for the disabled have been damaged. It says surgical wards have been put out of service. It says all functioning health facilities are suffering severe shortages of supplies, particularly for surgical practices.
The U.N. health agency says a humanitarian corridor would facilitate the delivery of such supplies.
Lisa Schlein, for VOA news, Geneva.
Nigeria has confirmed the Ebola virus is present in the country as officials report a man who died in Lagos Friday tested positive.
A VOA Hausa service reporter in Lagos identified the deceased man as 40-year-old Patrick Sawyer, a Liberian who became ill soon after arriving on a flight from Monrovia on Sunday.
Nigeria is now the 4th West African country to confirm the presence of Ebola. The virus has killed 100s of people this year in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia.
In northern Nigeria, the health of many HIV/AIDS patients is rapidly declining as a nationwide doctor’s strike is reported 30,000 medical officials choosing not to work.
[The Nigerian], rather, the Nigerian Medical Association says the strike is the only way they know to rescue Nigeria’s frail health care system.
Meanwhile, nurses accuse strikers of abandoning public care in favor of more lucrative private practices.
Top Obama administration officials say the United States is considering a pilot program which would involve screening some youths in Honduras to see if they qualify for refugee status in the United States.
Officials say the youngsters could be interviewed before they make the dangerous journey to the U.S. border as !10,000s of 1000s of children from Central America have done already this year.
VOA’s Cindy Saine has some early reaction to the suggestion from Capitol Hill.
White House spokesman Josh Earnest said President Barack Obama was considering possible options after talks at the White House Friday with the Presidents of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.
“This pilot program is aimed squarely at deterring those individuals who may be contemplating a trip from Central America to the southwest border with the U.S.”
Earnest said no decisions have been made. He said the program would be limited but could be expanded to include other Central American countries.
Cindy Saine, VOA news, on Capitol Hill.
The Pentagon says it has information that a transfer of Russian arms to Ukrainian separatists is “imminent.”
Pentagon spokesman Steve Warren made the statement Friday, saying officials believe the transfer will involve heavier caliber, more capable artillery systems than those used previously.
The U.S. for weeks has said Russia is supplying the separatists with arms and equipment.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 133 points Friday, the S&P 500 lost 9.82 and the NASDAQ Composite dropped 23.65.
More at voanews.com. I’m Vincent Bruce reporting from Washington. That’s the latest world news from VOA.
VOA news: July 27th, 2014
From Washington, this is VOA news. Israel extends Saturday’s cease-fire. U.S. suspends embassy operations in Libya. I’m Vincent Bruce reporting from Washington.
Israel is extending Saturday’s cease-fire in Gaza another 24 hours through Sunday at midnight local time.
An Israeli official says the United Nations asked for the extension of the 12-hour truce and the cabinet agreed.
The official says Israel would respond to Hamas rocket fire during the extension and will continue to search for and destroy tunnels Hamas uses to smuggle in weapons and fighters.
Hamas is rejecting the extension, saying Israel 1st has to withdraw its forces from Gaza.
Hamas militants fired several rockets into Israel shortly after the original 12-hour cease-fire ended. Israeli forces did not respond.
The United States has moved its staff from the U.S. embassy in Libya to neighboring Tunisia, suspending operations temporarily.
In a Saturday statement, the State Department also recommended that U.S. citizens in Libya depart immediately.
VOA’s State Department correspondent Scott Stearns.
Secretary Kerry says the United States is suspending diplomatic activities in Libya because of what he calls “freewheeling militia violence” in Tripoli.
“A lot of the violence is around our embassy but not on the embassy, but nevertheless it presents a very real risk to our personnel.”
Kerry says diplomatic staff were evacuated overland to Tunisia, from where they will move on to other locations to continue efforts to ease violence in Libya.
“We are deeply committed and remain committed to the diplomatic process in Libya.”
The security of American personnel in Libya is a sensitive political issue for the Obama administration since the 2012 attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi that killed 4 Americans including ambassador Chris Stevens.
Scott Stearns, VOA news, Paris.
The United Nations’ new human rights envoy to Myanmar, also known as Burma, says camps housing 10,000s of homeless Muslims are “deplorable.”
Yanghee Lee spoke to reporters in Yangon Saturday at the end of her 1st official 10-day visit to the country.
She said many Muslims living in camps for the dispossessed do not have access to basic services.
Lee said she has gotten disturbing reports of people dying because of a lack of emergency medical care and treatment for preventable diseases.
The 2nd “black box” has been recovered from the site of the Air Algerie plane crash Thursday in Mali.
U.N. officials announced Saturday that the 2nd flight data recorder was recovered safely and will improve the chance they can determine the cause for the plane to go down.
118 people on board were killed.
Ukraine troops reportedly continued a military assault on the eastern city of Donetsk on Saturday.
Kyiv government’s national security spokesman told reporters that Ukrainian troops were bearing down on the city. That agreed with reports by U.S. officials.
President Barack Obama met with leaders of 3 Central American nations on Friday to ask for their help in stemming the flow of 1000s of unaccompanied minors to the southern U.S. border.
VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez has a report.
President Obama told the leaders of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras it is not a lack of compassion, but an obligation to obey immigration laws that is prompting the U.S. to turn back many of those coming to this country’s borders.
The U.S. President asked the leaders to do their part. “All of us recognize that we have a shared responsibility to address this problem.”
Under U.S. law, those who come and seek asylum are given due process, meaning the courts decide whether they can stay or not.
The migrants make the dangerous journey across Mexico in the belief that they will get residency permits– a hope that is encouraged by human smugglers.
Luis Ramirez, VOA news, at the White House.
President Obama has criticized what he calls “a small but growing group” of big corporations that are fleeing the country to avoid paying taxes.
Speaking in his weekly address Saturday, Obama said these companies are keeping most of their business inside the United States, but they are “basically renouncing their citizenship,” declaring they are based somewhere else to avoid paying “their fair share” of taxes.
In the Republican address, Congressman Steve Daines of Montana said President Obama is waging a war on the middle class. Daines called on the Senate to pass House-approved jobs bills. The White House and Senate are controlled by Democrats, the House of Representatives is controlled by Republicans.
Lebanese security forces reportedly have preempted an assault plan by Syrian jihadists. Security officials say the planned attack would have been on predominantly Shiite Muslim villages in the Bekaa Valley.
I’m Vincent Bruce in Washington. That’s the latest world news from VOA.
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