US News

A Look at Americans and Their Affinity for Guns

A tearful President Barack Obama said Tuesday that he was taking executive action, bypassing Congress, to implement new "common-sense" measures aimed at reducing gun violence in America. “In Dr. King’s words, we need to feel the fierce urgency of now, because people are dying,” a visibly emotional Obama told an audience of mass shooting victims and relatives at the White House. “Our inalienable right to life and liberty and the pursuit of happiness, those rights were stripped from college kids in Blacksburg and Santa Barbara and from high schoolers at Columbine, and from first-graders in Newtown,” he said, listing the…
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Politics

US Presidential Race Shifting Into High Gear

Jim Malone December 31, 2015 The 2016 presidential campaign is about to kick into overdrive only a month before the first votes are counted in Iowa. Contenders from both parties will ramp up their campaign activities early in January, with a heavy focus on the early voting states of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina. Republican frontrunner Donald Trump will launch his New Year’s push with a campaign rally in Mississippi on Saturday, followed by appearances in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and South Carolina next week. Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton is also ramping up with an intensified campaign schedule Monday beginning…
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World News

2016 to Dawn Amid Terror Warnings, Tight Security

VOA News Last updated on: December 31, 2015 6:37 AM Security is tight at New Year celebrations in cities around the world, as authorities confront threatened possible terror attacks against public celebrations. In Sydney, one of the first places marking the dawn of 2016, Australians enjoyed one of their biggest fireworks displays ever — seven tons of pyrotechnics for a 12-minute show that cost $ million. In Russia, authorities have decided to shut down Moscow's iconic Red Square, a popular spot to ring in the new year.  Though not officially acknowledged, the rare move seems aimed at concerns of terrorism following…
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World News

Authorities in Dubai Bringing Massive Hotel Fire Under Control

DUBAI—Everyone has been evacuated from a Dubai luxury hotel that is still burning after becoming engulfed in flames late city’s police chief, General Khamis Matar al-Mzeima, says all residents are out of the 63-story hotel, known as The Address. Authorities also say they hope to have the massive blaze under control by the time fireworks begin at midnight local time; it is now 90 percent contained. The hotel had been packed with New Year’s Eve revelers when fire broke out at about 9:30 (about 1730 UTC).  At least 14 people were injured.  The hotel stands across from the world's tallest…
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World News

Iraqi Troops Work to Clear Ramadi After Key Victory

Chris Hannas Last updated on: December 29, 2015 Iraqi forces worked Tuesday to clear Islamic State fighters from Ramadi after recapturing the government compound in the key western city. The fall of Ramadi in May was a big blow to Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi’s government and military as they struggled in their campaign to push back against the militants. But after Monday’s success in the latest offensive to retake Ramadi, Abadi went on Iraqi television to declare 2016 will be the year Islamic State will be driven out of Iraq. He said the country’s second largest city is the army’s…
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World News

Syria, France Deadliest Countries for Journalists

NEW YORK—The Committee to Protect Journalists says 2015 was one of the deadliest years on record for members of the press worldwide, with 69 journalists killed on-assignment.  According to the CPJ, 2015 was the sixth year out of the last ten (and eighth since 1992) in which more than 60 journalists were killed in the line of duty—a figure that includes those targeted for their profession as well as those killed in combat, crossfire or while covering other assignments deemed dangerous. Deadliest Countries For Journalists in 2015 For the fourth consecutive year, the death toll among journalists in Syria topped…
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World News

Belgium Arrests 2 Suspected of New Year’s Terror Plot

VOA News Last updated on: December 29, 2015 Prosecutors in Belgium said Tuesday police arrested two people suspected of planning holiday terror attacks in Brussels. They said investigators found evidence pointing to “the threat of serious attacks that would target several emblematic places” on New Year’s Eve. The prosecutor’s office did not specify any potential targets in its statement. In addition to being Belgium’s capital city, Brussels is also the home to the headquarters of the European Commission and NATO, as well as offices of multiple United Nations agencies. The arrests happened Sunday and Monday after searches near Brussels and…
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Culture

Abstract Master Ellsworth Kelly Dies at 92

VOA News December 29, 2015 American master of abstract art, Ellsworth Kelly, died Sunday at his home in Spencertown, New York at the age of 92.  His death was announced by Matthew Marks of the Matthew Marks Gallery in New York. The painter, sculptor and printmaker had studied at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston after his discharge from the Army in 1945.  His formative years as an artist were spent in Paris from 1948 to 1955 with support from the GI Bill. He is credited with a distinctive style of American painting by combining solid…
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US News

Chicago Mayor Cuts Cuba Trip Short After Latest Police Shootings

VOA News Last updated on: December 28, 2015 Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel will cut short a family vacation to Cuba after police in the city fatally shot a 19-year-old male student and a 55-year-old mother of five Saturday. Both victims were African American. The shootings have increased tensions in the city after the mayor was forced to release a police dashboard camera video that showed 17 year old Laquan McDonald shot 16 times by a police officer in 2014. Emanuel has seen his approval ratings drop to 18 percent and continued demonstrations demanding his resignation. The race of the police officers…
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Featured

‘Affluenza’ Teen Detained in Mexico

VOA News December 29, 2015 and Mexican officials say authorities in Mexico have detained an American teenager wanted for violating his probation in connection with a drunk-driving crash that killed four people in 2013. 18-year-old Ethan Couch and his mother were taken into custody in Puerto Vallarta on Mexico’s west coast. The Department of Justice had offered a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to Couch’s arrest. He missed a mandatory meeting with his probation officer on December 10. Officials in Texas, where Couch is wanted, have said they believe he fled in November after a video surfaced…
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