World News

IS Bomb-Makers, Kurdish Bomb-Disposal Teams in Deadly Cat-and-Mouse Game

Jamie Dettmer/VOA NEWS BASHIQA, IRAQ — The peshmerga general frowned when asked about a top Kurdish bomb-disposal expert killed last month the day after the assault on Mosul, Iraq began. “He was a very brave man,” said Gen. Mahmood Kakaye. Suleman Sahed Chirukaya was trying to disarm a jihadist bomb in a tunnel near the town of Bashiqa, 24 kilometers from Mosul, one of hundreds he’d defused saving countless lives, when an anti-handling device triggered a blast, critically wounding him. Flown to Germany, where he’d lived a comfortable life for 16 years before returning to Kurdistan, he died in a hospital…
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Russian Official: Contacts Being Made with Trump Team to Discuss Syria

VOA News A top Russian official said Thursday that Moscow has initiated contacts with representatives of the team of President-elect Donald Trump to discuss Syria. “This is an important turning point: the arrival of President-elect Donald Trump's new team,” the Interfax news agency quoted Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov as telling journalists in the Russian capital. “We are already starting contacts with people who are likely to help the new president.” "We hope that the outgoing and the incoming administrations will proceed from the fact that without Russia, the Syrian problem is impossible to solve, ready to open candid dialogue,"…
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Is Turkey’s Military Becoming Overstretched?

VOA NEWS/Dorian Jones ISTANBUL — The Turkish army is engaged in a two-front war, fighting both in Turkey and Syria against PKK Kurdish rebels. With a third front possibly looming, questions are being raised about how sustainable such operations are, given the military is still reeling from massive purges within its ranks following July’s failed coup in Turkey. Since the collapse of last year’s cease-fire with the PKK, the military has launched unparalleled numbers of counterinsurgency operations across Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast. The operations have turned many towns and cities into rubble in vicious street warfare with the rebels. Further demands…
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Several G20 Countries Failing to Live Up to Paris Climate Pledges

Henry Ridgwell/VOA NEWS LONDON - Several of the G20 group of industrialized countries are failing to take action in line with their pledges to reduce emissions, made under the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement, according to new research. Scientists fear the momentum behind reducing emissions could be lost if President-elect Donald Trump follows through on campaign pledges to pull out of the deal. Six G20 countries, the Untied States, Argentina, Australia, Canada, Saudi Arabia and Turkey, are failing to enact sufficient legislation to meet their emissions targets, according to Professor Samuel Fankhauser, who was part of the research team at the…
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Senate Republicans Defend Filibuster as They Prepare for One-party Rule

VOA NEWS/Michael Bowman CAPITOL HILL — Senate Republicans are eager to flex their party's newfound political muscle next year, but say they have no plans to weaken rules enabling Democrats to block major legislation and, potentially, any Supreme Court nomination put forth by soon-to-be President Donald Trump. Whether Republicans adhere to their promise of restraint will determine the fate of the filibuster, which checks the power of the majority by making some degree of minority support necessary for most bills to pass the Senate and for high court nominees to be confirmed. For now, Republicans are defending the filibuster as they…
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Refugees Set to Shiver in Tents as Winter Arrives in Greece

John Owens VOA NEWS A bleak winter beckons for many refugees and migrants trapped in Greece, with thousands left vulnerable to the elements. Aid organizations are offering winter assistance to those stuck in the country since the closure of the Balkan route last spring. The Greek government has largely succeeded in shifting most people from ad-hoc sites into state-run camps, but conditions in the camps vary widely. As one UNHCR spokesman admits, “more speed” is needed in efforts to minimize the impact of the coming cold. Many still have no more than a tent to protect them in the coming…
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Russia’s Extortion Charges Against Economy Minister Seen as Politics

Daniel Schearf VOA NEWS MOSCOW — Russian prosecutors charged Economic Development Minister Alexei Ulyukayev with extortion Tuesday and requested he be placed under house arrest in the highest-level corruption case of its kind in decades. Ulyukayev’s lawyer said he denies the charges. Analysts and observers question the charges as politically motivated and say the arrest of Ulyukayev more likely exposes an internal Kremlin battle between those for and against more state control of the dwindling Russian economy. Ulyukayev was detained late Monday after a sting operation carried out by Russia’s Federal Security Services (FSB), according to Russia’s Investigative Committee (SK). The…
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End to Yemen War Could Soon Be Reality

Steve Herman & Nike Ching VOA NEWS ABU DHABI / STATE DEPARTMENT — Secretary of State John Kerry says a cease-fire in Yemen could start as early as November 17, "provided that everybody does their part." Yemen's armed Houthi movement and a Saudi-led military alliance have agreed to support a solution for the conflict in Yemen based on the framework laid out to establish a new Yemeni national unity government by the end of the year. An Omani road map, based on an initiative by Kerry, calls for Yemeni President Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi to hand power to a less…
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Study: Deaths by Firearms Reach Record Highs in Mexico

VOA NEWS MEXICO CITY — Murder by firearms in Mexico have hit record levels under the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto as the death toll from gang violence worsens, a study showed on Tuesday. The months of July to September have seen the highest murder tolls since Pena Nieto took office in December 2012 pledging to curb gang violence that rose sharply under his predecessor. August and September, the latest months for which data are available, were also the worst two months for deaths by firearm ever registered, according to the National Citizen Observatory (ONC), a civil group monitoring justice…
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Peru Asks to Join China-led Trade Deal but Still Hopeful on TPP

VOA NEWS LIMA —Peru has started talks with China about joining a Beijing-backed trade pact for the Asia Pacific region even as it holds out hopes that President-elect Donald Trump might renege on his vow to scrap a rival deal, the government said on Tuesday. Trade Minister Eduardo Ferreyros said he hopes Peru will someday be part of both proposed tariff-slashing deals - the Trans Pacific Partnership with the United States and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) with China. Peru, which signed the TPP along with 11 other countries early this year, told Beijing in September that it is…
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