World News

Syrian Kurds Face Heavy Fighting in Battle to Retake Raqqa

Kurdish-led Syrian forces, backed by air power and military advisers, captured a number of Islamic State positions amid heavy fighting Monday north of the IS stronghold of Raqqa. But the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says there has been "no real progress" so far in the offensive. Islamic State has used as many as five car bombs in defense, Reuters news agency reported. The Syrian Democratic Forces, backed by air support, announced on Sunday the start of an offensive to gain control of Raqqa, the northern Syrian city overrun by Islamic State extremists in 2014 and self-designated as the center…
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Families Reveal IS Trickery As They Slip Out of Mosul

GOGJALI, MOSUL, IRAQ — "They use bullets in the school classrooms," joked Ratima Ahmed. "One bullet plus one bullet equals two bullets." Just hours before, she had fled her home in eastern Mosul, where the Iraqi Army now battles Islamic State militants. She sat in the dust with other women and children on the city's outskirts, waiting for buses to transport them to camps. Men sat in a separate group. They didn’t know exactly where they were going, or what they would find when they got there. This district has become almost uninhabited since the Iraqi Army moved in just days…
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Nicaragua’s Ortega Appears Headed for Re-election – Again

VOA News Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega appeared to have a clear path to a third consecutive term — this time accompanied by his wife as vice president — in Sunday's presidential vote. Opinion polls said the former guerrilla fighter was likely to receive more than 50 percent of the votes and avoid a runoff in a field that included five other lesser-known candidates. He was running with his wife, Rosario Murillo, as his vice presidential candidate. Ninety-two congressional seats were also being contested. Electoral council chief Roberto Rivas said all polling places opened normally and saw a high turnout, although…
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Ukraine Hopes Law to Reveal Lawmakers’ Wealth Will Aid EU Path

Henry Ridgwell A new law in Ukraine forcing senior officials to declare their wealth has revealed the scale of riches held by those in power. Members of the Cabinet alone hold $7 million in cash. Other lawmakers declared luxury cars, expensive watches and artwork. Analysts say the revelations show how far Ukraine still has to go to eradicate corruption. The 2014 uprising and subsequent ouster of then-president Viktor Yanukovich was meant to usher in a new generation of clean politics in Ukraine. But the scale of the wealth revealed to be held by current lawmakers and senior officials has left…
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Putin’s Push for Law on ‘Russian Nation’ Gets Mixed Reviews

Svetlana Cunningham President Vladimir Putin has urged Russia's parliament to develop and implement federal legislation on "the Russian nation" to clarify and further regulate ethnic relations in the country. While the proposal has not been fleshed out, it is receiving mixed reviews. "What we really absolutely can and must work on — what we should think about and start practical work on — is a law on the Russian nation," Putin said at a meeting Monday of Russia's Council for Interethnic Relations in the southern Russian city of Astrakhan. Asked for details about the proposed law, Putin's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov,…
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After Days of Uncertainty, Child Migrants Leave Calais

Lisa Bryant PARIS — France on Wednesday began busing an estimated 1,500 unaccompanied migrant youngsters from Calais to other parts of France, after days of bickering with Britain over who should take charge of them. The first busload of children left Calais, where a tent camp for migrants had been dismantled, for the southern town of Carcassonne, more than 1,000 kilometers away. Most were teenagers from South Sudan and Afghanistan, who hugged social workers before departing. They had been housed in shipping containers for days. The Carcassonne site is one of 60 temporary centers around the country where the children will…
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World News

Russia Plans Halt in Aleppo Airstrikes

VOA News The Russian Defense Ministry said Wednesday that it would observe a 'humanitarian pause' on Friday to allow both rebels and civilians to leave the embattled city. "A decision was made to introduce a 'humanitarian pause' in Aleppo on November 4 from 9:00 to 19:00," the chief of Russia's General Staff Valery Gerasimov said in a statement. He said the moratorium, which was also approved by Syrian officials, was intended to "avoid pointless casualties." FILE - People remove belongings from a damaged site after an air strike Sunday in the rebel-held besieged al-Qaterji neighbourhood of Aleppo, Syria, Oct. 17,…
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Closing in on Mosul, Iraqi Army Finds Wake of Destruction

Heather Murdock VOA News BARTELLA, IRAQ — Soldiers say the Iraqi army is closing in on Mosul, fighting less than a kilometer from the city limits as it battles Islamic State militants in in cities and villages outside the front lines, some locals say they fear as long as militants control the provincial capital nowhere in the area is safe. "We can't go back until Mosul is freed," said Bashir Salam Shama, who came back to his city to find his house destroyed on Wednesday. "We are Christians and it will not be safe." A few residents return to Bartella, Iraq,…
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Thousands Rally in Venezuela Streets Against President Maduro

Venezuela's political standoff deepened Wednesday as tens of thousands of protesters took to the streets in several cities and opposition leaders called for a general strike later this week. At one of the demonstrations in Venezuelan capital Caracas, Jesus Torrealba, secretary general of the opposition party, announced the 12-hour strike for Friday as another attempt to hold President Nicolas Maduro responsible for his handling of the country's severe economic downturn. "Everyone stay home," he said to applause from the crowd. An estimate from opposition activists put the turnout at the rally in Caracas at around million people, the largest of…
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Raqqa: Se aceleran los planes para recuperar otro bastión de ISIS

A medida que aumenten las bajas en Irak y Siria, el grupo Estado islámico se verá obligado a concentrarse en mantener la capital del autodenominado califato. El temor de que el grupo Estado islámico esté comenzando a concentrarse en su autodenominada capital de Raqqa, en territorio sirio, y que pueda lanzar ataques desde allí, ha obligado a Estados Unidos y sus aliados a enfocarse en ella. El secretario de Defensa de , Ashton Carter, dijo en entrevista con la cadena NBC desde París, que una ofensiva para recuperar el bastión más importante del grupo extremista podría comenzar “en las próximas…
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