US News

‘Hundreds’ of Syrian Refugees Denied Admission to US, Officials Say

Steve Hernan VOA News STATE DEPARTMENT—Seven percent of all screened Syrian refugees seeking to resettle in the United States this year have been denied approval, and 13 percent of the cases have been put on hold, government officials said Friday. The screening process, which has faced domestic criticism, is “rigorous and exhaustive,” said Anne Richard, assistant secretary of state for population, refugees and migration. Highly trained officers conduct the screening to ensure that applicants aren't terrorists, said León Rodriguez, director of Citizenship and Immigration Services, an agency of the Department of Homeland Security. “Hundreds have been denied,” Rodriguez told reporters…
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US News

US Denies $400 Million to Tehran was Ransom Payment

VOA News Secretary of State John Kerry says the "does not pay ransom" amid criticism of the Obama administration's payment of $400 million in cash to Iran on the same day Tehran released four American hostages. officials said the airlifting of $400 million in foreign currencies to Iran in January was to partially settle a decades-old dispute over an aborted arms deal. But critics, especially those who oppose the Iran nuclear agreement, have termed it a ransom payment. Marco Rubio Congressional criticism Florida senator Marco Rubio tweeted that the deal was "just unreal". House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce…
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Featured

Utah: Apoyan a estadounidense detenido en Venezuela

Laurie Holt señaló que su hijo fue acusado por error, ha perdido peso y enfermó desde que lo encarcelaron el 30 de junio. Más de 100 personas en Salt Lake City efectuaron una manifestación en apoyo a la familia de un estadounidense encarcelado en Venezuela. La multitud se reunió frente al Capitolio del estado de Utah y oraron por Josh Holt, cuya madre rompió en llanto. Laurie Holt organizó la movilización con la esperanza de atraer la atención de las autoridades al caso de su hijo. Varios participantes portaban carteles que decían "Liberen a Josh" y "Tráiganlo de vuelta al…
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World News

Turkey Intensifies Failed Coup Crackdown

VOA News Turkey intensified its crackdown Sunday on officials who allegedly played a role in the failed coup in mid-July, dismissing nearly 1,400 military personnel. Among those discharged was a top aide to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who also moved to tighten his grip over the top ranks of the country's armed forces and spy agency. Erdogan aide-de-camp Ali Yazici was among those arrested five days after the July 15 uprising in an attempt to overthrow Erdogan's Ankara government. More than 50,000 Turks have now lost their jobs across the country and more than 18,000 have been detained, all for…
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World News

US Condemns Iraq Attacks That Killed 46

The United States condemned a series of attacks Monday in Iraq that killed at least 46 people and wounded more than 100 others. Islamic State militants claimed responsibility for the two largest attacks, saying they were targeting Shi'ites. Gunmen fired at shoppers before blowing themselves up at a Baghdad shopping mall, killing at least 18 people.  In Muqdadiyah, about 90 kilometers north of the capital, a double suicide bombing killed at least 23 people. State Department spokesman John Kirby called the attacks "barbaric acts of terrorism" and reiterated commitment to supporting Iraq in defeating the militants. "These attacks once again…
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US News

Report Says US Spied on Israel During Iran Negotiations

VOA News December 30, 2015 A newspaper is reporting that the United States spied on communications of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, although President Barack Obama promised two years ago to curtail eavesdropping on friendly heads of state. The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday that the White House decided to secretly keep certain allies under close watch, with Netanyahu topping the list. The report said the , while pursuing a landmark nuclear arms deal with Iran, captured communications between Netanyahu and his aides. Intercepting the conversations "inflamed mistrust between the two countries and planted a political minefield at home when…
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US News

Report: US Split on Balancing Freedoms, Safety

VOA News Last updated on: December 30, 2015 8:23 AM A new opinion poll suggests that Americans place a higher priority on protecting the rights of Christians than that of other religious groups. Eighty-two percent of respondents said it was "extremely or very important" that Christians be allowed to practice their religion freely, according to the survey published by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. When asked the same question about Jews, the figure dropped to 72 percent. Asked about Mormons, it was 67 percent. And about Muslims, the figure plunged to 61 percent. Fighting terrorism The survey…
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World News

Congressman: US-led Airstrikes Have ‘Minimal Impact’ on IS

Victor Beattie December 28, 2015 Republican Congressman Peter King (NY) said that while the airstrikes against the Islamic State group in Syria and Iraq have had some impact, it has been minimal given how long the air campaign has gone on. King’s remarks Sunday on television followed a purported audio recording by IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi who said coalition and Russian strikes have failed to weaken the IS group. King, chairman of the House Subcommittee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence, said Baghdadi’s statement about the 16-month campaign, and the three-month Russian effort, is not surprising. "We’ve had some impact.  But,…
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Health

US Plan Takes Aim at Deadly Strain of Tuberculosis

VOA News The Obama administration has unveiled a plan to help combat multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) in the United States and globally. While about 100 cases of MDR-TB are diagnosed annually in the , the disease affects nearly half a million people around the world every year. The plan released Tuesday is the first from the White House to address the global threat of MDR-TB, the deadlier strain of tuberculosis. The National Action Plan is built on three goals: strengthening domestic capacity to combat MDR-TB; improving work with other countries to better address the disease; and accelerating basic and applied research…
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US News

New Zealand Judge Rules Kim Dotcom Can Be Extradited to US

VOA News December 23, 2015 A judge in New Zealand ruled Wednesday that Kim Dotcom, the founder of the former file-sharing service Megaupload, can be extradited to the United States to face charges of copyright infringement, racketeering and money laundering. Dotcom's lawyers said he will appeal the decision.  New Zealand Justice Minister Amy Adams must ultimately approve the extradition request and said she will not give her decision until the appeals process is finished. Wednesday's decision also included three others linked to Megaupload who have been charged in the United States. The has been trying to prosecute Dotcom since 2012…
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