Featured

Wildfire Near Border Between California, Oregon Kills 1 Person

VOA News officials in California say a wildfire burning near the border with Oregon has killed one person as it continues to grow in strength. Authorities say the fire destroyed buildings Friday and forced the evacuation of hundreds of people. They did not give details about the person who died in the fire. The fire broke out Thursday and it grew within hours from an initial 1,000 acres to 8,000 acres with flames crossing Interstate 5 near the California and Oregon border. The blaze is threatening 300 homes near Hornbook, California, a small town about 22 kilometers (14 miles) south…
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Amid Controversy, VP Pence Visits ICE

VOA News/Arya Hodjat WASHINGTON — Amid a wave of backlash against of the agency, Vice President Mike Pence on Friday visited the headquarters of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, echoing President Donald Trump's praise and proclaiming the administration's full support of the agency. "Just this week, President Trump called the men and women of ICE 'incredible people,'" and Pence concurred. "And I know that to be true, incredible patriots." ICE was established in 2003, under the then-new Department of Homeland Security. During the administration of President Barack Obama, ICE — particularly its Enforcement and Removal Operations department, which is charged with detaining…
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Featured

EPA Chief Scott Pruitt Resigns

VOA News Embattled Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt has resigned after fighting numerous scandals and alleged ethics violations. "The unrelenting attacks on me personally, my family, are unprecedented and have taken a sizable toll on all of us," Pruitt wrote in his resignation letter to President Donald Trump on Thursday. He wrote that it is "extremely difficult" to step down, but did not directly mention or apologize for any of the scandals that have overshadowed the EPA. Trump told reporters on Air Force One there was no "final straw" that led to Pruitt's resignation. "Scott is a terrific guy.…
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Featured

US Supreme Court Strikes Required Disclosure of Abortion Options

VOA News/Ken Bredemeier WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Tuesday struck down a California law that required anti-abortion crisis clinics to let patients know about the availability of free state-provided abortions, ruling that it violated the free-speech rights of the Christian-based centers. Under a 1973 ruling, abortions are legal in the United States in most instances. But the new 5-4 decision handed anti-abortion activists a significant victory, approving of the way the clinics — often called crisis pregnancy centers — advise women with unplanned pregnancies against having an abortion. The majority opinion said the California law "imposes an unduly burdensome disclosure…
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Growing Populations, Aging Societies Portend Global Care Crisis

VOA News/Lisa Schlein GENEVA — The International Labor Organization (ILO) says urgent action is needed to avert a global crisis as the number of people, including children and elderly, needing care rises, The warning is part of a new ILO report on care work and care jobs unveiled Thursday in Geneva. The ILO cautions that the global care crisis will become a reality in coming years without a doubling of investment. Authors of the report say $ trillion was spent in 2015 on education, health and social work. They say that amount must be increased to $ trillion by 2030 to prevent the…
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Featured

Mattis Reassures S. Korea of ‘Ironclad’ US Support

VOA News Defense Secretary Jim Mattis reassured South Korea on Thursday that commitment to its security "remains ironclad." The comments came as Mattis met with South Korean Defense Minister Song Young-moo in Seoul while negotiators from both countries continue toward the goal of a denuclearized North Korea. Earlier this month, President Donald Trump announced the suspension of military exercises with South Korea after he held a summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. North Korea had long called for the drills to stop amid fears they were aimed at planning an invasion, which the and South Korean militaries denied.…
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Immigrant Advocates Turn Down DNA Tests

VOA News/Steve Baragona When kidnappers assaulted a woman on a Guatemala City street and ripped her infant daughter from her arms, DNA testing came to the rescue. A positive match helped reunite mother and child after the baby turned up abandoned at a church with no identification. In addition to identifying kidnap victims, DNA tests have helped connect adoptees with their biological parents and immigrants with their families. Now, DNA technology is being called upon to bring together families separated at the border. Migrants' advocates, however, say using genetic testing in this way raises technical, legal and ethical issues. While…
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Featured

Contentious Confirmation Process Looms After Supreme Court Justice Retirement

VOA News/Masood Farivar WASHINGTON — The retirement of Justice Anthony Kennedy, the key swing vote on the Supreme Court, gives President Donald Trump a coveted opportunity make the second high court appointment of his term and sets the stage for one of the most consequential confirmation battles in decades. During his 30 years on the bench, Kennedy, an 81-year- old Republican appointee, has often broken ranks with his conservative colleagues to cast the decisive vote in a string of landmark cases, including those involving abortion, gay rights and voting rights. His retirement becomes effective at the end of July and a…
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Politics

Trump-Putin Summit Set for Helsinki on July 16

VOA News/Charles Maynes MOSCOW —  President Donald Trump and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin will hold their first formal summit July 16 in Helsinki. The summit confirmation by both sides came a day after Trump's National Security Advisor John Bolton met with top Russian officials, including Putin, to lay the groundwork for the summit. "President Trump asked me to come and speak to Russian authorities about the possibility of a meeting between him and President Putin," said Bolton, speaking at a press briefing with international journalists in Moscow on Wednesday. “There are a wide range of issues despite the differences…
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LPR News

Otherwise Banned, LGBT Rights Enjoy Brief Hurrah at World Cup

VOA News/Marissa Melton "I know quite a few people that, if the World Cup wasn't in Russia, would have gone this year," said Joe White, co-founder of Three Lions Pride, an LGBT group cheering for England's team at the World Cup. He and his co-founder, Di Cunningham, have been in Russia for the competition, showing up to games with a rainbow-striped Three Lions Pride flag, despite Russia's five-year-old ban on what has been nicknamed "gay propaganda." Russia's World Cup organizing committee has said in a statement that all visitors, regardless of sexual orientation (or race, gender, religion, ability, or other…
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