US News

US Defense Chief Appeals for More Help in Fighting IS

VOA News defense chief Ash Carter appealed Thursday to his counterparts in the coalition conducting aerial attacks on Islamic State in Iraq and Syria for more military and financial help to carry out the campaign. Carter met with defense ministers from more than two dozen countries in Brussels, talking privately with some officials but also publicly shaming some unnamed countries in the 66-nation coalition for doing "nothing at all." The Netherlands announced last month that it is expanding its role in the fighting from Iraq to Syria, while Saudi Arabia says it might send ground troops into Syria. Concrete plan…
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US News

Report: Remaining Occupiers at Oregon Refuge to Surrender

VOA News The remaining armed protestors occupying a federal wildlife refuge in the northwestern state of Oregon have agreed to turn themselves in Thursday morning, according to media reports. As that development was unfolding, word came that the patriarch of the family at the center of the takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge had been arrested Wednesday night. Cliven D. Bundy, a Nevada rancher who in 2014 sparked an armed confrontation with officials over cattle grazing rights on federal land, was apprehended in Portland, Oregon court records show.  Bundy, whose sons were leaders of the Malheur refuge protest, was…
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US News

Toxic Water Supply Plagues US City

Smita Nordwall The government in the northern state of Michigan is scrambling to help resolve the toxic water crisis in the city of Flint, where lead has been found in the bloodstreams of more than 200 children. Here's a look at the who, what, where and why of the public health crisis that has poisoned the Flint water supply for more than a year. What is wrong with the water in Flint? There’s too much lead in it. Lead exposure is dangerous for all people, but can have devastating effects on children, irreversibly harming their brain development, lowering their intelligence,…
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Politics

Obama Decries US Political Polarization

VOA News President Barack Obama took a trip down memory lane Wednesday, recalling more political collegiality in his home state of Illinois where he first held public office and decrying the fractious national political scene in Washington. In a visit to Springfield, Illinois, he told the legislature, where he was a state senator before entering national politics, that he recalled Republicans and Democrats voting "against each other all the time," but that they also “trusted each other.” “We didn’t call each other fascists and idiots,” Obama said, “because then we’d have to explain why we were playing poker with fascists…
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US News

Feds File Lawsuit Against Ferguson Over Police Reform

VOA News The Justice Department has filed a lawsuit against the central city of Ferguson, Missouri, after it refused to accept a deal that would have reformed its mostly white police department. The Ferguson City Council said the package, which had been negotiated between the federal government and city officials, costs too much. At a news conference Wednesday, Attorney General Loretta Lynch said while she was sensitive to the city's cost concerns, "There is no price for constitutional policing." Lynch said the residents of Ferguson have been waiting "decades for justice,'' having endured civil rights breaches that established a pattern…
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Health

Brazil Partners With US Scientists to Find Zika Vaccine

VOA News Brazil has announced an agreement with a university to develop a vaccine against the Zika virus within 12 months. At a news conference Thursday, Health Minister Marcelo Castro said the Brazilian government will invest $ million towards the partnership between the University of Texas and Brazil's Evandro Chagas Institute over the next five years. Castro said the Health Ministry also has reached vaccine partnerships with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and is looking to work with pharmaceutical giant GSK. On Wednesday, the New England Journal of Medicine published a report showing new evidence strengthening the link…
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Health

Brazil Links 3 Deaths to Suspected Zika-Related Complications

Reuters BRASILIA—Brazilian health authorities believe three adults died last year of suspected complications related to the Zika virus, the Health Ministry said on found the virus in the body of a 20-year-old woman who died in April from respiratory problems, a ministry spokesman said, confirming a report in O Estado de S. Paulo and Folha de S. Paulo newspapers. The virus was previous detected in adults who died in June and October of suspected Zika complications, he said. The little understood virus was previously believed to cause only minor symptoms, including a fever, rash and muscle aches, and often no…
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Entertainment

New York Fashion Week Opens Amid Questions About Shows’ Future

Reuters February 11, 2016 9:03 AM NEW YORK—New York Fashion Week opens on Thursday with chilly weather and perhaps an even chillier prospect: defining the purpose of the shows as brands begintrying fresh ways to engage customers. This season, the once-exclusive event will occupy a middle ground between invitation-only and fashion-for-all, with a mix of shows open solely to the well-connected as well as opportunities for the public to witness the spectacle, if only by smartphone live-stream. "The traditional structure of Fashion Week, particularly in New York, has been shifting for the past few seasons," said Alexandra Ilyashov, a fashion…
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Entertainment

Berlin Film Fest Wants to Attract Refugees as Well as Fans

Reuters BERLIN—George Clooney will be in town on Thursday when "Hail, Caesar!" opens the annual Berlin Film Festival, and Meryl Streep is the competition jury president, but the politically attuned showcase hopes to attract refugees as well as film fans this festival that began in 1951, when Europe was recovering from a war that had uprooted millions of people, is making an extra effort to welcome the latest wave of refugees who have fled war in Syria, Iraq and elsewhere. Refugees will be taken behind the scenes of the festival, some accompanied by nongovernmental organization workers who are helping them…
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Entertainment

US Presidential Candidates Provide Grist for Comedians

Elizabeth Lee   LOS ANGELES—With the presidential campaign in full swing, the candidates are providing an endless source of material for actors and comedians to take to their own stages. In Hollywood, a comedy show called "Candidate Confessions" is drawing crowds who enjoy laughing at the antics of the presidential contenders. At the Second City comedy club, the musical performance pokes fun at the presidential candidates and President Barack Obama. "This has been the most exciting, interesting primary season I've ever seen," said writer and actor Erin Coleman, who plays Hillary Clinton. Many of the show's writers say the candidates,…
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