Politics

Former US President George W. Bush Campaigns for Brother Jeb

Ken Bredemeier WASHINGTON—Former President George W. Bush has emerged from a self-imposed hiatus from the American political scene to try to boost his younger brother Jeb's bid for the 2016 Republican presidential Bush attested to his brother's character and called for voters to reject the rhetoric of Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump during a rally Monday night in the southeastern city of Charleston. Without mentioning the billionaire real estate mogul by name, Bush said "These are tough times and I know that Americans are angry, but we do not need someone in the Oval Office who mirrors and inflames our…
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World News

Syrian Rebels Vow to Wage a National Liberation Guerrilla War

GAZIANTEP, TURKEY—Syrian rebels warn their five-year-long struggle to oust President Bashar al-Assad will go underground, if they are deserted by Western backers or an attempt is made to foist an unacceptable political deal on them. They will wage a relentless guerrilla campaign against the Assad regime and “foreign invaders” from Iran and Russia, turning the war into a national liberation fight, rebel commanders and opposition politicians say. Talk of a guerrilla war fought along the lines of the Mujahideen’s successful albeit bloody war to oust Russian occupiers in Afghanistan has mounted in recent days and it is the focus of…
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World News

Syria War Death Toll Reaches 470,000

VOA News A new report finds that some 470,000 people have been killed since Syria's civil war began nearly five years ago and that the new casualty figure is nearly twice that of past United Nations estimates. According to the independent, non-profit Syrian Center for Policy Research, 400,000 Syrians were killed in violence linked to the conflict, while 70,000 people lost their lives because they lacked necessities like adequate health care, housing, sanitation, food and potable water. The Damascus-based center said percent of Syria's population have been killed or injured since the start of the conflict back in March 2011.…
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World News

CIA: Islamic State Has Chemical Weapons

VOA News The director of the Central Intelligence Agency said Islamic State fighters in Syria have used chemical weapons. John Brennan said there are a number of instances where the terrorist group has used "chemical munitions on the battlefield."  His comments were featured in excerpts from the television news show 60 Minutes. The full interview with Brennan will air Sunday on CBS. Brennan told the news show the jihadist group has the capacity to make small quantities of chlorine and mustard gas. The CIA director also warned that IS may be looking to sell the chemicals to the West.  Brennan said…
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World News

Russia Bristles at NATO Expansion in Eastern Europe

Daniel Schearf February 12, 2016 4:55 AM MOSCOW—Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is to meet with the head of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg, Friday at a security conference in Munich after the Western military alliance and the United States announced plans for the biggest military build-up in Europe since the Cold United States is planning to quadruple military spending in Europe to $ billion in 2017 as NATO increases troops on rotation and training, stockpiles military hardware and arms, and forms a rapid reaction force. Russia has called NATO's moves a threat to stability in Europe. The military alliance says the…
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World News

As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

LESBOS, GREECE—There's little room left in the graveyards on this windswept island.  Aid workers on Lesbos struggle to bury the growing number of refugees' bodies pulled from the sea. Of the more than a million people who have found safe haven in Europe this past year, many have come through Lesbos first. But in crossing the waters to get here, more than 4,000 others have died. And their bodies have to wait. "There are men and women, but the majority are children," says Mostafa Mahmoud, an Egyptian student living in Greece who has volunteered to help with funerals. "Nobody cares,…
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Featured

Pope Heads to Cuba for Historic ‘Personal Conversation’

VOA News Pope Francis, head of the Roman Catholic Church, has embarked on a trip that will take him to Mexico, with a stop in Cuba for a historic meeting with the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill. Kirill is in Cuba for a state visit. The Holy See announced last week that Pope Francis will make a stop at Havana's José Martí International airport to have a "personal conversation" with the patriarch and sign a joint declaration. Details of the declaration have not been made public. The Friday meeting is the first of its kind; an effort…
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World News

Russian Opposition Leader Sues Putin for Conflict of Interest

Danila Galperovich MOSCOW—Alexei Navalny, the well-known Russian opposition activist and founder of the Anti-Corruption Foundation, filed a lawsuit against Vladimir Putin in Moscow's Tverskoy District Court on Thursday. Navalny detailed his case against the Russian president in an exclusive interview with VOA's Russian : What is the substance of your suit against Vladimir Putin? A: Today we filed an administrative suit against the president of Russia, Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin. This suit is not of a political nature or a general nature. It is a very specific statement regarding the personal, individual actions of Putin, in which we found signs of…
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Entertainment

Top 5 Songs for Week Ending Feb. 13

  Ray McDonald We're counting down the five most popular songs in the Billboard Hot 100 for the week ending February 13, 2016. This week’s chart offers yet another new title in the number five position…We could get used to this! Number 5: Flo Rida "My House" Flo Rida returns to the hit list, as “My House” surges seven slots to fifth place. This Florida native – real name Tramar Dillard – has been a regular hit-making machine over the past nine years. “My House” is his 14th Top 20 single, and his seventh to hit the Top Five. April finds…
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US News

Obama: US at ‘Interesting Political Moment’

VOA News President Barack Obama, attending several political fundraisers for his Democratic Party at homes in California, said the country is at "an interesting political moment." He characterized voters as scared and anxious.  He said "strange things" can happen when they are feeling that way. Obama's observations came after the New Hampshire presidential primaries where real estate mogul Donald Trump won the Republican poll and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders won the Democratic vote, beating out longtime front-runner Hillary Clinton. Obama observed that "people are anxious" despite economic and other progress the country has experienced during his presidency. The president said…
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