Entertainment

Facebook Soon to Offer More Reactions Than ‘Like’

VOA News Facebook will soon roll out a wider range of reactions to posted items than "like." Soon its users will be able to be "angry" and "sad," or shout "yay" or "wow" -- or simply "love" a comment, photo or video posted on the social media site. "We want people to be able to share all of the things that are meaningful to them, not just the things that are happy and that people are going to like when they see it," Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said Wednesday. He said the rollout will come "pretty soon." Facebook began testing…
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Health

WHO: Zika Virus Spreading Explosively in Americas

VOA News The World Health Organization warns the Zika virus, seen as a possible cause of severe birth defects, is spreading rapidly through the Americas and could affect as many as four million people. WHO says the mosquito-borne virus was originally seen as a mild risk to humans, but it has since grown rapidly to a public-health threat of "alarming proportions." Uganda origin The health agency's director general, Margaret Chan, said the Zika virus was discovered in Uganda in 1947, but has since spread throughout the world and in recent years has become associated with neurological complications. Thousands of pregnant…
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Politics

Trump Will Skip Last Republican Debate Before Iowa Vote

Ken Bredemeier Donald Trump, the leading Republican contender in the 2016 presidential race, says he is boycotting the last candidates' debate before next week's first election contest in the farm state of Iowa. Trump, the billionaire real estate developer who has surged to the top in surveys of Republican voters, said he will skip Thursday's debate, just four days before the Iowa party caucuses because he does not feel he would be treated fairly by one of the moderators, Megyn Kelly of Fox News. FOX News moderators Megyn Kelly, right, listens as Chris Wallace beings introductions during the first Republican…
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World News

Saudi Youth Test Tradition’s Boundaries

Heather Murdock RIYADH—At an outdoor cafe in the Saudi Arabian capital, 28-year-old Abdullah looks nervous, but says he is happy to chat with two female reporters. As we sit down at one of the empty tables, the manager comes outside and asks us to leave. Like most places in the popular dining district, it is for men only. If Saudi religious police drive by, it could be bad for business. The religious police are charged with enforcing rules about modest dress, and keeping unmarried or unrelated men and women from fraternizing. A nearby restaurant manager ushers us into a separate…
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World News

IS Radio Expands Reach in Afghanistan

Zabihullah Ghazi JALALABAD, AFGHANISTAN—The Islamic State group in Afghanistan has added new programming to its radio broadcasts that the Afghan government has failed to take off the air. The IS-run FM station “Voice of the Caliphate,” which broadcasts from a remote mobile transmitter on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, this week added Dari broadcasts to its lineup. Now it airs programs in Pashto and Dari, the two official languages of Afghanistan. “Voice of the Caliphate” was launched last year and has been airing a message of terror in a region where IS fighters are active. The broadcasts reach Jalalabad, capital of Nangarhar…
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World News

Missing Chinese Editor’s Wife Detained

VOA News The wife of a Chinese editor who recently went missing was summoned by Chinese officials for questioning Tuesday, just hours before she was scheduled to discuss her husband's case live on international television. He Fangmei said Friday that she last spoke to her husband, Li Xin, former opinion editor for the liberal-leaning Southern Metropolis Daily, on January 11 when he was riding a train in Thailand. According to the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists, Li told international media last November that he fled China after being forced to work for years as an informant for the State…
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US News

New Lawsuit Seeks Replacement of Flint’s Lead Pipes

Associated Press LANSING, MICH.—Environmental and civil rights groups are asking a federal judge to order the prompt replacement of all lead pipes in Flint's water system to ensure residents of the Michigan city have a safe drinking supply. A lawsuit filed Wednesday morning seeks an order forcing city and state officials to remedy alleged violations of the federal Safe Drinking Water Act, including a failure to properly treat the water for corrosion, test it for lead, notify residents of results and accurately report if the correct sample sites are being selected. Flint residents are currently unable to drink unfiltered tap…
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World News

Kerry to China: US ‘Will Protect Allies’ in Face of North Korean Threat

Pamela Dockins BEIJING—The United States and China agreed Wednesday to work together to ensure that North Korea ends its nuclear-weapons program, but high-level talks in Beijing indicated the two sides disagree on whether and what sort of sanctions to use against Pyongyang following its underground nuclear test three weeks Secretary of State John Kerry, meeting with China's foreign minister in Beijing, stressed the North Korean issue is a high priority for Washington. “The United States will take all necessary steps to protect our people and allies,” Kerry said at a news conference after his talks with his Chinese counterpart, Wang…
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US News

North Korea Sanctions Expected to Clear US Senate Panel

Michael Bowman CAPITOL HILL— lawmakers are expected Thursday to take another step toward boosting sanctions on North Korea when a Senate panel votes on a package of punitive measures weeks after Pyongyang claimed to have tested a hydrogen nuclear bomb.“It will put in place mandatory sanctions against North Korea itself, but also those entities that support certain efforts that may be taking place within the country,” said Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker, a Tennessee Republican. The committee is expected to overwhelmingly approve a bipartisan Senate version of the North Korea Sanctions Act, which the House of Representatives passed 418-2…
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US News

US Law Enforcement Surrounds Refuge After Violent Standoff

Ken Bredemeier Law enforcement officials had surrounded the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge on Wednesday after a violent confrontation the day before with protesters who had been occupying the wildlife refuge in the northwestern state of Oregon for nearly a month. authorities on Tuesday killed one protester and arrested eight others who had been demanding that control of the federal land be turned over to local officials. Harney County Sheriff David Ward told reporters he was disappointed that the confrontation "ended badly" with the shooting, saying, "It didn't have to happen." Ward and other authorities vowed to end the siege peacefully…
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