World News

Turkey’s Kurds Accuse EU of Turning Blind Eye

Jamie Dettmer Turkey’s military says it has killed 307 Kurdish separatists in recent weeks in counter-terrorism operations in southeastern Turkey, but the toll has also been great on civilians.  Rights groups say 162 civilians, including 32 children, have been killed since August in districts where the military has imposed 24-hour curfews. Rights group Amnesty International has urged Turkish authorities to lift indefinite 24-hour curfews that have been in effect since mid-December in the Sur district of Diyarbakir province and the towns of Cizre and Silopi in Sırnak province, as well as intermittent curfews on other mainly Kurdish towns. “The body…
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US News

Kerry Announces Expansion of US Refugee Program

STATE DEPARTMENT—The has announced plans to expand its refugee admissions program, with a goal of providing more assistance to Central Americans. Secretary of State John Kerry announced the expansion, on Wednesday, as he outlined foreign policy goals for the year. In a speech at National Defense University, Kerry said the new provisions would offer legal and safe alternatives to people from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. Many people from these countries, said Kerry, had been “tempted” to begin dangerous journeys that made them “easy prey” for human smugglers and traffickers. "The refugee crisis is not just a Syrian problem, nor…
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World News

Turkey Makes Arrest in Connection With Istanbul Bombing

VOA News A Turkish official said Wednesday authorities had arrested one person in connection with the suicide bombing Tuesday in Istanbul that killed 10 people. Interior Minister Efkan Ala said the detention happened late Tuesday, but did not give any further details on the suspect's identity or possible role in the attack. Ala also said the bomber was not on a list of people wanted by Turkey. Germany's Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier told reporters in Berlin that at least eight Germans were among the dead and nine among the injured. German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere, who traveled to Istanbul…
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World News

Belgian Prosecutors Identify Safe Houses Used by Paris Attackers

VOA News Belgian prosecutors say they have identified three homes that were used as safe houses by suspects believed to have carried out the November 13 terror attacks in Paris. Prosecutors said Wednesday that they have found houses in the city of Charleroi, the village of Auvelais, and a previously identified apartment in the Schaerbeek neighborhood of Brussels. Authorities think all three places were used to prepare the Paris attacks. The Schaerbeek place is believed to have been used to make suicide belts. The Belgian prosecutor's office said Wednesday that all three places were rented under false names and paid…
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World News

Sweden Asks Ecuador’s Permission to Interview Wikileaks Founder

VOA News Swedish prosecutors have asked Ecuador's permission to interview Wikileaks founder Julian Assange at the Ecuadorian embassy in London, over allegations of rape. The Swedish Prosecution Authority announced the move Wednesday, saying it is "not possible to estimate" when an answer might be given. Assange has been living at the Ecuadorian embassy in London since June 2012 to avoid extradition to Sweden over the rape charges. From Sweden, Assange could be extradited to the United States to be tried for the online publication of classified information, in one of the largest information leaks in history.
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News

FIFA Fires Secretary-General Jerome Valcke

VOA News FIFA, the world governing body for football (soccer), has dismissed a top aide of disgraced president Sepp Blatter, who is implicated in a corruption scandal. Jerome Valcke, former secretary-general of FIFA, had been suspended four months ago over allegations that he was involved in a black-market ticket scandal. Last week FIFA's ethics committee charged him with accepting gifts, conflicts of interest, breaches of confidentiality, and failing to cooperate with investigators. Valcke has said he has done nothing wrong. The man who has been acting secretary-general since Valcke's suspension, Markus Kattner, is expected to continue in that role until…
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US News

Fears Renewed of Islamic State Attacks in Europe, US

Jeff Seldin Western intelligence agencies are increasingly worried that Islamic State militants will soon find ways to carry out more and increasingly sophisticated attacks on Europe and the United States, using November's terror attack on Paris as a blueprint. "2016 is going to be the year where we wish we could get back to 2015," said Patrick Skinner, a former intelligence officer now with The Soufan Group, a strategic security intelligence consultancy. "It's far too easy for a fighter to go from Raqqa to Europe, and you would think that would be really hard to do," he said. Analysts have…
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Health

Study: Sugary Drinks Increase ‘Deep’ Belly Fat

Sugary beverages can lead to increased “deep” belly fat, a particular kind of fat that increases the chances of developing diabetes or heart disease, according to a new study. Writing in its journal, Circulation, researchers from theAmerican Heart Association showed there is a “direct correlation” between sugary drinks and visceral fat among middle-aged adults. The results came from the Framingham Heart Stud that in 1948 began studying the cardiovascular health of the residents of Framingham, Massachusetts. Visceral fat, also known as “deep” fat, surrounds the internal organs and affects how certain hormones function in the body. Particularly, it is thought…
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US News

IBM Granted Most US Patents in 2015, Study Finds

Reuters International Business Machines Corp. was granted the most patents for the 23rd year in a row in 2015, according to a ranking by patent analysis firm IFI Claims Patents Services. There were 298,407 utility patents granted in 2015, down slightly from 2014, IFI Claims said on Wednesday. IBM gained 7,355 patents last year. Utility patents cover function rather than design. Among the technology giants notable for their intellectual property, Alphabet Inc.'s Google stepped up its patent activity, moving to the fifth position from eighth in 2014, while Apple Inc. stayed at the 11th position. Patents are sometimes the subject…
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Politics

Sanders Ad Burst Coincides With Upward Movement in Polls

Associated Press WASHINGTON—Bernie Sanders has been putting up major advertising cash to seize momentum heading into the Democratic presidential primaries — outspending his rival Hillary Clinton just as voters are beginning to pay attention to the the past three weeks, Sanders' campaign has spent about $ million on ads to Clinton's $ million, an investment that so far has meant 1,000 more Sanders commercials than Clinton ads on broadcast TV, according to advertising tracker Kantar Media's CMAG. The Sanders ad burst is coinciding with his rise in preference polls in Iowa and New Hampshire, the first two states where voters…
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