World News

Fears of IS Threat Grow in Turkey After Attack

VOA NEWS ISTANBUL — Rather than uniting Turkey, the so-called Islamic State attack on an Istanbul nightclub, which killed 39 on New Year's Day, appears to have only deepened societal divisions. Some social media posts have supported the attack, denigrating the revelers as decadent and anti-Islamic and therefore having gotten what they deserved. One theologian declared the attack was a message that “Turkey is not the old Turkey, and that the pious will bring all others to their knees.” “There were those who gloated over this attack and who seem to celebrate it, rather than mark the tragedy that happened in…
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A Week of Memorials for Castro Begins in Cuba

VOA News Cubans lined up Monday to pay their respects to Fidel Castro at Revolution Square in Havana as the country begins a week-long goodbye to the island's revolutionary leader, a man many loved and many loathed. Memorial services began early Monday after 21-gun salutes sounded simultaneously in the capital and in the eastern city of Santiago, where Castro started the Cuban revolution in 1953. The 90-year-old Castro died Friday after a long illness. A cause of death has not been announced. Castro was cremated on Saturday and a nine-day period of mourning was declared. His ashes will be interred…
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Pakistan Reports Deadly Border Clashes With India

VOA News/Ayaz Gul ISLAMABAD —Pakistan’s military says intense clashes with India along the disputed Kashmir frontier Monday killed at least four Pakistani civilians and wounded 10 others. The army’s media wing, in a statement said, “effective retaliatory fire" killed six Indian soldiers. It did not cite sources for the Indian casualty toll and there has been no immediate reaction from India on the Pakistani claims. On Saturday, Pakistan alleged that “unprovoked” firing by Indian forces on civilian areas in Kashmir killed at least four children. Islamabad summoned the Indian deputy high commissioner to the Foreign Ministry earlier on Monday to…
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Haitians Await Preliminary Results from Sunday’s Election

Haitians are awaiting preliminary results from Sunday's long-delayed presidential election, which took place after balloting in October of last year was annulled due to allegations of fraud. Six million people were eligible to vote for one of 27 presidential candidates, as well as for some members of both houses of parliament. Reports have suggested that businessman Jovenel Moise, chosen by the ruling PHTK, took the lead in the early voting tallies. The party of former president Jean-Bertrand Aristid said its candidate, Maryse Narcisse, was ahead. In response to these comments, electoral authorities urged candidates not to make premature announcements. Narcisse…
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Fire Engulfs a Central Market Near Haiti’s Capital

VOA News A major fire engulfed a central market in the hillside Petionville district above Haiti's capital, Port-au-Prince, late Sunday. The cause of the fire was unclear. It came hours after polls closed for the long-delayed presidential election. Meanwhile, Haiti's electoral council president warned candidates to accept the official results and not make premature announcements. Sunday's election was a repeat of the October 2015 election, which was annulled over allegations of fraud. On Sunday, 27 candidates ran for office. There were a number of reports of voting fraud. The electoral council had announced in 2015 that local entrepreneur and ruling…
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Venezuelan President Expresses Intent to Improve Relations With US

VOA News Venezuela’s Socialist President Nicolas Maduro says he hopes for improved relations with the United States under President-elect Donald Trump. While on the campaign trail, Trump said in July the United States would "end up being Venezuela" if his rival Hillary Clinton were to win the White House. Speaking on his weekly program In Contact With Maduro Sunday, the Venezuelan president said his country will have better relations with the , despite last year calling the real estate mogul a "bandit and thief." "I aspire, hope and will work so that hopefully during the next presidency of the United…
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IS Bomb-Makers, Kurdish Bomb-Disposal Teams in Deadly Cat-and-Mouse Game

Jamie Dettmer/VOA NEWS BASHIQA, IRAQ — The peshmerga general frowned when asked about a top Kurdish bomb-disposal expert killed last month the day after the assault on Mosul, Iraq began. “He was a very brave man,” said Gen. Mahmood Kakaye. Suleman Sahed Chirukaya was trying to disarm a jihadist bomb in a tunnel near the town of Bashiqa, 24 kilometers from Mosul, one of hundreds he’d defused saving countless lives, when an anti-handling device triggered a blast, critically wounding him. Flown to Germany, where he’d lived a comfortable life for 16 years before returning to Kurdistan, he died in a hospital…
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Russian Official: Contacts Being Made with Trump Team to Discuss Syria

VOA News A top Russian official said Thursday that Moscow has initiated contacts with representatives of the team of President-elect Donald Trump to discuss Syria. “This is an important turning point: the arrival of President-elect Donald Trump's new team,” the Interfax news agency quoted Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov as telling journalists in the Russian capital. “We are already starting contacts with people who are likely to help the new president.” "We hope that the outgoing and the incoming administrations will proceed from the fact that without Russia, the Syrian problem is impossible to solve, ready to open candid dialogue,"…
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Is Turkey’s Military Becoming Overstretched?

VOA NEWS/Dorian Jones ISTANBUL — The Turkish army is engaged in a two-front war, fighting both in Turkey and Syria against PKK Kurdish rebels. With a third front possibly looming, questions are being raised about how sustainable such operations are, given the military is still reeling from massive purges within its ranks following July’s failed coup in Turkey. Since the collapse of last year’s cease-fire with the PKK, the military has launched unparalleled numbers of counterinsurgency operations across Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast. The operations have turned many towns and cities into rubble in vicious street warfare with the rebels. Further demands…
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Several G20 Countries Failing to Live Up to Paris Climate Pledges

Henry Ridgwell/VOA NEWS LONDON - Several of the G20 group of industrialized countries are failing to take action in line with their pledges to reduce emissions, made under the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement, according to new research. Scientists fear the momentum behind reducing emissions could be lost if President-elect Donald Trump follows through on campaign pledges to pull out of the deal. Six G20 countries, the Untied States, Argentina, Australia, Canada, Saudi Arabia and Turkey, are failing to enact sufficient legislation to meet their emissions targets, according to Professor Samuel Fankhauser, who was part of the research team at the…
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