September 18, 2017
From Washington, this is VOA news. I'm Jonathan Smith reporting.
Hamas, the Islamic militant group that governs Gaza, said Sunday it will dissolve its administrative body and hold general elections. Edward Yeranian reports for VOA from Cairo.
Efforts to resolve the decade-old schism between the two main Palestinian factions appear to be coming closer to fruition after Egyptian mediators succeeded in convincing the Islamist Hamas group which controls Gaza to agree to dissolve its Gaza administrative committee that governs the territory sandwiched between Israel and Egypt.
The agreement calls for new Palestinian elections in Gaza and the West Bank next year. Despite the new accord, the Fatah group is insisting Hamas start implementing the deal before any further steps are taken.
It remains unclear if Hamas will agree to another key demand and allow European Union monitors and Egyptian border officials to take control of the main Rafa border post between Egypt and Gaza officially closed since Hamas refused to uphold a 2005 agreement with Israel necessitating the present of EU monitors at the border.
Edward Yeranian, for VOA news, Cairo.
Four young American women had acid thrown at them Sunday at a train station in the French port city of Marseille. But police say it did not appear to be a terror attack.
The regional newspaper, La Provence, quoting an unidentified police official reported that the suspect had a history of mental health problems. She is 41 years old. She had been arrested as the alleged assailant. She remained at the site of the attack without trying to flee.
This is VOA news.
Kuwait will reportedly expel North Korea's ambassador along with four other diplomats.
The news comes two days after North Korea launched another missile over Japan, and less than a week after the United Nations imposed additional sanctions on North Korea for conducting its sixth nuclear test.
Britain eased its terrorist threat level Sunday from "critical" to "severe" after police arrested a second suspect in the bombing of a subway train in London. On Friday morning, the attack injured 30 people.
The "severe" threat level indicates British officials now believe another attack is highly likely, while the "critical" designation meant an attack was seen as imminent.
At least eight people were killed and dozens more injured when a violence storm hit western Romania Sunday.
The storm had winds of 100 kilometers an hour. It also caused property destruction in neighboring Croatia and Serbia.
Road and rail traffic in parts of Romania was halted by fallen trees and dozens of towns and villages were left without power.
The Romanian prime minister told Antena3 TV "We can't fight the weather. The entire medical sector is focused on the injured."
He said the government would help support the communities hit by the storm.
And in a hurricane season that just will not quit, forecasters are keeping their eyes on three storms, including one threatening the Caribbean islands clobbered by Hurricane Irma just a little over a week ago.
Forecasters upgraded Tropical Storm Maria into a hurricane Sunday as the storm heads toward the Leeward Islands.
Maria is following the same path as Irma. Hurricane warnings and watches are out for some of the islands that that saw devastating damage from Irma, including the U.S. and British Virgin Islands, and St. Martin and St. Barthelemy.
There is also a tropical (storm) warning for Barbuda, where Irma destroyed 95 percent of the buildings on the island.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Sunday the United States could remain in the Paris climate change agreement under the right conditions.
He told the CBS news program "Face the Nation" that President Trump is "open to finding those conditions where we can remain engaged with others on what we all agree is still a challenging issue. We are willing to work with partners in the Paris climate accord, if we can construct a set of terms that we believe is fair and balanced for the American people and recognizes our economy and our economic interest."
There is more on these and other late breaking and developing stories, from around the world, around the clock, at voanews.com and on the VOA news mobile app. I'm Jonathan Smith reporting from the world headquarters of the Voice of America in Washington.
That's the latest world news from VOA.