September 11, 2017
From Washington, this is VOA news. I'm Jonathan Smith reporting.
Hurricane Irma slammed ashore at Key West, Florida, early Sunday with whirling winds and pounding rain. She is now headed north along the state's populous western coast.
Irma left behind a trail of destruction across fragile Caribbean islands. She has now diminished to a Category 2 storm.
The vast storm could cause billions of dollars of damage and devastation to parts of the peninsula state that have not seen a major hurricane in a century. Hurricane force winds extended outward 130 kilometers from the eye of the storm.
Forecasters are predicting dangerous storm surges of three and four meters along Florida's Gulf of Mexico shoreline.
Tampa, which is the city that the hurricane is headed for now, has not been directly hit by a hurricane in nearly a century.
The death toll from the powerful earthquake that struck Mexico Thursday night has now risen to at least 90 after emergency services in the southern state of Oaxaca said there had been 71 confirmed deaths in that state alone.
At least 15 people died in the neighboring state of Chiapas and four people were killed in the state of Tabasco to the north.
The 8.1-magnitude quake that struck off the coast of Chiapas on Thursday was stronger than a devastating 1985 quake that flattened parts of Mexico City and killed thousands.
Relief efforts are continuing at this hour.
At least three people were killed and 13 others wounded after a suicide bomber blew himself up at a teashop in a central Somali town on Sunday. Three journalists were among the wounded.
The head of the United Nations peacekeeping forces says rising ethnic tensions in Central African Republic are likely to cause an increase in conflicts between Muslims and Christians. Correspondent Lisa Schlein reports from the U.N. in Geneva.
U.N. Undersecretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix says ethnic hate speech is running in parallel with an increase in violence in Central African Republic.
Lacroix says it is a key responsibility of the leadership and all those who have an influence in Central African Republic to counter those messages.
War between the Muslim Seleka and Christian anti-Balaka armed groups broke out in 2013 after Seleka rebels toppled the Christian president, François Bozizé.
Peacekeeping chief Lacroix tells VOA every effort is being made to redeploy U.N. forces on the ground to try to mitigate the impact of this violence and to protect civilians.
The United Nations is trying to reconcile the two ethnic communities by working with religious, civic and political leaders from different walks of life.
Lisa Schlein, for VOA news, Geneva.
Rohingya insurgents in Myanmar have called for a month-long cease-fire starting Sunday in order to allow humanitarian aid to reach those affected by the conflict.
Fighters from the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army, as they call themselves, launched an attack on dozens of police posts and an army base late last month, leading to the displacement of more than 300,000 people.
The Rohingya are one of Myanmar's many ethnic minorities in the Buddhist majority nation. The Myanmar government considers the Rohingya to be economic migrants from Bangladesh and it has never granted them citizenship even though most can show their families have been in the country for generations.
And, the video-sharing service, YouTube, has removed the state-run North Korea propaganda channel.
YouTube did not immediately respond to requests about why the channel had been removed. But revenue generated from advertising on the account may have violated American trade sanctions resulting in the suspension.
YouTube says the channel had 18,000 subscribers.
You can read more about these and other developing and late breaking stories, from around the world, around the clock, at voanews.com and on the VOA news mobile app. From the world headquarters of the Voice of America in Washington, I'm Jonathan Smith reporting.
That's the latest world news from VOA.