September 8, 2017
From Washington, this is VOA news. I'm Jonathan Smith reporting.
Hurricane Irma is lashing Haiti and the Dominican Republic with fierce winds and heavy rain, but thankfully, appears to be sparing them a direct hit.
Forecasters say Irma's eye will pass between Hispaniola, the island shared by the two nations, and the Turks and Caicos late Thursday before its next target, Cuba and the Bahamas.
The forecasters are still calling Irma extremely dangerous. It's a Category 5 storm with top sustained winds of 280 kilometers per hour.
U.S. Hurricane Center forecaster Mike Brennan: "Maximum sustained winds are potentially catastrophic 175 miles per hour. And over the next several days, we expect Irma to remain near a Category 4, Category 5 hurricane as it moves west-northwestward to the south of the Bahamas and north of Cuba and turns northward and approaches the Florida peninsula on Sunday."
The governor of Florida says the entire state is at risk from Irma, including both the Atlantic and Gulf coasts.
A federal appeals court has rejected President Trump's narrow view of who should be allowed to enter the U.S. under his travel ban, which restricts entry into the country of citizens from six [majority] Muslim majority nations and halts admissions of refugees from all over the world.
On Thursday, a three-judge panel in the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously ruled that grandparents, cousins and other close relations of people in the United States should not be kept from entering the country.
The court also said refugees admitted by a resettlement agency should not be kept out.
You're listening to news from the Voice of America in Washington.
The United Nations is warning that the number of Rohingya Muslims fleeing violence in Myanmar could reach into the hundreds of thousands. The VOA's Miller Sega reports.
The influx has pushed refugee camps to the brink in Bangladesh leaving tens of thousands to squat in open fields or occupy muddy patches in the no-man's land between the two countries' borders.
Thousands of Rohingya were seen in the Teknaf border area. They told stories of soldiers shooting at them, homes being burnt to the ground and threats that they would die if they didn't leave their homes.
Myanmar's leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, has dismissed a Rohingya crisis as a misinformation campaign.
Miller Sega, VOA news.
President Trump is warning "it will be a very sad day for North Korea" if the United States takes military action against it.
He spoke at the White House on Thursday alongside Kuwait's emir. He said, "hopefully, we're not going to have to use the American military on North Korea."
Scientists have accused the alcohol industry of misleading the public over the link between consuming alcohol and cancer. Correspondent Henry Ridgwell reports.
Researchers looked at the websites of 28 global organizations representing the alcohol industry, and they concluded that the vast majority distort or misrepresent the evidence of an alcohol-related cancer risk.
Professor Mark Petticrew of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine led the research.
"So what you might see is that certain health problems related to alcohol consumption are discussed on the website, but cancer is missing, or specific types of cancer are missing, particularly breast cancer or colorectal cancer."
The Washington DC-based International Alliance for Responsible Drinking is accused of misleading the public over the risk of contracting specific types of cancers and trying to confuse the issue by highlighting a range of other risk factors.
In a statement provided to VOA, the IARD disputed the conclusions, saying: "We believe in sharing the current state of the scientific evidence and stand by the information that we publish on drinking and health."
Henry Ridgwell, for VOA news, London.
About 143 million Americans could be affected by a cyberattack on the credit company Equifax.
The Atlanta-based company said Thursday the hackers obtained names, social security numbers, birth dates and addresses of more than 40 percent of the U.S. population.
"Based on the company's investigation," it said in a statement, "the unauthorized access happened from mid-May through July of 2017."
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.