August 31, 2017
From Washington, this is VOA news. I'm Jonathan Smith reporting.
Harvey, the devastating [form] storm that flooded a huge area of Houston, Texas, and forced thousands of people from their homes, made landfall again Wednesday, moving to the east and drenching the neighboring state of Louisiana.
The storm is gradually weakening as it moves inland and away from Houston, the nation's fourth largest city.
Untold numbers still remain [entrapped] trapped in their homes, marooned by churning, muddy waters that often are waist deep.
With so many people either away from their homes or trapped in them and scattered reports of looting, Houston's Mayor Sylvester Turner instituted an overnight curfew starting Wednesday morning in order to prevent "potential criminal acts."
The U.S. president and his defense secretary issued divergent comments on Wednesday about how to respond to North Korea's advancing ballistic missile and nuclear weapons programs.
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis emphasized the United States is "never out of diplomatic solutions" when it comes to dealing with North Korea. That comment was made after President Trump said that "talking is not the answer."
Mattis was responding to a question about Trump's tweet Wednesday morning on dealing with the threat of North Korea following its most recent ballistic missile test, in which a missile flew high over Japan.
A day after, Trump tweeted "The U.S. has been talking to North Korea, and paying them extortion money, for 25 years. Talking is not the answer!" In an earlier tweet, he said "all options are on the table."
You're listening to news from the Voice of America in Washington.
Pakistan's National Assembly has passed a resolution strongly denouncing President Trump's newly announced policy on Afghanistan, calling it "hostile and threatening" to Pakistan. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports from Islamabad.
Presenting the document, Pakistani Foreign Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif took strong exception to the claim Pakistan has taken U.S. money.
"This House rejects the U.S. claim of giving Pakistan billions of dollars in aid. In fact Pakistan's economy has suffered a loss of more than $ 123 billion."
The resolution also called on the government to consider postponing all official visit to and from the United States and cutting off U.S. and NATO ground and air supply lines through Pakistan to Afghanistan.
Pakistan was particularly perturbed by Trump's call for India to have an increased role in Afghanistan.
Pakistani officials fear India, a hostile neighbor to the east, wants to encircle their country by setting up a second front in Afghanistan. U.S. officials say Pakistan's fears regarding India in Afghanistan are overblown.
Pakistan's Senate had adopted a similar resolution earlier in the day.
Ayesha Tanzeem, VOA news, Islamabad.
At least six people have died in flooding caused monsoons in India's [capital] financial capital Mumbai.
Torrential rains brought the city to a halt Tuesday, making roads impassable and briefly shutting the suburban rail network used by millions of commuters. Thousands were stranded in their offices overnight.
Rains in Mumbai had eased by Wednesday, but meteorologists warned that they may resume over the next few days.
The fugitive leader of the Afghan Taliban renewed his call Wednesday for U.S. and NATO forces to leave the country, saying that would pave the way to peacefully resolve the armed conflict.
The remarks by Maulvi Haibatullah Akhunzada came in a message to mark the coming Muslim festival of Eid al-Adha in an attempt to rally followers.
He said, "The main obstacle in the way of peace is the occupation," referring to the presence of international forces in Afghanistan.
At least 1.7 million Muslims began the yearly hajj pilgrimage Wednesday in Saudi Arabia at Mecca, Islam's holiest site.
More than a hundred thousand security personnel have been employed this year to try to avoid a tragedy similar to the one in 2015, in which nearly 2,300 people were killed.
You can find more on these and other late breaking and developing stories, from around the world, around the clock, at voanews.com. I'm Jonathan Smith reporting from Washington.
That's the latest world news from VOA.