August 29, 2017
From Washington, this is VOA news. I'm Jonathan Smith reporting.
North Korea fired a missile that flew over Japan early Tuesday morning and splashed down into the Pacific Ocean, triggering emergency alerts by government officials in Tokyo and sharply raising diplomatic concerns about the crisis over North Korea's military program.
As Japanese, South Korean and American military officials studied data about the rocket's flight and trajectory, there were no immediate announcements about the type of ballistic missile that North Korea sent aloft. The launch point was near Pyongyang, the North Korean capital, and the rocket fell into the sea east of Hokkaido.
Pentagon spokesman Colonel Rob Manning said a detailed assessment of the North Korean launch was under way, but added that U.S. officials had confirmed the missile "did not pose a threat to North America."
Initial reports said three missiles were fired, but it was soon determined that only one North Korean rocket was involved. The missile broke apart during its flight and fell into the ocean in three pieces.
An official at the U.S. National Security Council told VOA that authorities in Washington were awaiting specific information from the U.S. Pacific Command on the trajectory and other data about the North Korean missiles.
Authorities in Japan sounded an alert for the northern part of the country as soon as the launch was detected, but no rocket fragments were known to hit the ground. Military officials in Tokyo said the rocket passed over Japanese territory but fell into the Pacific in pieces about 1,180 kilometers from its launch pad.
This is VOA news.
President Trump is pledging that "every asset at my command" will be available to Texas and Louisiana as those southern states deal with catastrophic floods.
Trump told a White House news conference Monday that people in flood-stricken areas can expect "very rapid action" from Congress to get the funding they need to clean up and rebuild.
The chief of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Brock Long, told reporters on Monday that the agency is going to be in Texas "for several years."
"We have been telling people that this is coming. It's still ongoing. But you couldn't draw this situation up. The bottom line is that it is going to continue on. We need the whole community. Not only the federal government forces, but this is a whole community effort from all levels of government and it's going to require the citizens getting involved."
The storm was the strongest hurricane to hit the United States mainland in more than a decade.
Angolans have elected their first new president in nearly four decades and they say they must address the glaring gap between rich and poor. The VOA's Anita Powell reports from Luanda.
Angola is Africa's second-largest oil producer, yet that wealth has clearly not trickled down. President-elect João Lourenço says he wants to lessen dependence on oil.
He wants to develop agriculture, industry, tourism, fisheries, and other branches of the economy, he told a crowd at his final pre-election rally.
But his political opponents say the problem is far simpler. Opposition lawmaker Manuel Fernandes: "The poverty is not because of a drop in oil prices," he told VOA, "it is because of bad governance."
It is a tough situation for Lourenço, as he prepares to take the reins once the official count is settled, but for Angola's millions of poor change cannot come soon enough.
Anita Powell, VOA news, Luanda, Angola.
The price of a pack of cigarettes has just sharply increased in New York City, while the number of places they are available for sale is to fall.
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio on Monday signed a series of anti-smoking bills, part of an effort to help reduce the number of smokers in the city by nearly 200,000 over the next few years.
The minimum price for a pack of cigarettes will jump from 10 dollars and 50 cents to $13, the highest base price for cigarettes in the nation.
The planned price hike is one of seven bills aimed at pressuring the city's estimated 900,000 smokers to quit.
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 VOA in Washington.
That's the latest world news from VOA.