August 18, 2017
From Washington, this is VOA news. I'm Jonathan Smith reporting live.
The Islamic State is claiming responsibility for Thursday's terrorist attack in Barcelona, Spain. A driver sped a van along a crowded sidewalk, killing 13 people and injuring more than 100.
Police in Catalonia say two people are in custody - one from Morocco and the other from a Spanish enclave, which shares a border with Morocco on the northern coast of Africa.
The van driver is apparently still on the loose and it's unclear exactly how the two in custody are connected with the attack.
The American vice president, Mike Pence, spoke about the attack on Thursday. "Whatever inspired today's terror attack, the United States stands ready to assist the people of Spain and find and punish those responsible. On this dark day, our prayers and the prayers of all the American people are with the victims, their families and the good people of Spain."
The van was traveling at high speed and swerved from side to side, leaving a trail of blood and bodies with twisted, broken legs.
Witnesses say the driver deliberately drove into a pedestrian area that runs down the center of Las Ramblas, a street in Barcelona with shops and cafés popular with locals and tourists.
Some witnesses say they saw two armed men jump out and disappear into a restaurant.
Police arrived almost instantly and quickly shut down the area.
They say the driver was trying to kill as many people as possible.
But the mayor of Barcelona said the terrorists had failed.
You're listening to news from the Voice of America in Washington.
The top American general, Joe Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, says the Trump administration is "very close to a long-term policy commitment to Afghanistan." He said the commitment will address a call by the ground commander there, General John Nicholson, for more international troops to end the stalemate between Afghan forces and the Taliban.
A military spokesman in Afghanistan told VOA that (an) American soldier was killed and other American and Afghan troops were injured during a military operation against Islamic State militants in eastern Afghanistan's Nangarhar province on Wednesday.
The United States and Sweden are calling for the United Nations to follow up inconclusive investigations into the murder of two U.N. experts in Congo.
American Michael Sharp and Zaida Catalan from Sweden were murdered in March in Congo's violence-torn Kasai region. The murders were a key issue at a U.N. Security Council meeting Thursday attended by family members who sat in the front row listening intently.
The one millionth South Sudanese refugee entered Uganda this week. Correspondent Jason Patinkin takes us to the border of northern Uganda joining some of the new arrivals on their journey to a new life.
One by cone, they cross into Uganda. They are refugees from South Sudan, escaping a war that has pitted Dinka, Nuer and equatorial tribes against each other.
"We ran here because one day a week ago the Dinka came and they killed five people. One of those killed is my brother's son."
Small weigh stations dot Uganda's border with South Sudan. New arrivals rest after the exhausting escape from the war.
The next day, they are registered and head to a larger collection point in an hour away. But here, they meet another challenge. Though Uganda says it grants refugees status unconditionally, authorities screen the new arrivals here. The goal is to make sure no Ugandan citizens register for free food intended for refugees and prevent South Sudanese from registering twice.
Jason Patinkin, for VOA news.
A 10-year-old Indian girl who was raped and impregnated and was denied permission to have an abortion has given birth to a girl.
The baby weighed 2.5 kilograms. It was delivered by Caesarean section in the northern city of Chandigarh on Thursday.
The Indian Supreme Court denied an abortion request a month ago after doctors concluded an abortion was "too risky" for the girl and the fetus.
There is more on these and other late breaking and developing stories, from around the world, around the clock, at voanews.com. I'm Jonathan Smith in Washington.
That's the latest world news from VOA.