August 17, 2017
From Washington, this is VOA news. I'm Jonathan Smith reporting.
Hundreds of people, including family, friends and admirers, gathered Wednesday for a memorial service for Heather Heyer, the woman who was killed Saturday when a car was driven into a crowd of protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Police allege a suspected neo-Nazi was driving the car. He has been charged with second degree murder.
Heyer's mother, Susan Bro, spoke at the service: "And I think the reason that what happened to Heather has struck a chord is because we know that what she did is achievable. We don't all have to die. We don't all have to sacrifice our lives. They tried to kill my child to shut her up. Well, guess what. You just magnified her."
President Trump continues to face a barrage of criticism for his contention that both white supremacists and counter-protesters were to blame for the deadly violence that erupted last weekend in Charlottesville.
On Wednesday, the president announced that he had dissolved two business advisory committees composed of top American corporate executives. But [it was only] the announcement was made by him only after at least seven CEOs announced they were resigning from the councils because of his remarks.
Also Wednesday, two former U.S. presidents, George H.W. Bush and his son George W. Bush, said in a joint statement "America must always reject racial bigotry, anti-Semitism and hatred in all forms." They said, "As we pray for Charlottesville, we are reminded of the fundamental truths recorded by that city's most prominent citizen in the Declaration of Independence."
This is VOA news.
A United Nations representative in Sierra Leone said Wednesday he is losing hope that rescuers will find survivors after deadly mudslides in Sierra Leone's capital killed more than 300 people.
Sunil Saigal, the U.N. Resident Coordinator for Sierra Leone, told the British broadcaster Sky News that he believes rescue operations will soon cease as "the hope of finding further survivors diminishes."
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has been in London since May, seeking treatment for an unspecified ailment. Last week, he announced that he is ready to return home
But Nigerians are growing impatient. An online campaign known as "Resume or Resign" is gaining traction across the country.
Chika Oduah reports for VOA from Abuja.
VP Yemi Osinbajo has been active acting president. He has carried out the daily duties of state, and he has been pushing an economic agenda to attract foreign investors in hopes of lifting Africa's most populous nation out of its recession.
Last week, Buhari announced that he is ready to return from London and is waiting for his doctor's approval, though the Nigerian people remain in the dark about the president's exact state of health. His advisers and the first lady say he is recovering and doing fine. But there is much doubt.
Nigeria's constitution requires a two-third's vote of the president's cabinet, as well as confirmation by a medical panel that the president is "incapable of discharging the functions of his office" before he can be removed.
Chika Oduah, for VOA news, in Abuja.
Iraq is looking for international help in gathering evidence against the Islamic State for possible charges of crimes against humanity.
The foreign minister, Ibrahim al-Jaafari, has sent a letter to United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres, asking for "international expertise" in helping bring criminal charges against ISIS.
A judge in California on Wednesday sentenced a defendant in the 2014 murder and robbery of a Chinese engineering student to life in prison without parole.
Andrew Garcia was one of four people charged with the murder of Xinran Ji, a graduate student at the University of Southern California.
Some of Ji's [rest] relatives, that is, came from Beijing and tearfully read statements in the courtroom before Garcia was sentenced.
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 live from Washington.
That's the latest world news from VOA.