July 17, 2017
From Washington, this is VOA news. I'm Jonathan Smith reporting.
A court in Iran has sentenced a Chinese-American scholar to 10 years in prison on "infiltration charges." The Iranian judicial department made the announcement Sunday.
The announcement triggered an immediate protest from the U.S. State Department, which said, "The Iranian regime continues to detain U.S. citizens and other foreigners on fabricated national-security-related changes." The State Department said in a statement to news agencies, "We call for the immediate release of all American citizens unjustly detained in Iran so they can return to their families."
Xiyue Wang is 37 years old, a dual national of China and the United States. He was arrested nearly one year ago, according to a report on Mizan Online, a news agency operated by the Iranian judiciary.
At least four Iranian-Americans currently are being held in Iran and a fifth is free pending an appeal of his sentence of 18 years in prison for alleged national-security crimes.
Israeli security forces shot and killed a Palestinian man who opened fire on them early Sunday in the occupied West Bank.
The Israeli police and military had been looking for the suspect who they believed had carried out two shooting attacks on Israelis in the West Bank on Saturday.
The Israeli police said, "The terrorist was found and surrounded, he pulled out his weapons, and in response, the terrorist was killed." It happened in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh near the city of Ramallah.
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Israel is allowing entry into a disputed Jerusalem holy place that is revered by Jews and Muslims after it was briefly closed in the wake of a deadly shooting attack last week by Arab citizens of Israel.
Israeli police reopened the Mosque of Al-Aqsa in Jerusalem's Old City, the site Jews call the Temple Mount, on Sunday after a shooting attack on Friday in which two Israeli policemen were killed along with three Arab gunmen. New security measures are in place, including metal detectors and cameras.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Sunday that the people who planned last year's failed coup in Turkey are "traitors." He said they should be beheaded.
The United States has condemned the coup but has disagreed with Turkey on several issues.
Erdoğan blames his U.S.-based political opponent, Fethullah Gulen, for masterminding the coup and demands his extradition.
The U.S. government has refused to extradite Gulen without substantial evidence that this was the case.
Former U.S. ambassador to Ankara James Jeffrey says it will be hard to extradite Gulen without proof that he was involved or knew about a plot to assassinate the Turkish head of state.
"That gets into very complicated stuff that I haven't seen the proof but I would be surprised if it is a whole lot of proof because if you're gonna do something like that you typically don't leave a paper-trail."
But Jeffrey says that Gulen supporters had infiltrated the Turkish armed forces, police and judiciary and ultimately helped engineer the coup.
Zlatica Hoke, VOA news, Washington.
Gunmen on motorcycles fired on a group of voters in Caracas, Venezuela, casting ballots Sunday in a non-binding referendum on President Nicholás Maduro's plans for a new constitution.
Opposition officials say one woman was killed and three other people were wounded. They blame the attack outside a church in one of Caracas' poorer districts on pro-government militaries.
An opposition statement says it feels "great pain" over the shooting.
Turnout was reported heavy for the opposition-sponsored referendum asking voters whether they approve of a July 30 election for a special assembly to draft a new constitution.
Officials in Senegal say eight people were killed, many more were injured, at a stadium in the capital at a soccer match. Saturday's stampede reportedly (was) triggered after fans began fighting at a match between two local teams at the Demba Diop Stadium in Dakar.
[Local police reported that] Local media reported that police began firing tear gas into the crowd causing panic.
You could find more on these and other 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.