June 29, 2017
From Washington, this is VOA news. I'm Jee Abbey Lee reporting.
Kurdish officials say they have spotted increasing numbers of Turkish troops and military equipment gathering on the border after Turkey's president threatened to send his forces into northern Syria to pursue groups that Turkey sees as supporters of Kurdish militants.
The threat of an incursion comes two months after the Turkish military bombed Kurdish targets inside northern Syria before U.S. troops began patrolling along the border in defense of Syrian Kurdish forces known as the YPG and to prevent direct confrontations between the two sides.
Turkey's military said Wednesday it destroyed YPG targets in the Afrin district in retaliation for Kurdish artillery fire against Turkish-[held]led forces in northern Syria.
Venezuelan President Nicholás Maduro said a stolen police helicopter fired on the country's Interior Ministry and Supreme Court on Tuesday in what he called a "terrorist attack" by those seeking to oust him from office.
Maduro vowed to catch those behind the attack which had no reported injuries.
The minister of communications and information later said the helicopter fired 15 shots at the ministry building and dropped at least four grenades at the Supreme Court.
Some Maduro opponents speculated on social media that Tuesday's attack was staged to justify a crackdown.
Both chambers of Congress are readying legislation to bar Americans from traveling to North Korea after the death of a U.S. citizen held by Pyongyang and amid the continued detention of three others.
(The) Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman, "There is no question we shouldn't [let] have people on a willy-nilly basis going to North Korea."
U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis says Syria appears to have heeded to a U.S. warning to not to use chemical weapons.
Mattis [notice] noted there had not been a new chemical attack in Syria since the White House issued a warning earlier this week.
Mattis made the comments to the press traveling with him in Europe ahead of a ministerial NATO meeting in Brussels.
He ??? in Germany where he met with his German counterpart and has some pointed comments aimed at Russian President Vladimir Putin. VOA's Jeff Caster reports from Washington.
The two defense leaders held a ceremony commemorating the 70th anniversary of the Marshall Plan to rebuild Europe after World War II. During his remarks, Mattis also called out Russian President Vladimir Putin for causing what he called international "mischief."
"I mentioned a moment ago that discouraged people are in need of inspiration and there are millions of people like that who live today in Russia. Their leader making mischief beyond Russian borders will not restore their fortunes or rekindle their hope. And while we will meet with any aggression with what Danish Defense Minister Claus Hjort Frederiksen said was determination, deterrence and purpose, we will also watch for a Russia that honors its people enough to abide by international law and so wins for them peace the we all offer."
Mattis and von der Leyen will join their fellow NATO ministers for meetings Thursday in Brussels.
Jeff Caster, VOA news, Washington.
A World Food Program review of the global hunger situation in 2016 finds conflict emergencies in the Middle East, Africa and elsewhere are hampering the U.N.'s efforts in achieving zero hunger by the year 2030. Lisa Schlein reports for VOA from Geneva on WFP's report, 2016: A Year in Fighting Hunger.
The United Nations reports 795 million people in the world went hungry last year. World Food Program spokeswoman Bettina Luescher tells VOA the Sustainable Development Goal to eliminate hunger by 2030 does not, for now, appear realistic.
"As you know, the world is a mess. We have more emergencies than ever. We have more refugees than ever and we are struggling on all fronts to help the people be able to feed themselves."
She says WFP urgently needs $1 billion to fight four looming famines in Yemen, Somalia, South Sudan and in northeast Nigeria.
Lisa Schlein, for VOA news, Geneva.
For more news, log on to voanews.com. I'm Jee Abbey Lee in Washington.
That's the latest world news from VOA.
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