June 26, 2017
From Washington, this is VOA news. I'm Jonathan Smith reporting.
Iraqi forces pushed deeper into the historical heart of Mosul on Sunday in their fight to retake it from Islamic State militants, (with) one commander in Baghdad saying that 65 to 70 percent of the Old City had been liberated.
Lieutenant Colonel Salam al-Obeidi said, "There is less than a square kilometer left to retake." He estimated that there were only "a few hundred" Islamic State fighters left in the city.
Another commander, a lieutenant-general, predicted, "We will finish the operation within a few days. The end is going to be very soon."
Iraqi troops have led the fight to retake Mosul, held by the militants since 2014, but a U.S.-led international coalition has provided air and ground support.
Much of the Old City has been devastated in eight months of fighting.
The Israeli military said Sunday that it had attacked a series of targets belonging to the Syrian regime after projectiles from the neighboring country landed in its territory for the second day in a row.
The military "targeted two artillery positions and an ammunitions truck belonging to the Syrian regime," according to a statement from the army. "Errant fire," it said, from Syria hit the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights for a second day.
No casualties were reported, but the Israeli military warned civilians to avoid gathering in open areas near the border.
Hours earlier, the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, spoke with his cabinet in a meeting about the attack.
You are listening to news from the Voice of America in Washington.
Hopes are fading for dozens of people still missing following a deadly landslide in southwestern China, where 10 bodies have been recovered so far.
Officials say 93 people remain missing after a huge landslide Saturday buried the mountain village of Xinmo in Sichuan province. Provincial officials on Sunday lowered the earlier body count from 15.
As of Sunday night, only three people, a couple and their month-old baby, had been rescued after the wall of rock and debris destroyed at least 40 houses.
More than 3,000 people, police, soldiers and civilians among them, are participating in the rescue efforts. They've been working nonstop to search through the rocks and rubble for survivors.
The landslide was caused by torrential rain and the cascading debris of mud and rocks blocked a 2-kilometer stretch of a river and a 1.6-kilometer section of a road.
Landslides are a frequent danger in rural and mountainous parts of China, particularly after heavy rains.
A forest fire in southern Spain is threatening one of the world's most important nature reserves.
More than 1,000 have been evacuated from the Donana National Park in Andalusia, a United Nations World Heritage site.
The park houses a more than 100,000-hectare nature reserve famous for its wetlands and forests. It's home to the endangered Iberian lynxes and it is a stopping point for migratory birds.
Helicopters and hundreds of firefighters are in and around the region ready to jump into action if the winds shift and push the flames closer to the reserve.
Authorities say they do not know what set off the blaze but they do say that "human factor cannot be ruled out."
Turkish police stopped protesters and attempted to disperse those marching for LGBT rights in Istanbul Sunday a day after the governor banned the march.
The French news agency, AFP, reported rubber bullets being fired to break up the crowds.
Organizers of the march had promised to gather in Taksim square despite the event being banned by the Turkish government for the third year in a row.
On Saturday, the governor's office announced it would not give permission to the parade organizers out of concern for the safety of the marchers and tourists in the city.
Unlike some other Muslim countries, there is no law in Turkey forbidding homosexuality. The march was canceled last year after bombings by the Islamic State group and Kurdish militants raised security levels.
There is more from around the world around the clock anytime (at) voanews.com.
That's the latest world news from VOA.
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