June 20, 2017
From Washington, this is VOA news.
Otto Warmbier, the American college student detained in North Korea for nearly a year and a-half, has died. His family made the announcement Monday afternoon.
Warmbier was returned to the United States last week in a coma. Doctors said the 22-year-old had suffered severe brain damage while in North Korea, but that it was not clear what caused it.
North Korea said Warmbier fell into a coma soon after he was sentenced in March of last year for stealing a political poster from a North Korean hotel.
But the Warmbier family heatedly disputed the claim, saying the "pariahregime" had "brutalized" Otto.
In its statement Monday it said, "Unfortunately, the awful torturous mistreatment our son received at the hands of the North Koreans ensured that no other outcome was possible beyond the sad one we experienced today."
President Trump on Monday said in a written statement "There is nothing more tragic for a parent than to lose a child in the prime of life." The death deepens the president's determination to prevent future tragedies "at the hands of regimes that do not respect the rule of law or basic human decency."
A man was killed after driving a car packed with explosives into a police van in Paris's popular Champs-Élysées shopping district on Monday. No one else was injured in the crash. Officials called it a deliberate attack.
The 31-year-old man was known to authorities as being potentially linked to extremism.
A bomb squad has secured the scene and a Kalashnikov rifle, handguns and gas bottles were found in the car.
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The United States has responded forcefully to Russia's threat to treat U.S.-led coalition planes in the skies over Syria as targets as tensions escalate in the 6-year Syrian conflict.
White House spokesman Sean Spicer said on Monday, "The Syrian regime needs to understand that we will keep the right of self-defense of coalition forces aligned against ISIS." He made clear that the United States would continue, however, to "work with partners" to counter the threat of the Islamic State in Syria.
Police in the U.S. state of Virginia have charged a man with murdering a 17-year-old girl after assaulting her as she walked with friends from a nearby mosque in the suburbs of Washington, but police say they are now not investigating it as a hate crime.
Talks begin this week on Britain's exit from the European Union, which will leave the bloc with only one heavyweight military power - France. As correspondent Henry Ridgwell reports, the EU's moves toward a common defense policy have raised fears in Britain that it could be frozen out of future security arrangement.
Europe's security is at a turning point. Threatened by Russian aggression in Ukraine and Islamist militancy on its southern and eastern borders, the bloc is about to lose one its major military powers.
Edward Lucas of The Economist: "After Brexit, France becomes the most important military power in continental Europe. And I think that European security arrangements will have to reflect that."
Currently 4,000 French troops are fighting Islamist militancy in North Africa.
President Emmanuel Macron wants EU allies to do more.
Speaking on a trip to visit French forces in Mali last month, he said he wanted to strengthen European partnerships.
Henry Ridgwell, for VOA news, London.
Qatar says it will not negotiate with neighboring countries unless they cease their economic and travel "blockade" of the Gulf state.
The countries have accused Qatar of supporting terrorism, a charge that Qatar strongly denies.
And, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday that an Asian-American band has the right to call itself an offensive name.
The Portland, Oregon-based group could not register its name, The Slants, with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office because of the word's derogatory reference to Asian people's eyes.
But the U.S. high court threw out a federal ban on disparaging trademarks, saying it violated free speech rights.
The ruling could have a broad impact on how the First Amendment is applied in other trademark cases.
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That's the latest world news from VOA.