April 29, 2017
From Washington, this is VOA news. I'm David Byrd reporting.
North Korea has fired a ballistic missile but it apparently exploded shortly after it was lifting off.
South Korea's Yonhap news agency reported that Pyongyang had test-fired a missile from a region north of its capital.
Commander David Benham of U.S. Pacific Command said the ballistic missile launch occurred near Pukchang airfield and did not leave Korean territory.
Benham said the North American Aerospace Defense Command determined the missile did not pose a threat to North America.
The White House says that President Donald Trump has been briefed on the latest missile test, which landed in the Sea of Japan early Saturday.
A brief statement issued by the office of the press secretary said that the Trump administration is aware.
That missile launch came just hours after U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson addressed a special meeting of the U.N. Security Council on North Korea. Tillerson called for increased pressure on Pyongyang to give up its nuclear program.
"Lastly, as we have said before, all options for responding to future provocation must remain on the table. Diplomatic and financial levers of power will be backed up by a willingness to counteract North Korean aggression with military action if necessary."
China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi deflected President Donald Trump's recent calls on Beijing to solve the North Korean problem.
He said that China is not a focal point of the problem on the peninsula and the nuclear issue does lie on the Chinese side.
Police in Iraq say four people were killed and eight others wounded by a car bombing at a police station in central Baghdad Friday.
The Islamic State claimed responsibility.
This is VOA news.
President Donald Trump delivered the keynote address at the leading gun advocacy group's national convention, hearkening back to the campaign and the National Rifle Association's help in getting him elected.
Trump told the NRA convention in Atlanta, Georgia, they played a vital role in getting him in office and he will be eternally grateful.
"You have a true friend and champion in the White House. No longer will federal agencies be coming after law abiding gun owners."
Trump, who supported tougher gun restrictions before entering politics, was the first president to address the NRA's annual convention since Ronald Regan back in 1983.
Gun control advocates face a reinvigorated NRA which spent more than $30 million to help Trump win the presidency.
Pope Francis began a two-day visit in Egypt Friday where he will promote peace between Christians and Muslims in the country after a bombing at a Coptic Christian church killed 45 people.
The pope met with Sheikh Ahmed el-Tayeb, the Grand Imam of the government-run al-Azhar mosque on Friday.
Before holding talks with President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi and Egypt's leading Coptic Christian, Pope Tawadros.
Francis said that Egypt has a key role to play in reconciliation and encouraging peace.
He said, "Egypt, in the days of Joseph, saved other people from famine; today it is called to save this beloved region from a famine of love and fraternity."
Egypt is still under a state of emergency after the bombing of the Coptic church earlier this month. Security will be further enhanced at churches due to the pope's visit.
The emir of the Islamic State terror group in Afghanistan is likely dead, targeted in a U.S.-Afghan raid on a cave-and-tunnel complex that left two U.S. special operations forces soldiers dead.
Pentagon officials said Friday they suspected IS Khorasan province leader Abdul Hasib was killed in a brutal, three-hour-long firefight in the Mohmand Valley in Nangarhar province.
Officials said another 35 Islamic State fighters were also killed, and said they were investigating the possibility that the dead U.S. soldiers had been the victims of friendly fire.
The U.S. economy grew at just seven tenths of one percent in the first quarter of the year. The latest report on the country's gross domestic product was the weakest performance since 2014 as consumer spending stayed flat and business inventories remained small.
For more, visit our website voanews.com. I'm David Byrd in Washington.
That's the latest world news from VOA.
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