April 20, 2017
From Washington, this is VOA news. I'm Michael Brown reporting.
U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson issued a warning Wednesday afternoon over a potential Iranian nuclear threat that could possibly take the world down a similar path as North Korea.
"Iran is the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism and is responsible for intensifying multiple conflicts and undermining U.S. interests in countries such as Syria, Yemen, Iraq, and Lebanon, and continuing to support attacks against Israel. An unchecked Iran has the potential to travel the same path as North Korea, and take the world along with it. The United States is keen to avoid a second piece of evidence that strategic patience is a failed approach. A comprehensive Iran policy requires that we address all of the threats posed by Iran, and it is clear there are many."
Tillerson's comment follows a directive by President Trump that the National Security Council review the international agreement on Iran's nuclear program and evaluate whether suspending sanctions "is vital to the national security interests of the U.S."
The United Nations as well as individual nations and the United States impose economic sanctions on Iran in an effort to try to get the country to abandon any nuclear arms ambitions.
The U.S. sought to assure allies Wednesday that the USS Carl Vinson naval strike group is indeed headed to the northern Pacific as a deterrent to North Korea's nuclear weapons program. But this came after days of misleading statements that the aircraft carrier and other ships had already been headed there.
The Pentagon did not give a timetable when the Vinson will arrive in the region.
For details and more news, we invite you to join us at our website voanews.com. From here in Washington, this is VOA news.
Thousands of Venezuelans poured into the streets of Caracas Wednesday, with rival camps demonstrating support for and against President Nicholás Maduro and his socialist policies.
Security forces deployed tear gas in a neighborhood on the capital city's west side, and a teenager shot in the head near an anti-government protest died while in surgery. His death marks the sixth fatality in almost three weeks of escalating protests.
In Washington, administration officials are worried the Venezuela government is working to suppress the opposition.
The United Nations and the African Union took a step toward increasing cooperation and coordination between their organizations on Wednesday, signing a Framework for Enhanced Partnership in Peace and Security.
From the United Nations headquarters, VOA's Margaret Besheer has more.
The framework agreement is intended to boost cooperation in preventing and responding to conflict in Africa.
U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres told reporters at a joint news conference with African Union Commission Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat that it would enhance cooperation at all levels.
"We share the vision that peace and security, inclusive and sustainable development, and human rights and good governance are dimensions that need to be seen together and that require a common vision and an enhanced cooperation between our two organizations."
In addition to peace and security issues, the framework also expands cooperation on electoral matters, good governance, mediation, protecting human rights, and preventing and responding to humanitarian crises.
Margaret Besheer, VOA news, the United Nations.
Protests continued in Istanbul and other cities over allegations of voter fraud in Sunday's referendum. The narrow percent victory gives Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan sweeping powers to turn the country into an executive presidency from the current parliamentary system.
But allegations of ballot stuffing and mishandling of certified ballots continue.
The unrest is focusing on the decision by Turkey's Supreme Election Board during voting to allow ballots without an official stamp in Sunday's referendum. Under Turkey's election law, all ballots and the envelope they are placed in have to have an official stamp - a measure to prevent vote stuffing.
Hours after Bill O'Reilly's firing from Fox News amid waves of sexual harassment allegations, he maintains they are unfounded claims.
His firing follows reports in The New York Times that Fox and O'Reilly paid $13 million to five women who accused him of sexual harassment or mistreatment.
For details and more news, join us at voanews.com. I'm Michael Brown reporting in Washington.
That's the latest world news from VOA.
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