April 13, 2017
From Washington, this is VOA news. I'm Jee Abbey Lee reporting.
U.S. President Donald Trump welcomed NATO's support on its condemnation of Syria's use of chemical weapons on its own people last week.
Trump and NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg spoke to reporters after meeting at the White House Wednesday.
Trump called the attack blamed on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad a murderous attack using their most horrible weapons and added the barbaric killing of small and helpless children and babies must be forcibly rejected by any nation that values human life.
U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley says the Trump administration will not "look the other way" when Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad terrorizes his people.
During a meeting of the U.N. Security Council, Haley warned Washington is watching the regime's actions carefully.
Speaking of last week's gas attack on the Syrian town of Khan Sheikhoun, she criticized Assad's supporters for covering for his heinous actions.
The United States and Russia agreed Wednesday to call for an international investigation of the deadly chemical weapons attack in Syria last week.
The joint bid for the United Nations and weapons experts to investigate the sarin gas attack that killed more than 85 people came after Secretary of State Rex Tillerson met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and later with President Vladimir Putin in Moscow.
Tillerson told reporters at a news conference that he'd told Putin "the current state of U.S.-Russia relations is at a low point" and that "there is a low level of trust between the two countries."
The Kremlin leader, speaking separately to an interviewer from Russian state television, agreed that relations between the two countries have deteriorated this year.
This is VOA news.
The recent gas attack in Syria has resurrected Russian-Turkish tensions over the country. Turkey is again calling for the removal of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and the creation of safe areas and no-fly zones. But as Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul, renewed tensions between Russia and Turkey could cost Ankara economically.
Ankara's robust stance against the Syrian regime has brought a swift response from Moscow regarding the Turkish economy. The Russian Union of Travel Industry warned Monday that an embargo on charter flights to Turkish holiday resorts could be reintroduced.
The embargo, which only recently was lifted, was part of tough economic sanctions enforced by Moscow after Turkish jets downed a Russian bomber operating from a Syrian airbase in 2015.
Political columnist Semih Idiz of Al Monitor website warns Ankara has to tread carefully.
"I don't think it can afford another crisis with Russia, especially from the economic dimension, just as the advent of the tourism season is just around the corner. So there is going to have to be a balancing act there, a very delicate one."
Russian tourists account for the second-largest number of vacationers to Turkey. Last year's embargo devastated the country's lucrative tourism industry, with the number of Russian visitors dropping by nearly three million.
Dorian Jones, of VOA news, Istanbul.
The United Nations Children's Fund says there has been a surge in the number of children being used as suicide bombers by Boko Haram. Lisa Schlein reports for VOA from Geneva.
Data gathered by the U.N. Children's Fund shows children were used as suicide bombers in 27 attacks in the first quarter of 2017. That is three times more than during the same period last year and nearly the same number as the whole of 2016.
The militant Islamist group Boko Haram has been forcing children to blow themselves up in Nigeria, Chad, Niger and Cameroon since 2014. As the Islamist group finds itself on the run, it reportedly is resorting increasingly to this tactic to spread terror among civilian populations of the Lake Chad region.
Lisa Schlein, for VOA news, Geneva.
United Airlines Chief Executive Officer Oscar Munoz took to the airwaves Wednesday in an attempt to quell the outrage over Sunday's forced removal of a passenger, vowing that kind of incident "will never happen again."
Facing mounting pressure, Munoz was much more contrite in an interview with ABC News, apologizing profusely to Dr. David Dao and promising that security officers will no longer be used to remove passengers.
I'm Jee Abbey Lee in Washington.
That's the latest world news from VOA.
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