April 6, 2017
From Washington, this is VOA news. I'm Jee Abbey Lee reporting.
U.S. President Donald Trump Wednesday denounced Syrian regime's chemical weapons attack as an "affront to humanity" and warned they will not be tolerated.
Trump was speaking alongside Jordan's King Abdullah at a White House news conference.
He was asked if the Syrian chemical attack in Idlib province crossed the so-called "red line" - sometimes meant to mark whether or not an action will be taken.
"It crossed a lot of lines for me. When you kill innocent children, innocent babies, babies, little babies, with a chemical gas that is so lethal - people were shocked here what gas it was - that crosses many, many lines, beyond the red-line, many, many lines." :President Trump.
President Donald Trump on Wednesday also removed his chief political strategist, Stephen Bannon, from the National Security Council. The decision reverses the appointment that had drawn the ire of foreign policy experts in Washington.
Some lawmakers and industry insiders had said it was inappropriate for Bannon to serve on the high-level White House panel that discusses pressing national security concerns.
The latest North Korean missile test Wednesday could indicate the military is developing countermeasures to defend against the threat of a U.S. preemptive strike and to nullify the advantage of the THAAD missile defense system being deployed in the South.
Both the U.S. and South Korean militaries detected an early morning launch of a single ballistic missile at a land-based facility near Sinpo in South Hamgyong province on the country's east coast.
This is VOA news.
U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley on Wednesday lashed out at Moscow for failing to rein in its ally, Syria, after suspected chemical attack that left scores dead including children.
Haley was speaking at a meeting of the U.N. Security Council called to discuss the attack on a rebel-held town in Idlib province.
She stood up in the council chamber and showed two photographs of victims of Tuesday's attack in the town of Khan Sheikhoun.
An emergency council meeting was called by France and Britain following the attack that killed at least 72 people, including 20 children.
Britain, France and the United States presented a draft resolution demanding a full investigation of the attack. But Russia said the text was "categorically unacceptable."
Haley said the U.N. must act this time around.
"When the United Nations consistently fails in its duty to act collectively, there are times in the life of states that we are compelled to take our own action. For the sake of the victims, I hope the rest of the council is finally willing to do the same. The world needs to see the use of chemical weapons and the fact that they will not be tolerated."
Earlier in the day, British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson laid complete blame for the attack on the Syrian government.
"If we are to get on with the reconstruction of Syria, there must be a transition away from the Assad regime. I simply don't see how Bashar al-Assad can remain in charge after what he has already done. Of the 400,000 people who are estimated to have been killed in Syria, he is responsible for the vast majority of that butcher's bill." :Secretary Johnson.
India has rejected a more proactive role for the U.S. between India and Pakistan.
New Delhi's sharp response came after U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley said earlier this week the U.S. would try to "find its place" in efforts to defuse tensions between the two rivals.
Expressing concern over the relationship between the two countries, Haley asserted the Trump administration "wants to see how we de-escalate any sort of conflict going forward."
In a swift reaction, India's Foreign Ministry issued a statement.
A U.S. federal court has ruled that gay and transgender men and women are protected under a landmark civil rights law that prohibits discrimination in the workplace.
Tuesday's 8 to 3 ruling by the Chicago-based 7th Circuit Court of Appeals is the first of its kind.
I'm Jee Abbey Lee in Washington.
That's the latest world news from VOA.
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