April 5, 2017
From Washington, this is VOA news. I'm Jee Abbey Lee reporting.
The Syrian government and Russian warplanes carried out a toxic gas attack in northern Syria, monitors and civil defense workers alleged Tuesday.
The attack killed at least 65 people and injured more than 350 others.
Syrian opposition activists described the attack as among the worst in the country's brutal six years civil war and the main political opposition group, the Syrian National Coalition, dabbed it a "horrifying massacre."
Russia has "categorically denied" any role in the attack.
Speaking from a conference on Syria in Brussels, U.N. special envoy Staffan de Mistura condemned the attack.
"Every time we have a moment in which international community is capable of being together, 70 countries tomorrow, there is someone, somehow that tries to undermine that feeling of hope by producing a feeling of horror and outrage. But we are not going to give up. And on the contrary, we make use of every of this horror moments in order to show the determination that they cannot prevail."
U.S. President Donald Trump is suggesting that Susan Rice, the national security adviser for his predecessor, former President Barack Obama, spied on conversations Trump aides had with foreign nationals last year and sought to unmask their identities for political gain.
Rice said Tuesday that accusation was "absolutely false."
Rice told MSNBC there is no truth to Trump's claim a month ago that Obama wiretapped him. The allegation also widely debunked by U.S. lawmakers and intelligence officials.
This is VOA news.
Russian investigators have identified Kyrgyz-born Akbarzhon Dzhalilov as the suicide bomber who carried out Monday's deadly attack on a crowded subway train in St. Petersburg.
The death toll from the blast has risen to 14 people, with dozens injured in critical condition.
Russian police released photos of the 22-year-old suspected bomber.
As Britain begins a process of leaving the European Union, it is trying to rekindle old trade links with Commonwealth countries. But the push for new commerce has sparked a debate on the historical legacy of the British Empire, with accusations that ministers are trying to whitewash atrocities committed during the colonial times. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
British Chancellor Philip Hammond arrived in India for a three-day trip to, in his government's words, "Bang the drum for British business." The quest for new Commonwealth trade links has been dubbed "Empire 2.0."
International Trade Secretary Liam Fox, also on a trade mission in the Philippines, wrote on Twitter recently that Britain "is one of the few European countries that does not need to bury its 20th-century past."
Indian lawmaker and former U.N. Under-Secretary-General Shashi Tharoor has just written a book titled Inglorious Empire. He has a different assessment of Britain's colonial conduct: "Of which the highlights, but only the highlights, include the Jallianwala Bagh massacre in Amritsar in India which killed defenseless, unarmed women, children and men."
Despite that history, Tharoor says India is listening carefully to what Britain has to offer.
Cutting migration was a central pledge of Britain's campaign to leave the European Union, but countries like India want visa restrictions relaxed as part of any trade deal.
Henry Ridgwell, for VOA news, London.
In southern Colombia, burials have begun for the 273 people killed in Saturday's devastating mudslides.
Health authorities in the town of Mocoa have been releasing the remains to families in order to speed burials and prevent the spread of disease. Meanwhile, rescue workers and residents continued a frantic search in the rubble for the 200 people who remain missing.
Authorities in southern Somalia are searching for five World Health Organization workers who were abducted by suspected al-Shabaab militants.
Colonel Deeq Abdi Khaliif says the workers were in their homes Sunday when gunmen broke in, took them by force and drove them to a remote area.
The five men - all Somali nationals - were working on a poliovaccination program for the WHO.
The UNHCR has not made any comment on the abduction.
I'm Jee Abbey Lee in Washington.
That's the latest world news from VOA.
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