March 30, 2017
From Washington, this is VOA news. I'm Jee Abbey Lee reporting.
President Donald Trump's move to unravel Obama-era environmental regulations launched with great fanfare Tuesday, attracting scorn from both ends of the political spectrum.
Trump's order will seek to suspend, rescind or identify for review more than a half-dozen rules in an attempt to increase domestic energy production in the form of fossil fuels.
"My action today is the latest in a series of steps to create American jobs and to grow American wealth. We're ending the theft of American prosperity and rebuilding our beloved country."
Concerted pushback from Democratic lawmakers and activists on the left, along with nagging doubts from conservatives skeptical of Trump's commitment to the cause, suggest that making good on one of his main campaign promises could turn into an exercise in futility.
Police in Washington said a woman rammed a car into a police cruiser near the U.S. Capitol Wednesday morning before being arrested.
Capitol Police spokeswoman Eva Malecki was quick to avert any terror allegations, saying the event showed "no nexus of terrorism."
"An erratic and aggressive driver in the vicinity of 100 Independence Avenue Southwest. While attempting to stop the vehicle on Independence Avenue, the driver negotiated a U-turn and fled the scene nearly striking officers and struck at least one other vehicle. A brief pursuit followed until the vehicle was stopped at Washington and Independence Avenues Southwest. During the attempt to arrest the suspect, shots were fired. However, no individuals were injured during the arrest."
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U.S. first lady Melania Trump presented the International Women of Courage Award to 13 women in Washington Wednesday.
"Each battle forces, such as governments, the courts, gender bias, terrorism, war and corruption, and were willing in each moment to face harsh penalties, including imprisonment and death. As they continue to persevere against unimaginable odds, these women are extraordinary examples of reaching within to find the courage that lies inside us all to change the world." :Melania Trump.
The Secretary of State's International Women of Courage Award honors women around the world for exhibiting courage and leadership in their advocacy for peace, justice, human rights, gender equality and women's empowerment.
Since its creation in 2007, the program has awarded more than 100 women from 60 countries.
U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is set to hold talks with Turkey's political leadership Thursday in Ankara. Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul that Syria is expected to top the agenda.
Officially, the U.S. president has not made a decision about continuing to support the Syrian Kurdish groups, which make up the backbone of the Syrian Democratic Forces in fighting the Islamic State.
Analysts suggest Ankara will be looking for guarantees from Tillerson that Kurdish forces will quickly withdraw if they take part in capturing Raqqa.
Tillerson could help mitigate Turkey's displeasure if, as expected, he addresses the question of the creation of safe haven areas in Syria for the return of Syrian refugees, a key demand of Ankara. Turkey hosts about three million Syrian refugees.
Dorian Jones, of VOA news, Istanbul.
On the eve of closely watched public hearings, the Republican chairman and top Democrat on the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee pledged an exhaustive and impartial probe of Russian meddling in last year's election and any possible collusion by President Donald Trump's inner circle.
"This investigation's scope will go wherever the intelligence leads it," Chairman Richard Burr, a North Carolina Republican, said at a news conference Wednesday.
"We will get to the bottom of this," concurred Senator Mark Warner of Virginia, the committee's ranking [diplomat] Democrat.
Burr said that an "unprecedented amount of documents" have been received and the committee is in "constant negotiation" with intelligence community to gain access to additional material. He added there will be at least 20 interviews to conduct, including with President Trump's adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner, who volunteered to speak with the panel.
I am Jee Abbey Lee in Washington.
(That's the latest world news from) VOA.