March 11, 2017
From Washington, this is VOA news. I'm David Byrd reporting.
U.N. officials fear a Turkish crackdown on NGOs.
United Nations officials and international aid workers say they are afraid the Turkish government is gearing up to shutter more Western non-government organizations working with Syrian refugees and overseeing cross-border relief missions inside Syria.
On Tuesday, Turkey expelled Mercy Corps, one of the world's biggest humanitarian nonprofits.
Turkish officials visited the offices of more than a half-dozen major Western NGOs and aid organizations in the southern Turkish border towns of Gaziantep and Hatay this week. The officials demanded registration documents as well as copies of staff lists.
A new report accuses Turkey's security forces of widespread and systematic human rights violations, including massive destruction of towns and killing of mainly Kurdish people in the southeast. Lisa Schlein has details from Geneva.
The report documents accounts of torture, enforced disappearances, violence against women and other human rights violations committed between July 2015 and December 2016 in southeast Turkey.
During that period, the report says government security operations displaced between 355,000 and one-half-million, mainly Kurdish people in more than 30 towns and neighborhoods.
U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra-ad al-Hussein says he is particularly concerned that there has been no credible investigation of the hundreds of alleged unlawful killings, including those of women and children.
Lisa Schlein, for VOA news, Geneva.
For more, visit our website. This is VOA news.
The White House says President Donald Trump was not aware that his former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, had worked to further the interests of the Turkish government before he was appointed.
White House spokesman Sean Spicer said Friday that Flynn was responsible to file forms that told the Trump transition team that he was working as an agent of a foreign government.
"We trust people to fill out the forms that they're required to do so in an honest and legal manner. And in this case, he retroactively filed the forms that he was supposed to do, but we advised him to do what the legal and proper thing was, and that's the right thing for this administration. So we did the right thing then, and we expect every employee to follow the law."
This week, Flynn and his firm, Flynn Intel Group, filed paperwork with the Justice Department that formerly identified him as a foreign agent and acknowledged that his work for a company owned by a Turkish businessman could have aided Turkey's government.
The filing was Flynn's first acknowledgement that his consulting business furthered the interests of a foreign government while he was working as a top adviser to Trump's presidential campaign.
President Trump met Friday morning with the House of Representatives members whose committees are aiding the drive to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.
Trump reiterated at the White House meeting that action is needed now to save consumers from what he says is the coming Obamacare disaster.
"Choices are disappearing as one insurer drops out after another. Today, one-third of all counties now have only one insurer on the Obamacare exchanges, and the exchanges themselves are a disaster."
Opposition to the replacement plan is intensifying among influential lawmakers who believe that it is still too similar to Obamacare.
American Indians and their supporters were rallying in Wednesday, in Washington, Friday, that is, against continued construction of the disputed Dakota Access Pipeline.
A federal judge this week declined to halt construction on the final section of the $3.8 billion pipeline, meaning that oil could begin flowing through it as early as next week.
JoDe Goudy is the chairman of the Yakama Nation. "Water is a source of all life on Mother Earth. We are distinct and spiritual nations that predated the concept of America and its life-destroying credo 'love riches and wealth.'"
The Standing Rock Sioux and other tribes have tried to stop the pipeline, saying it threatens their sovereignty, religious rights and water supply.
A good jobs report boosted the stock indexes on Wall Street. All three major indices were up. European markets were mixed. Asian markets closed higher.
I'm David Byrd in Washington.
That's the latest world news from VOA.