February 13, 2017
From Washington, this is VOA news. I'm David DeForest reporting.
A key aide to U.S. President Donald Trump said Sunday the White House is considering all of the options it has to blunt a court ruling freezing the president's order to ban travel from seven countries and block refugees from entering the United States. Michael Bowman reports.
Well, apparently we are gonna have trouble bringing that to you. We'll try again next hour.
Turkish troops and Syrian rebels pushed their way Sunday into the heart of the town of al-Bab, an Islamic State bastion.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said the forces would soon take control of the entire town in northern Syria.
Despite those claims, the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says fighting is still concentrated on the outskirts of the town.
The Turkish-based opposition is rushing to seize control of al-Bab before forces backing the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad reach the town from the south.
Military sources say al-Shabaab militants overran two small military camps outside Mogadishu in a dawn attack Sunday.
Residents at the villages of Tihsile and Warmahan say the militants attacked two camps simultaneously.
Military sources estimated about 40 to 50 government soldiers were stationed in each of the two camps.
Afghan troops, backed by American air support, launched a major offensive against Islamic State bases in Nangarhar province on Sunday.
A military spokesman says security forces are clearing Kot and Haska districts of IS militants before extending the effort beyond those two.
He said that both military and police forces have been involved in the operation and he said the offensive will continue until the threat is eliminated from that area.
This is VOA news.
The United Nations said Sunday that last week's U.S. airstrikes in southern Afghanistan could have killed at least 18 civilians.
The U.N. Assistance Mission in Afghanistan says the strikes targeted insurgent positions on Thursday and Friday in Sangin in Helmand province.
On Friday, a U.S. military spokesman confirmed the U.S. carried out the raids against Taliban positions and said it was looking into allegations of civilian casualties.
People in Switzerland voted to make it easier for third generation foreigners to gain Swiss citizenship.
About 25,000 young people will now be eligible to get fast-track status toward citizenship.
Singer Al Jarreau died Sunday at the age of 76. Jarreau died at a Los Angeles hospital just days after announcing his retirement.
And by the way, the 59th Grammy Awards are being given out tonight for best songs and musicians.
Other award news, at the British Academy Film Awards Sunday, the musical "La La Land" took five prizes including best picture. Major BAFTA awards also went to "I, Daniel Blake," "Lion" and "Manchester by the Sea."
German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier has been chosen by a special assembly to become the nation's new president.
Mr. Steinmeier had the backing of Chancellor Angela Merkel.
He will take the post as head of state in March.
A White House official says the United States and Canada have agreed to form a task force on advancing the role of women in business.
President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau plan to participate Monday in a round-table discussion about women in the workplace.
The president's daughter, Ivanka Trump, is involved in recruiting participants and setting the agenda for the meeting.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says North Korea's firing of a ballistic missile into the Sea of Japan is "absolutely intolerable."
Mr. Abe spoke late Saturday alongside U.S. President Donald Trump at a news conference in Florida.
Mr. Trump said the U.S. stands behind Japan 100 percent.
More than 70,000 Greeks evacuated their homes in the country's second biggest city of Thessaloniki on Sunday to allow experts to defuse a World War II bomb that was discovered during excavation work at a gas station.
According to Greek media reports, the bomb was dropped by a British airplane in 1943.
International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde voiced optimism Sunday that U.S. President Donald Trump's planned tax cuts and construction spending could boost the American economy.
The IMF last month boosted its U.S. growth estimate a tenth of a point this year to 2.3 percent.
In Washington, I'm David DeForest.
That's the latest world news from VOA.