February 8, 2017
From Washington, this is VOA news. I'm David DeForest reporting.
A U.S. federal appeals court is due to hear oral arguments Tuesday in the legal battle over President Donald Trump's executive order suspending the country's refugee admissions program and banning entry to people from seven nations.
Speaking to the National Sheriffs' Association at the White House Tuesday, the president did not predict the outcome of the hearing, but acknowledged that it could end up in the Supreme Court.
"So we'll see what happens. We have a big court case. We're well represented and we're going to see what happens." "Is it going to go to the Supreme Court, do you think?" "We'll see. Hopefully it doesn't have to."
A brief filed by the Justice Department defends the ban as a lawful exercise of the president's authority.
Afghan officials say a suicide bomb attack near the nation's Supreme Court building in Kabul has killed at least 19 people and wounded about 40.
Most of the victims are said to be court employees.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility.
Russia will host a regional conference on the Afghanistan conflict later this month. Participants are expected to discuss efforts to settle the conflict and prevent Islamic State terrorists from getting a foothold in the nation.
Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Tuesday Afghanistan has been formally invited to the mid-February talks and its senior officials from China, Iran, India and Pakistan also will be in attendance.
Five mortar rounds exploded near Mogadishu airport in the capital of Somalia Tuesday.
There were no immediate reports of casualties. Suspicion quickly fell on the militant group al-Shabaab, which has vowed to disrupt Wednesday's parliamentary vote to choose the nation's president.
Incumbent President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud is seeking re-election against 20 candidates.
This is VOA news.
The U.N. refugee agency warns conditions in camps for Burundian refugees in countries of asylum are deteriorating and more land is urgently needed to accommodate the growing number of new refugee arrivals. Lisa Schlein reports.
Tanzania, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo are hosting more than 386,000 Burundian refugees. The U.N. refugee agency expects that number to exceed one half million this year as refugees continue to flee political instability and abuse in Burundi.
Peace talks between the government and opposition are stalled. Though Burundi has largely fallen off the media radar, UNHCR spokesman Leo Dobbs tells VOA the crisis gripping the country remains acute.
Lisa Schlein, Geneva.
U.S. President Donald Trump has invited Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to visit him at his Florida resort this weekend.
A White House spokesman said the invitation shows the importance of U.S. relations with Japan.
The European Union Tuesday condemned a new Israeli law legalizing dozens of Jewish settler outposts on Palestinian land.
Foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini called on the Israeli government to refrain from implementing the law.
Meanwhile, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres said he deeply regrets the adoption of the measure, saying the settler outposts violate international law.
The Palestinian Authority is calling for the international community to punish Israel.
With François Fillon [declared] declaring he will continue campaigning to become president of France despite reports of shady payments to his wife, another French candidate moved into the scandal spotlight on Tuesday.
Centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron was forced to deny rumors that he has engaged in a homosexual relationship outside of his marriage.
Syrian activists say airstrikes on the rebel-held city of Idlib Tuesday killed at least 15 people. They say dozens of people were wounded and several buildings were demolished.
Opposition activists reported airstrikes on several suburbs of the city of Damascus. They did not say who carried out the attacks.
Britain's Conservative government says parliament will get to vote on a European Union exit agreement before it is finalized by the bloc.
Brexit Minister David Jones said the vote will cover the withdrawal arrangement and Britain's future relationship with the EU.
Meanwhile, the Scottish parliament voted Tuesday to reject Brexit. However, that vote is not binding.
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence cast a tie-breaking vote in the Senate Tuesday to confirm President Trump's education secretary nominee, Betsy DeVos.
It was the first time in American history that a vice president has been needed to get a cabinet pick approved.
This is VOA news.
That's the latest world news from VOA.