January 27, 2017
From Washington, this is VOA news. I'm David DeForest reporting.
A meeting between Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto and U.S. President Donald Trump has been canceled.
A rift widened between the two countries when Mr. Trump announced plans to build a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico.
Speaking from a Republican congressional retreat in Philadelphia, Mr. Trump said Thursday the two leaders agreed to cancel the meeting.
"Unless Mexico is going to treat the United States fairly, with respect, such a meeting would be fruitless and I want to go a different route. We have no choice."
The U.S. president also blasted the North American Free Trade Agreement, saying it costs the U.S. as much as $60 billion each year in trade deficits.
Later, the White House proposed a 20 percent tax on Mexican imports as a possible way to pay for the wall.
Congressional Republicans are holding the meeting to plan their legislative agenda for the coming years.
While attending the retreat, Mr. Trump met with British Prime Minister Theresa May. As May later addressed the group, calling for a renewal of the special relationship with the United States as Britain prepares to leave the European Union.
"Because of this, because of what you have done together, because of that great victory you have won, America can be stronger, greater, and more confident in the years ahead."
Ms. May is scheduled to visit the White House on Friday.
Gambia's new President Adama Barrow returned to his country Thursday, accompanied by heavy security. He was greeted by jubilant crowds.
A special United Nations representative says U.N. forces are assigned to ensure the safety of Mr. Barrow, his administration and all Gambian citizens.
This is VOA news.
Turkey says it is too early to comment on U.S. President Donald Trump's proposal to establish safe zones in Syria.
A Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman says it will be important to first see the results of a set of studies Mr. Trump is expected to order from the Pentagon and the State Department. The zones would be areas in Syria where civilians could be safe from civil war violence.
Turkey has long advocated safe zones. But former U.S. President Barack Obama did not support the idea.
Afghan officials say a border skirmish with Pakistan has left at least one Afghan border guard dead and two wounded.
An Afghan spokesman says fighting Thursday in the Spinbuldak area in southern Kandahar province lasted for about two hours.
He alleged that a group of Taliban insurgents riding motorcycles tried to enter Afghanistan with the help of Pakistani forces, prompting Afghan border police to open fire. He said Pakistani troops retaliated by shelling Afghan border posts.
Pakistani officials say they are trying to find out what happened.
Thousands of anti-abortion activists will pour into Washington D.C. Friday for the 43rd annual March for Life.
Many right to life activists are pleased that President Donald Trump, who has recently taken a stand against abortion, will be setting policy on the subject and appointing like-minded judges.
French Foreign Minister François Fillon Thursday declared that he will remain a presidential candidate despite press allegations that his wife had been paid as his assistant, but in fact, did no work.
Fillon rejected the allegations, saying his wife's work included press reviews, proofreading his speeches and meeting people for him.
Just ahead of elections, which are scheduled for March, a Dutch cabinet member has resigned, an action seen as politically damaging to the government of Prime Minister Mark Rutte.
Justice Minister Ard van der Steur stepped down amid reports that he was involved in withholding information from lawmakers regarding a 17-year-old legal case.
The alleged action took place in 2015 before van der Steur joined the cabinet.
A summer controversy over burkinis in France made a winter return Thursday when a Corsican administrative court upheld a local decree against the Muslim swimsuits.
The court allowed one village to ban the garment, but struck down the ban elsewhere due to a lack of evidence that burkinis are a threat to public order.
The decision came at a time when Islam and the visibility of France's estimated five million Muslims has become a political flashpoint, coming just ahead of the presidential elections in April.
In Washington, I'm David DeForest.
That's the latest world news from VOA.