January 17, 2017
From Washington, this is VOA news. I'm David DeForest reporting.
Syrian rebels say they will attend peace talks in Kazakhstan next week. They say the meetings in Astana on January 23rd will focus on the cease-fire, humanitarian issues and violations by the regime.
Turkish media report thousands of soldiers will be sent into Syria as Turkish forces struggle to recapture the strategically important town of al-Bab. Dorian Jones takes a look.
Reports that reinforcements will be sent into Syria comes as Turkish forces face growing causalities in a battle to wrest control of al-Bab from Islamic State.
Last month, 16 Turkish soldiers were killed in one attack, for jihadists are increasingly using suicide bombers and truck bombs.
The Turkish Army launched Operation Euphrates Shield last August ostensibly to support the Free Syrian Army. But with the jihadists putting up stiff resistance, the Turkish Army is increasingly taking a leading role.
Dorian Jones, Istanbul.
Turkish news reports say a suspect has been arrested in the attack on the deadly New Year's Eve attack at an Istanbul nightclub.
The Hurriyet Daily News said Abdulkadir Masharipov was detained Monday in Istanbul.
It reported the suspect was undergoing medical tests but no other details were given.
Gambia's president has filed an injunction aimed at preventing the president-elect's inauguration on January 19. It forbids any party from swearing in president-elect Adama Barrow.
President Yahya Jammeh said Sunday on state television all parties should await the outcome of a case before the Supreme Court.
The challenge is the results of Gambia's election.
This is VOA news.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel promised Monday to seek agreement with U.S. President-elect Donald Trump once he is sworn in later this week. She insisted that Europe will chart its own path forward in spite of differences with the incoming American leader.
Ms. Merkel's comments came in response to a weekend interview in which Trump alarmed some European leaders by repeating longstanding criticisms of the NATO alliance and suggesting Germany's response to the European migration crisis had been a historic mistake.
Danish Foreign Minister Anders Samuelsen says he is not paying too much attention to Donald Trump's tweets.
"I prefer but to rely on an official statement presented by the American politicians in Congress, in the commissions, less on the statement for the media." :Anders Samuelsen.
U.S. Vice President Joe Biden says "the international community" must stand up against Russian aggression and urged President-elect Donald Trump to be a strong supporter and partner of Ukraine.
Speaking Monday in Kyiv alongside President Petro Poroshenko, Biden noted Ukraine is "fighting both the cancer of corruption" and "the unrelenting aggression of the Kremlin."
Biden said sanctions against Moscow imposed in the aftermath of Russia's 2014 annexation of Crimea should continue.
China's state media blasted U.S. President-elect Donald Trump after he told The Wall Street Journal that America's "One China" policy is negotiable.
The China Daily newspaper said Monday that Trump is reinforcing the impression that he intends to use Taiwan as a bargaining chip in relations with China. It warned that the result would be "a period of fierce, damaging interactions."
Trump said via Twitter Sunday that outgoing Central Intelligence Agency director John Brennan may have been the one who leaked an unsubstantiated report of scandalous behavior in Russia by Trump.
The president-elect made the accusation in response to remarks by Brennan that Trump lacks a broad understanding of the threat Russia poses to the world.
In a Sunday interview, Brennan also belittled Trump's penchant for "talking and tweeting," saying it is not in the U.S. interests.
Trump says his plan to replace President Obama's health care program is formulated down to the final strokes and will be unveiled soon.
In an interview with The Washington Post, Trump said his goal was insurance for everybody but declined to provide specifics.
One thing he did specify was wanting to bring down health care costs by publicly pressuring drug companies to lower their prices.
From the VOA news center in Washington, I'm David DeForest.
That's the latest world news from VOA.