January 15, 2017
From Washington, this is VOA news. I'm David Byrd reporting.
U.S. President-elect Donald Trump says he would consider lifting sanctions against Russia if Moscow cooperates on matters of common interest.
In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Trump said he would keep the sanctions in effect "at least for a period of time." However, he said he might lift them if Russia helps combat terrorism and collaborates with the United States on other matters.
The U.S. initially imposed sanctions on Russia in 2014 after its annexation of Crimea. Last month, President Barack Obama ousted 35 Russian diplomats and imposed additional sanctions in response to Russia's apparent attempts to influence last year's presidential election.
President-elect Trump also told the newspaper that the U.S. "One China Policy," which declares Taiwan is part of China, would be up for negotiation. Trump said "Everything is under negotiation, including One China."
Several hundred people took part in an anti-Trump demonstration in downtown Washington on Saturday. The Reverend Al Sharpton's National Action Network sponsored the rally.
"We come to say to the Democrats in the Senate and in the House, and to the moderate Republicans, to get some backbone, get some guts."
The rally comes as President-elect Trump criticized civil rights pioneer John Lewis on Twitter, calling him "all talk" and "no action" and "sad."
Lewis, one of the most revered leaders of the civil rights movement, said in an interview he would skip Trump's inauguration because he did not consider him, in his words, a "legitimate" president.
This is VOA news.
A Syrian monitor says Islamic State militants have launched an attack on government-held areas of the Syrian city of Deir el-Zour.
The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says several explosions rocked the eastern city in intense ongoing fighting.
The monitor reports that more than 30 people have died.
Officials say the Syrian government used warplanes to beat back the militants.
The Islamic State group controls most of Deir el-Zour province, but government forces have controlled the provincial capital.
Turkey's foreign minister says the United States will be invited to Syrian peace talks set to start in Kazakhstan later this month.
Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said [in] that Turkey had agreed with Russia to invite the U.S. representatives to the talks.
The Obama administration had previously been frozen out of the peace process after talks between the United States and Russia broke down in late December.
Poland on Saturday formally welcomed a contingent of U.S. troops that arrived in the country earlier in the week, part of a NATO mission aimed at deterring Russian aggression.
Poland's prime minister, Beata Szydlo, told the troops in the western Polish town of Zagan that they will find a welcome home in her country.
Paul W. Jones is the U.S. ambassador to Poland. "This is America's most capable fighting force: a combat-ready, highly trained U.S. armored brigade, with our most advanced equipment and weaponry."
The mission dubbed The Atlantic Resolve will see the soldiers along with 87 Abrams tanks and more than 500 vehicles rotate between Poland and several other nearby NATO countries, including Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Bulgaria and Hungary.
SpaceX launched a Falcon 9 rocket for the first time since a fireball engulfed a similar craft on a Florida launch pad in September.
The two-stage rocket lifted off from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California Saturday morning to place 10 satellites into orbit for Iridium Communications.
Following the launch, SpaceX landed the tall portion of the rocket, known as the first stage, on a platform in the Pacific Ocean.
For more on these stories, you can log on to our website voanews.com. I'm David Byrd in Washington.
That's the latest world news from VOA.