January 13, 2017
From Washington, this is VOA news. I'm David DeForest reporting.
A Kremlin spokesman expressed concern Thursday about the arrival of U.S. soldiers and tanks in Poland. He said the arrival of U.S. forces is a threat to Russian security.
The first contingent of U.S. soldiers arrived in Poland from Germany Thursday.
Eventually the U.S. plans to station more than 3,000 soldiers in Poland.
The mission, dubbed The Atlantic Resolve, will see troops, tanks and military vehicles, rotate between Poland and several other nearby NATO countries, including Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Bulgaria and [Hungaria] Hungary, rather.
The deployment was ordered by the Obama administration in 2014 as a response to Russian aggression in Ukraine.
United Nations head António Guterres joined leaders from several European countries in Geneva Thursday trying to resolve the decades-long political crisis in Cyprus.
He, along with representatives from Cyprus, Greece, Turkey and Britain, gathered in an effort to hammer out an accord that would create a united two-zone federation.
The United States military released details Thursday about a joint operation in Afghanistan last November that resulted in the deaths of 33 civilians.
Residents and Taliban insurgents say the attack on the village of Boz in Kunduz province flattened dozens of houses. In addition to the deaths, twenty-seven people were wounded.
General John Nicholson, commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, says he deeply regrets the loss of innocent life.
Former Secretary-General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon arrived back home in South Korea on Thursday amid mounting speculation that he may run for president.
Ban was greeted by thousands of supporters at Incheon Airport near Seoul.
This is VOA news.
The United Nations envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, said Thursday that the cease-fire there is largely holding although there have been some exceptions.
Opposition forces say there has been an increase in government airstrikes.
De Mistura says a cut off of water to the Syrian capital, Damascus, threatens to derail peace talks scheduled for later this month in Kazakhstan.
The government of Gambian President Yahya Jammeh is asking the Supreme Court to block the inauguration of his successor, Adama Barrow.
Mr. Jammeh is refusing to accept his loss at the polls last December and is asking for the results to be thrown out.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Thursday that the upcoming Paris peace conference is "rigged" against his nation and that he will not be bound by anything it decides.
The conference beginning January 15 may endorse a framework for peace between Israel and the Palestinians.
French President François Hollande says the conference is intended to cement international support for a two-state solution in the Middle East.
U.S. President-elect Donald Trump's choices to lead the Department of Defense and Central Intelligence Agency distanced themselves from the incoming president by advocating a tough approach toward Russia.
The statements came Thursday during testimony at congressional confirmation hearings.
CIA nominee Mike Pompeo said Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election was ordered by Russian leaders.
"This was an aggressive action taken by the senior leadership inside of Russia. And America has an obligation, and the CIA is part of that obligation, to protect that information."
Defense Department nominee General James Mattis told the Senate Armed Services Committee that the post-war balance of power is being threatened more than ever by Russia.
"I would consider the principal threats to start with Russia, and it would certainly include any nations that are looking to intimidate nations around the periphery, regional nations nearby them."
Also Thursday, the Senate passed a waiver that would allow Mattis to run the Pentagon despite his [active] recent active military service.
Neurosurgeon Ben Carson testified before the Senate Banking Committee concerning his appointment to the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Director of National Intelligence James Clapper has told President-elect Donald Trump that the U.S. intelligence community did not create a document purporting to contain scandalous information about Trump obtained by the Russians.
Clapper says he told the president-elect the intelligence community has not made any judgment that the information is reliable.
In Washington, I'm David DeForest.
That's the latest world news from VOA.