January 5, 2017
From Washington, this is VOA news. I'm David DeForest reporting.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said Wednesday authorities have identified the gunman who killed 39 people in a New Year's attack at a nightclub in Istanbul. He did not give the attacker's name.
Authorities are still looking for him.
Turkey is warning that violations of the cease-fire in Syria could jeopardize peace talks planned for later this month.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu told the state-run Anadolu news agency Wednesday unless the violation stop, the peace process could fail.
He blamed pro-government fighters, including the Lebanon-based Hezbollah militant group, for the violations.
U.N. officials say thousands of Iraqis have been fleeing Mosul during the past five days ever since U.S.-led military forces began a second phase in the operation to free the city from the Islamic State militants.
The severely outnumbered militants have taken to embedding themselves with civilians, leading to an increase in the number of civilian casualties.
Meanwhile, the U.S.-led coalition has doubled to 450 the number of advisers assisting Iraqi forces fighting the Islamic State group.
An Israeli military court convicted a young soldier of manslaughter Wednesday for shooting and killing an incapacitated Palestinian assailant last year.
A cell phone video caught 19-year-old Sergeant Elor Azaria aiming his assault rifle at the Palestinian and shooting him in the head.
The army condemned the soldier's actions although many in the public said they didn't think he should be hauled into court like a common criminal.
The officer who delivered the verdict said that even though the dead Palestinian was a terrorist the attack on him was a disproportionate response.
This is VOA news.
The U.S. Senate [Foreign Relations Committee] Armed Services Committee is to hold a closed door briefing Thursday to learn more about the Obama administration's response to suspected Russian interference in the 2016 election and the harassment of American diplomats.
Committee chairman John McCain Wednesday called the Russian interference "an act of war."
President Obama hit back at Moscow last week with a set of sanctions targeting Russia's leading spy agencies which the U.S. has accused of meddling in the presidential election.
Meanwhile, President-elect Donald Trump continued Wednesday to question the idea that Russia meddled in the election.
Trump said Wednesday he plans to nominate Wall Street lawyer Jay Clayton to be the head of the Securities and Exchange Commission. That's the group that regulates financial markets in the U.S.
Clayton currently works as a partner with the law firm Sullivan & Cromwell specializing in public and private mergers.
U.S. President Barack Obama rallied Democrats, Vice President-elect Mike Pence, rallied Republicans on Capitol Hill Wednesday over the fight for or against "Obamacare."
We get more from Michael Bowman.
President Barack Obama visited the Capitol Wednesday to rally Democrats in support of preserving his signature domestic achievement, the Affordable Care Act also known as Obamacare.
At the same time, Republican Vice President-elect Mike Pence was also at the Capitol speaking with Republicans and reporters about the party's intention to repeal Obamacare.
Democrats are warning that if the law is scrapped without a replacement in place and at the ready, millions of Americans will lose their health care coverage.
At the Capital, I'm Michael Bowman.
Dylann Roof, convicted of killing nine people at a black church in Charleston, South Carolina, told jurors Wednesday that there is nothing wrong with him psychologically and that he has no regrets about what he did.
The white supremacist chose to act as his own attorney. During the sentencing phase of his trial, he said he wanted to stop his lawyers from introducing any potentially embarrassing evidence regarding his mental health. Roof's lawyers have not specified what that evidence might be.
Prosecutors have asked for the death penalty because of the premeditated nature of Roof's attack.
Authorities in the Chinese city of Pingxiangman say a man walked into a kindergarten and stabbed 11 children. Five of them were wounded seriously.
The city government's information office said the man "sneaked into" the school, stabbed the children before being grabbed by police.
A rush hour commuter train derailed in the Brooklyn section of New York City Wednesday. A hundred people were injured.
The Long Island Rail Road train derailed after it failed to stop on time and smashed into a bumping block.
In Washington, I'm David DeForest.
That's the latest world news from VOA.