January 2, 2017
From Washington, this is VOA news. I'm David DeForest reporting.
Turkish security forces in Istanbul are searching for the gunman responsible for an attack on a night club. At least 39 people were killed, nearly 70 wounded. Dorian Jones has more.
Funerals have already begun of those killed in the New Year's Eve night club attack while Turkish security forces are searching Istanbul for the gunman responsible.
Prime Minister Binali Yildrim denied initial reports the assailant was wearing a Santa Claus costume and said he left his gun at the scene before escaping.
Efforts to identify the victims [is] are continuing along with their nationalities. Foreign nationals are among the dead.
Dorian Jones, Istanbul.
Syrian monitors say hundreds of civilians fled villages outside the Syrian capital Sunday. They were trying to escape a third day of fighting between government forces and rebel groups .
The exodus from the Barada Valley is said to involve about 1,300 people.
Officials in southern Iraq say gunmen wearing suicide vests and driving an explosive-laden vehicle attacked a police checkpoint Sunday, killing seven people.
Authorities say at least 15 were wounded in the attack near the town of Qadisiyah. All of the attackers were killed.
Responsibility for the incident claimed by the Islamic State group.
U.S. officials say they have no information about a power grid attack in the northeastern state of Vermont. At the same time, they are investigating suspected Russian malware found on a utility laptop computer.
The Department of Homeland Security says the laptop was not connected to the electrical grid operated by the Burlington Electric Department.
For more on that, check our website voanews.com. This is VOA news.
President-elect Donald Trump is casting doubt on the U.S. intelligence finding that Russia meddled in the presidential election through computer hacking. That finding led President Barack Obama to impose sanctions on Russian spy agencies last week and to expel 35 diplomats he said were spies.
Trump told reporters he wants U.S. intelligence sources to be certain.
He said computer hacking is difficult to avoid and had this advice: "You know, if you have something really important, write it out and have it delivered by courier, the old-fashioned way because I'll tell you what: no computer is safe. I don't care what they say. No computer is safe." :Donald Trump.
North Korea's leader says his country is in the final stages of developing an intercontinental ballistic missile. Kim Jong Un made his remarks Sunday in a televised New Year's speech.
North Korea conducted two nuclear tests in 2016.
South Korea's impeached president held a rare meeting with reporters Sunday to deny allegations that she colluded with her longtime friend Choi Soon-sil to extort money and favors from Korean conglomerates.
It was the first time Ms. Park has spoken to the media since being impeached by parliament December 9.
She told the selected reporters the charges against her are "fabrication and falsehood."
Officials say at least 23 people were killed after a fire broke out on a ferry boat that was carrying more than 200 people to islands north of the Indonesian capital, Jakarta, on Sunday.
The fire started aboard the passenger ferry shortly after it left Muara Angke port.
In addition to the dead, officials say more than a dozen people were injured and more than a dozen are still missing.
Police in Burundi say the country's environment minister was shot and killed in the capital Sunday.
A police spokesman says Emmanuel Niyonkuru was killed in Bujumbura while on his way home.
Political parties in the Democratic Republic of Congo reached an agreement Saturday calling for the president to step down after an election that must be held by the end of 2017.
The ruling party had originally proposed that Joseph Kabila leave office after elections in mid-2018.
The U.S. government is working to permanently resettle hundreds of Iraqis who were victims of Islamic State violence.
Larry Bartlett, director of the Office of Refugee Admissions at the State Department, says the U.S. is coordinating with the U.N. Refugee Agency to bring in hundreds of Iraqis to several to be [indetermined] undetermined locations in the U.S. Most of them are Yazidis and Christians whose communities were uprooted by the Islamic State group.
In Washington, I'm David DeForest.
That's the latest world news from VOA.