December 14, 2016
From Washington, this is VOA news. I'm David DeForest reporting.
Rebel fighters and the Syrian government have reached an agreement to allow the evacuation of civilians and opposition forces from the city of Aleppo.
Russia says the government has ended its offensive in the city.
The agreement comes after the United Nations said it has received reports of pro-government forces in Syria killing at least 82 civilians in four different neighborhoods in the city of Aleppo.
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called for help for the civilian population of the town: "I call on the Syrian authorities and their allies, Russia and Iran, to honor their obligations under international humanitarian law and do the following: urgently allow the remaining civilians to escape the area and facilitate access for all humanitarian actors and the delivery of critically important assistance." :Ban Ki-moon.
The Pentagon said Tuesday a coalition airstrike killed three Islamic State leaders in Syria, including two militants who were involved in last year's terrorist attacks in Paris.
Defense Secretary Ash Carter provided some details. "And they were associates of al-Adnani, who was, if you recall, the chief external plotter for ISIL and its chief spokesman. And we killed him a little while ago."
A Pentagon spokesman said all three plotters were targeted while riding in a vehicle in Raqqa on December 4.
The Islamic State group is claiming responsibility for Sunday's suicide bombing at Cairo's Coptic Orthodox Church.
The terrorist group warned of more attacks, promising to continue its war against what it called "every infidel and apostate in Egypt and elsewhere."
This is VOA news.
President-elect Donald Trump announced today his nomination of Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson to be secretary of state.
Tillerson has spent his 41-year career at the oil company, gaining knowledge that Trump says is crucial to leading the State Department.
Some Republicans are expressing concern over Tillerson's close ties to Russia. But others, such as former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, call him an "excellent choice."
Former U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Steven Pifer says it's hard to know what kind of chief diplomat Tillerson will be.
"He is kind of a blank slate when it comes to questions like political relations with Russia, when it comes to issues like Ukraine, when it comes to issues like support for NATO, and so my guess is that he is going to have a lot of questions about that as people in the Senate on the Foreign Relations Committee try to tease our and understand what his views will be as a secretary of state."
Meanwhile, Trump has decided to name former Texas Governor Rick Perry to head the country's Department of Energy.
The president-elect is at this hour holding another Thank You rally for supporters in Wisconsin.
Members of Gambia's ruling party asked the nation's Supreme Court Tuesday to void the December 1 election results. They also call for new elections.
President Yahya Jammeh initially conceded defeat but then withdrew his concession.
An anti-corruption activist has announced he will run for president of Russia in the 2018 election.
Alexei Navalny is the leader of the opposition Party of [Congress] Progress and has been one of the most vocal critics of President Vladimir Putin.
Kenya is giving serious thought to withdrawing from the International Criminal Court. During a public address Monday for Kenya's Independence Day celebrations, President Uhuru Kenyatta said the government will consider two motions passed by parliament for the country's withdrawal from the court.
He said the decision was influenced by what he said was the failure of the ICC to respect the national sovereignty of member countries
A court in Italy has convicted a Tunisian man of being responsible for the deaths of hundreds of people in a 2015 shipwreck.
Mohammed Ali Malek was sentenced in Sicily to serve 18 years in prison for manslaughter and human trafficking. Seven hundred migrants drowned in the Mediterranean as they tried to reach Europe.
Two Yazidi women who were abducted by Islamic State militants in 2014 and used as sex slaves have accepted the European Parliament's Sakharov Prize for freedom of thought and expression.
Nadia Murad and Lamiya Aji Bashar were announced as the recipients in October but given the prize Tuesday in France.
Aji Bashar addressed the parliament the two women were taken by the Islamic State group from their village near Sinjar in northwestern Iraq in 2014.
In Washington, I'm David DeForest.
That's the latest world news from VOA.