November 29, 2016
From Washington, this is VOA news. I'm David DeForest reporting.
Syrian government forces have captured a wide section of the rebel-held area of Aleppo. They are threatening to dislodge the rebels from their last major urban stronghold.
There are reports of panic in retreat in the rebel-held areas, reclaiming all of Aleppo would be a big step forward for the embattled government of President Bashar al-Assad.
Kurdish commanders say an American volunteer fighting with a Kurdish militia was killed Monday in a battle [inside Islamic State fighters] against Islamic State fighters in northern Syria. The American was reported killed north of Raqqa, where U.S.-backed forces are fighting the Islamic State group as part of an offensive to free the city.
In a setback to efforts to end the war in Yemen, Houthi rebels and their allies have announced the formation of a new government in Sana'a.
The Houthi-controlled Saba news agency said the government is tasked with establishing order and confronting what it calls "Saudi aggression."
This comes less than two weeks after U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said he extracted a pledge from Houthi leaders to form a unity government with their opponents.
The U.N.-led plan called for the Houthis to pull out of the main cities and hand over their heavy weapons. But exiled Yemeni President Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi rejected that agreement.
Cubans lined up in Havana's Revolutionary Square Monday to pay their last respects to Fidel Castro.
Memorial services began early Monday after 21 gun salutes sounded simultaneously in the capital and in the eastern city of Santiago where Castro started the Cuban revolution in 1953.
The government has declared a nine-day period of mourning.
The 90-year-old former Communist dictator died Friday after a long illness.
This is VOA news.
The White House, major U.S. media outlets and fact checkers are debunking President-elect Donald Trump's claim that "millions of people" voted illegally in the November 8 election.
In Twitter posts Sunday, Trump claimed he would have defeated Democrat Hillary Clinton in the popular vote if the tally had eliminated the ballots of millions of people who he said "voted illegally." He did not offer any evidence for the claim.
Election experts say there is scant evidence of vote fraud in the elections. Mike Haas, Wisconsin Elections Commission administrator says computer hacking of election centers is highly unlikely.
"It is not connected to the Internet. We have a number of different systems in place in the state, well very decentralized system. And an individual would need to have unfettered, physical access to voting equipment and to be able to enter the locked cabinets where the software, the memory devices located and to do that want to be detected, it's hard to believe it could happen to do that throughout the state with the variety of different equipment. It seems very unlikely."
Meanwhile, the Wisconsin Elections Commission agreed Monday to do a recount of the presidential ballots from the recent election. But Green Party candidate Jill Stein, who petitioned for the recount, sued the agency after it refused to do the recount by hand. Stein is also suing the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to get a similar recount in that state.
Police in the Midwestern U.S. city of Columbus, Ohio, say at least nine people were wounded on the campus of Ohio State University when an attacker drove a vehicle into a crowd of pedestrians and then began stabbing them.
Monica Moll is the university's director of public safety: "At 9:53, an OSU PD officer called out on the radio that shots were fired. He engaged the suspect who had gotten out of the vehicle after hitting pedestrians. The suspect cut multiple individuals. The officer engaged the suspect and shot and killed the suspect." :Monica Moll speaking via WBNS TV.
The suspect was shot and killed by police. Ohio State University identified the attacker as Abdul Razak Ali Artan, a freshman at the school.
Community members say Artan was of Somali descent and was about 20 years old.
A U.S. defense official says an Iranian boat pointed its weapon Saturday at a U.S. helicopter launched from the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower in the Strait of Hormuz.
He called the action of the Iranians "both unprofessional and unsafe."
The Eisenhower was traveling through the Strait of Hormuz when its crew saw two small Iranian Revolutionary Guard boats. The U.S. vessel launched a helicopter to investigate. That's when, the official says, one of the boats pointed a weapon at the helicopter
From the VOA news center in Washington, I'm David DeForest.
That's the latest world news from VOA.