November 22, 2016
From Washington, this is VOA news. I'm David DeForest reporting.
Monitors say Syrian forces backed by Russian air power pounded targets in the eastern sector of Aleppo on Monday.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said it has confirmed the deaths of 15 civilians in five eastern neighborhoods and said it expected the death toll to rise.
Syrian and Russian troops and allied Shiite Hezbollah militants have advanced into a key northeastern Aleppo neighborhood that had been held by rebels for the past four years.
At the United Nations, [U.N.] U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power said monitors had confirmed the deaths of 289 people in eastern Aleppo in the past six days.
"Russia and the Assad regime's merciless attacks must end. And those behind such attacks must know that we and the international community are watching their actions, documenting their abuses, and one day, they will be held accountable."
Meanwhile, U.N. special envoy Stephen O'Brien told the U.N. Security Council that Syrian-Russian airstrikes on civilian infrastructure are violations of humanitarian law.
An earthquake struck off the coast of Fukushima Prefecture in Japan Tuesday. Authorities issued a tsunami warning and advised coastal residents to find higher ground.
The U.S. Geological Survey says the quake struck 10 kilometers underground.
South Korean opposition parties are planning for the impeachment of President Park Geun-hye. The president has been caught up in an influence peddling scandal involving her friend and aide, Choi Soon-sil, who is charged with abuse of authority, coercion and attempted fraud.
The prosecution says it has evidence implicating Ms. Park as an accomplice in the alleged crimes.
This is VOA news.
U.S. President-elect Donald Trump says he will soon make some key appointments to his new administration.
Trump met Monday with two more possible cabinet picks, former Texas Governor Rick Perry possibly for energy secretary and Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin, possibly for interior secretary. Trump also met with a longtime political ally, former House of Representatives Speaker Newt Gingrich.
Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway said that not all of the parade of visitors Trump has met with in recent days will wind up working in his administration.
"The fact is that you have to take your time. This is a serious business and he just has all these different people to interview and to consult with and until that is done, he is not in a rush to make those announcements." :Kellyanne Conway.
Police fired tear gas, rubber bullets and water cannon during battles with protesters late Sunday in the U.S. state of North Dakota.
Demonstrators have for months been trying to block the construction of an oil pipeline that they say threatens water supplies and what they consider sacred tribal lands.
Construction of the Dakota Access pipeline is nearly complete.
The fighting broke out when about 400 protesters tried to break through a police barricade on a bridge.
The Islamic State group is claiming responsibility for Monday's bombing of a Shiite mosque in the Afghan capital, Kabul.
The suicide bombing at the Baqir ul Olum Mosque killed at least 32 people and wounded more than 80.
Pakistan's military says battles with India along the disputed Kashmir frontier Monday killed at least four Pakistani civilians and wounded 10. The army says it killed six Indian soldiers in return fire.
Taiwan is planning a military drill in the contested South China Sea. The coast guard and navy will hold a search-and-rescue exercise near Taiping Island, a Taiwan-held feature also known as Itu Aba. They will practice helping sailors battered in storms and needing shelter.
A contingent of Japanese troops arrived in South Sudan on Monday to join U.N. peacekeepers. They are the first Japanese soldiers deployed abroad with a mandate to use force in over 70 years since the end of World War II.
According to a letter published on Monday, Pope Francis has extended to all Roman Catholic priests the power to forgive abortion.
The measure, previously in place temporarily for the duration of the just-ended Holy Year of Mercy, is now extended indefinitely. The right to forgive abortion was previously reserved only for bishops or special confessors.
Francis stressed that "abortion is a grave sin" and "puts an end to an innocent life," but added "there is no sin that God's mercy cannot reach and wipe away when it finds a repentant heart."
In Washington, I'm David DeForest.
That's the latest world news from VOA.