November 20, 2016
From Washington, this is VOA news. I'm David Byrd reporting.
President-elect Donald Trump spent Saturday meeting with several candidates who might join his cabinet.
Trump held a meeting with 2012 Republican nominee Mitt Romney at Trump's gold resort in New Jersey.
Romney, who had actively opposed Trump's candidacy during the campaign, told reporters afterward that he and Trump had discussed a variety of topics.
"We had a far-reaching conversation with regards to the various theaters of the world of interest to the United States, of real significance. We discussed those areas and exchanged our views on those topics -- a very thorough and in-depth discussion."
Trump made no comment on the meeting other than to say "it went great."
In a speech last March, Romney had blasted Trump as a "con man" and a "fraud." the president-elect had called Romney a "loser" and a "stiff."
Their relationship began to thaw after Romney called Trump to congratulate him on his presidential victory.
The president-elect also met with former Marine General James Mattis, a possible candidate for defense secretary. Afterward, Trump said Mattis was a "brilliant man" and "we will see what happens, but he is the real deal."
The meetings finished Saturday night and Trump told reporters they might be hearing something Tomorrow.
In Lima, Peru, U.S. President Barack Obama held meetings with the 11 other leaders of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a trade deal that's not likely to last through the Trump administration.
Mr. Obama said that the United States, he expressed the United States' strong support for trade, its commitment to strengthening ties in the Asia Pacific region and the need to remain engaged in an interconnected world.
This is VOA news.
White House National Security Adviser Susan Rice has warned the Syrian regime and its Russian backers Saturday that they will be held accountable for what she called the "heinous" bombings of hospitals in rebel-held portions of Aleppo.
Rice said, "The United States condemns the attacks in the strongest terms and there is no excuse for these heinous actions." The National Security Adviser added that "The Syrian regime and its allies, Russia in particular, that is, bear the responsibility for the immediate and long-term consequences these actions have caused in Syria and beyond."
Iraqi coalition commanders say that Shiite militia allied with the government are in full control of Islamic State military installations at Tal Afar as the coalition pressed Saturday to gain full control of the city west of Mosul from Islamic State fighters.
A statement published by the umbrella organization known as the Popular Mobilization Units said its forces had also cut the main east-west road linking Islamic State-occupied Mosul with the Syrian city of Raqqa.
Elsewhere, heavy fighting was reported on Mosul's eastern perimeter early Saturday as coalition forces backed by U.S.-led air power sought to penetrate deeper into the fortified city.
More than a month after the start of the battle for Mosul, the United Nations has reported a marked increase in the number of people fleeing densely-populated urban areas of the Iraqi city. As Lisa Schlein reports, the U.N. says there has been a tripling of the number of displaced people over the past two weeks.
U.N. data show nearly half of those fleeing their homes in Mosul are children. Women, girls and female-headed households, who make up much of the rest, often are survivors of sexual and other human rights abuse.
The U.N. reports more than 40,000 displaced people are sheltering in formal camps run by the Iraqi government in three governorates. The U.N. refugee agency currently has six camps open, hosting well over 14,000 people, with a capacity for 54,600. Thousands of other displaced people are living with relatives and in informal settings, such as unfinished construction sites.
Lisa Schlein, for VOA news, Geneva.
A Soyuz rocket carrying a veteran American astronaut, a French newcomer and a Russian cosmonaut docked with the International Space Station on Saturday.
NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson, who will celebrate her 57th birthday in February, has now become the oldest women in space, adding to her long line of barrier breaking records.
I'm David Byrd in Washington.
That's the latest world news from VOA.