November 7, 2016
From Washington, this is VOA news. I'm David DeForest reporting.
Kurdish-led Syrian forces launched an offensive Sunday to gain control of the city of Raqqa, the de facto capital for the Islamic State group.
U.S. envoy Brett McGurk says the offensive is receiving American air support. He also said the Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Joseph Dunford, met in the Turkish capital Sunday with his Turkish counterparts for talks on the new offensive.
Those talks appear to be aimed at easing Turkish concerns about Kurdish participation in the operation. Turkey sees the Syrian Kurdish fighting force as a terrorist organization.
Iraqi troops inside the city of Mosul slowed their advance Sunday on the city's eastern front. Islamic State militants have taken over neighborhoods in that area and troops are trying to protect civilians from being harmed in battle.
Here is special U.S. envoy Brett McGurk: "So right now, everything in Mosul is ahead of schedule on all axes of events, but Daesh as we expected is putting up a fierce fight and I expect this will take some time to conclude." :Brett McGurk.
A spokesman for Turkey's main pro-Kurdish party announced Sunday that it is withdrawing from parliament after the unprecedented arrests of nine of its lawmakers, including the party's two co-leaders.
Turkey drew international condemnation following the arrests which brought into question the state of democracy in Turkey.
Officials in the Indian capital shut down schools, halted construction activity and closed a coal-fired power plant temporarily as alarm bells were sounded about the deadly haze of air pollution that has shrouded the city this past week.
The emergency measures came amid rising calls for an urgent response to dangerous air pollution in New Delhi.
This is VOA news.
FBI Director James Comey tells Congress he has not changed his conclusion reached in July that Hillary Clinton did nothing criminal in using a private server for emails when she was secretary of state.
Comey made the announcement Sunday after reviewing a new batch of emails discovered during an unrelated investigation.
In the U.S. presidential campaign, Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton are appearing in key states in a last-minute bid to grab the attention of undecided voters.
More than 41 million Americans have already voted in states that allow early voting.
Both Clinton and Trump have been painting a dark picture of what the country would look like with the other in the White House.
Clinton spoke in Pennsylvania. "This election is about doing everything we can to stop the movement to destroy President Obama's legacy."
Trump made an appearance in Iowa. "There is little doubt that FBI Director Comey and the great special agents within the FBI will be able to collect more than enough evidence to garner indictments against Hillary Clinton and her inner circle."
National surveys continue to show Clinton with a narrow edge over Trump. Most polling analysts are predicting a Clinton victory on Tuesday, but her advantage over Trump is not believed to be insurmountable.
Voters in 35 states will decide policy issues Tuesday that include legalizing recreational use of marijuana and restricting access to guns and ammunition. One hundred sixty ballot initiatives will be decided by the voters.
A fierce battle in the disputed town of Galkayo in central Somalia has killed at least 31 people, including a radio reporter hit by a stray bullet.
Fighting between Puntland and Galmudug state forces erupted Sunday, shattering a days-old cease-fire negotiated by the United Arab Emirates.
Both sides traded gunfire and mortars in the west side of Galkayo before the fighting spread into the suburbs. At least 80 people were wounded.
Pope Francis urged political leaders across the world to respect the dignity of prison inmates and offer them amnesty whenever possible.
Francis held a special Jubilee Mass Sunday in St. Peter's Basilica for some 1,000 prisoners from 12 countries and their families as well as prison chaplains and volunteers.
Nicaraguans voted Sunday in a presidential election (that) polls indicate will most likely result in the re-election of Daniel Ortega.
The M&R Consultants national poll cites 69.8 percent of those surveyed planned to vote for Ortega.
In Washington, I'm David DeForest.
That's the latest world news from VOA.