October 8, 2016
From Washington, this is VOA news. I'm David Byrd reporting.
The United States officially accuses Russia of being behind several computer attacks aimed at influencing the U.S. presidential election.
A joint statement by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and Department of Homeland Security said based on the scope and sensitivity of the cyber-attacks, only Russia's senior-most officials could have authorized them.
The DHS says that some states have seen scanning and probing of their election-related systems which in most cases it says originated from servers operated by a Russian company.
However, the statement says the U.S. is not now in a position to attribute this activity to the Russian government.
Russia has repeatedly rejected accusations that it hacks the United States. The Interfax news agency quoted Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov on Friday as saying that the accusations were, in his words, "nonsense."
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is calling for a war crime's investigation of Russia and Syria following an attack on a Syrian hospital Thursday night, which left 20 people dead and 100 wounded.
Kerry said in Washington that there must be some accountability for the violence ravaging the country.
"... and those who commit these would and should be held accountable for these actions. They're beyond the accidental now, way beyond, years beyond the accidental."
A Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson called Kerry's statements propaganda. Maria Zakharova said that there are some very serious legal consequences behind this terminology and accused Kerry of using the terms to, in her words, "inflame the situation."
This is VOA news.
Hurricane Matthew continues to unleash powerful winds and heavy rains on the southeastern U.S. coast while the death toll continues to mount in storm-ravaged Haiti.
The National Weather Service said that Matthew, which has weakened to a Category 2 storm, is hugging the coast of northeast Florida as it moves north-northwest with maximum sustained winds of 177 kilometers per hour.
The storm is moving up the eastern seaboard with heavy rains in Georgia and the Carolinas. Georgia Governor Nathan Deal urged coastal residents to stay away until they know it is safe to return home.
"If there are power lines down, we all know the dangers that are associated with that. Give the utility crews the time and the space in which to operate and to be able to make it a safe return for you."
Matthew has already left hundreds dead in the Caribbean, including at least 400 people in Haiti.
Colombia's President Juan Manuel Santos was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize Friday for his efforts in securing the end of a more than five-decade-old conflict with Marxist rebels.
Nobel Committee head Kaci Kullmann Five made the announcement. "The Norwegian Nobel committee has decided to award the Nobel Peace Prize for 2016 to Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos for his resolute efforts to bring the country's more than 50-year-long civil war to an end."
Later Friday, Santos went on Colombian television to express his gratitude and tell citizens he was sharing the honor with them. He said he received the award in the name of all Colombians, especially those killed in the five-decade-old conflict.
Santos and Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia leader Rodrigo Londono, also known as "Timochenko," signed a historic peace accord last month. The treaty was later rejected by a majority of voters in a referendum.
U.S. President Barack Obama used a return to his hometown of Chicago to cast an early ballot in this November's election Friday.
The president spoke at a fund raiser for Democratic House candidates and then stopped at the Cook County Office Building. He shook the hands of about a dozen poll workers and was directed to a desk for cameras watch from about nine meters away.
Obama has been encouraging people in speeches and radio interviews to register to vote and to get to the polls.
And, the U.S. Labor Department says the country's economy added 156,000 jobs in September. The unemployment rate increased slightly to five percent.
For more, visit our website voanews.com. I'm David Byrd in Washington.
That's the latest world news from VOA.