October 6, 2016
From Washington, this is VOA news. I'm David DeForest reporting.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced Wednesday the Paris Agreement on climate change will legally come into force November 4.
The agreement is aimed at cutting greenhouse gas emissions, which scientists say are responsible for global warming.
Canada, Nepal and seven European Union countries ratified the pact Wednesday, bringing the total number of governments that have approved it to 62.
After the announcement, U.S. President Barack Obama spoke to reporters at the White House.
"It will help other nations ratchet down their dangerous carbon emissions over time and set bolder targets as technology advances, all under a strong system of transparency that allows each nation to evaluate the progress of all other nations." :President Obama.
Portugal's former Prime Minister António Guterres has unofficially been selected as the United Nations' next secretary-general. Margaret Besheer reports.
In a decisive sixth round of private voting among Security Council diplomats, the 67-year-old Guterres prevailed with a majority of votes and no vetoes from the permanent five Council members.
Russia's U.N. Ambassador Vitaly Churkin, who is Council president this month, made the announcement to the press, flanked by the 14 other members of the Council.
"Today after our sixth straw poll we have a clear favorite and his name is António Guterres."
Guterres beat a total of 12 other candidates to get the top job.
Margaret Besheer, the United Nations.
Hurricane Matthew headed toward the Bahama islands Wednesday after inflicting destruction on Haiti and Cuba.
At least 10 people have been killed on the island that makes up Haiti and the Dominican Republic.
This is VOA news.
The Obama administration reacted angrily Wednesday to Israeli plans to build Jewish settlements in the West Bank.
State Department spokesman Mark Toner said such moves by Israel only makes the two-states solution harder to reach and affects "Israel's long-term viability as a democratic state."
Israel's Foreign Ministry Wednesday denied that the newly announced homes for Jewish settlers would be a new settlement.
The Israeli military says it carried out airstrikes on Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip Wednesday. It says the action was taken after a rocket fired from Palestinian territory struck a street in the town of Sderot.
Russia has suspended a three-year-old cooperation agreement with the United States on nuclear and energy-related research.
The Russian action Wednesday is the latest indication of a deteriorating relationship between the two countries.
Meanwhile, there was a face-to-face high-level U.S.-Russian meeting Wednesday in Moscow, involving Victoria Nuland, the U.S. assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian Affairs.
Nuland and members of the National Security Council met with Russian officials and discussed the 2015 cease-fire and peace agreement for Ukraine known as the Minsk Protocol.
The U.S. Department of Justice says a National Security Agency contractor has been arrested and is being investigated for taking "highly classified" information.
The suspect, 51-year-old Harold Thomas Martin III of Glen Burnie, Maryland, was arrested in late August. The department says he had a top secret national security clearance.
The New York Times newspaper reported the contractor is suspected of stealing sensitive NSA source code meant to break into the computer systems of foreign governments such as Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea. It said he worked for the consulting firm, Booz Allen Hamilton.
Italy's coast guard says nearly 11,000 people have been rescued in the past two days in the Mediterranean Sea off North Africa. Fifty people have been found dead.
The coast guard said new rescue operations were underway on Wednesday.
International donors have pledged $15.2 billion to support development in Afghanistan for the period 2017 to  2020.
During a donors' meeting Wednesday in Brussels, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said he has still "an enormous sense of confidence about the future" of Afghanistan.
Syria's army says it will reduce airstrikes and shelling on the rebel-held areas of Aleppo. That announcement Wednesday says the action is being taken on humanitarian grounds.
The government and its Russian ally have come under strong criticism for recent attacks on the city since launching an offensive last month to capture the whole town.
In Washington, I'm David DeForest.
That's the latest world news from VOA.