September 19, 2016
From Washington, this is VOA news. I'm Larry London reporting.
Police in New York are appealing to the public for information after an explosion in Manhattan injured 29 people late Saturday.
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio: "For all New Yorkers, a central message we want to give today is be vigilant, be vigilant at this point in time not just because this incident, be vigilant because we are going into United Nations General Assembly week, be vigilant because the police need your help."
The New York blast came hours after a pipe bomb exploded in a trash bin in a New Jersey beach town Saturday. That was 135 kilometers away, forcing the cancellation of a charity race involving thousands of runners.
Meanwhile, VOA has learned that someone claiming to be the bomber posted a manifesto on the Tumbler social media site, claiming responsibility and saying (quote) "I cannot live in a world where homosexuals like myself as well as the rest of the LGBT community are looked down upon by society."
The writer threatened more attacks.
The issue of what to do about the world's nearly 65.5 million displaced people take center stage at the United Nations General Assembly Monday when world leaders converge on New York for the first ever summit on addressing refugees and migrants.
With more people forced to flee their homes than at any time since World War II, leaders are expected to approve a document aimed at unifying all 193-member states behind a coordinated approach that protects human rights of refugees and migrants. But that may prove an uphill battle as the document is not legally binding and comes at a time that refugees and migrants have become a divisive issue in Europe and in the United States.
This is VOA.
The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations has blasted Russia for calling the Security Council into emergency session late Saturday to review an apparently errant U.S. bombing run that appears to have killed scores of Syrian troops.
Samantha Power said Russia's action was "a stunt" designed to divert attention from some of the "most systemic atrocities in a generation."
"The best way to contribute to the fight against ISIL and against al-Nusra, as Russia says it wants, is to stop bombing civilians and opposition groups who have signed up to the cessation of hostilities and deliver the Assad regime to implement what has been agreed."
She said the U.S. is investigating the bombing then went on to cite repeated incidents of Syrian government atrocities including airstrikes against hospitals and schools, which Power said, "In all of these cases, Moscow never called for Security Council action."
Russia's U.N. ambassador, Vitaly Churkin, said Power's angry words were "demagoguery of the highest order."
Churkin said timing of the U.S. strike was suspicious, coming as the two countries were attempting to forge a lasting cease-fire deal, and he questioned whether it was truly a mistake.
"Why would all of a sudden the United States choose to help the Syrian armed forces defending Deir ez-Zor? After all there is nothing when ISIL was advancing on Palmyra. ISIL made a 100-mile march although being attacked by the coalition."
Both ambassadors stopped short of saying that Saturday's airstrike meant the cease-fire deal had collapsed.
Allies of Russian President Vladimir Putin comfortably won a parliamentary election Sunday, but earlier indications were that turnout was low, suggesting a softening of enthusiasm for the ruling elite 18 months away from the next presidential election.
The ruling United Russia party, which Putin founded, won 44.5 percent in Sunday's vote, according to an exit poll, slightly down on the last election but it was still enough to preserve the dominance of Putin's allies in lower house of parliament.
And, police say nine people were wounded in a shopping mall stabbing attack late Saturday in St. Cloud, Minnesota.
An off-duty police officer who was at the mall shot and killed the suspect.
The FBI is investigating whether it was an act of terrorism and IS-run news agency said the [stabbing an attack] the stabbing attack was carried out by a "soldier of the Islamic State."
A co-founder of the Lyft ride-[sharing]hailing is predicting self-driving cars will handle a majority of his company's rides within five years.
I'm Larry London in Washington.
That's the latest world news from VOA.