September 18, 2016
From Washington, this is VOA news. I'm David Byrd reporting.
Russia has called for an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council after nearly 80 Syrian troops were killed by U.S.-led coalition warplanes.
The Syrian government said 80 troops were killed, Russia gave the number at 62 and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 83 had been killed. Scores of others were reported wounded.
U.S. officials say the airstrikes were intended for the so-called Islamic State militants surrounding the airport near Deir Ezzor. The strikes were halted when commanders learned the bombs had hit Syrian troops.
Russia blamed the deaths on the U.S. unwillingness to coordinate its strategy against the Islamic State.
Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin said his country is upholding its commitment to a cease-fire in Syria, but he cast doubt over the United States commitment to the deal. Speaking Saturday in Kyrgyzstan, Mr. Putin said Washington was deviating from its own calls for openness.
He said, "I would like to be honest with each other and only in this case we will be able to move towards common goals. I do not understand why certain agreement should be concealed but of course we will not disclose the details until our American partners agree to this."
Russia's military says the United States is not fulfilling its obligation to restrain its rebel allies during a cease-fire agreed to last week in Geneva. A Russian military spokesman said the United States would be responsible if the truce broke down.
Also, trucks loaded with humanitarian supplies continue to idle at the Syrian-Turkish border. They are carrying much needed relief for the besieged city of Aleppo.
This is VOA news.
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has vowed to rid the United States of illegal immigrants who have killed people.
Speaking in Houston, Texas, to the Remembrance Project, a group that advocates for families whose relatives were killed by illegal aliens, Trump said Border Patrol agents have told him that his opponent's plans are dangerous.
"They've warned that Hillary Clinton's plan would put the entire country in grave danger, I fully understand. They called it radical, deeply dangerous, and warned it would trigger an unprecedented national crisis."
Critics have said that the Remembrance Project uses families of victims to promote a hateful political agenda.
Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton's former opponent, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, told supporters in Ohio that the Democratic nominee wants to reduce student debt burdens by phasing in a college tuition relief program.
"... and Hillary Clinton says is there any family in America which has an income of $125,000 or less, all those families, 83 percent of American families, should be able to send their kids to public colleges and universities tuition-free?"
For her part, Mrs. Clinton plans to attend the Congressional Black Caucus dinner in Washington later Saturday.
Recent polls have shown that Clinton has a narrow lead over Trump with just 51 days until the election.
President Obama used his weekly media address to urge the U.S. Congress to, in his words, "do its job." Mr. Obama called on Republicans in the House and Senate to pass legislation to fight the Zika virus, to provide relief for flood victims in Louisiana and to consider his Supreme Court nominee.
"None of things should be controversial. All of it is within a reach. This is America. We can do anything. We just need a Congress that works as hard as you do."
Mr. Obama urged voters to contact their representatives and if they are not satisfied, in his words, "You know what to do in November."
Pope Francis encouraged European countries to welcome refugees fleeing violence in order to reduce terror and to foster a greater sense of humanity and hospitality.
Speaking Saturday in Rome to alumni of Jesuit schools in Europe, Francis said that authentic hospitality is "our greatest security against hateful acts of terrorism."
He said the number of displaced persons in the world now is beyond imagination.
For more, visit our website voanews.com. I'm David Byrd in Washington.
That's the latest world news from VOA.