September 10, 2016
From Washington, this is VOA news. I'm David Byrd reporting.
The U.N. Security Council has strongly condemned North Korea's most recent nuclear test. In a statement, members of the Security Council said they would begin to work immediately on appropriate measures under Article 41 of the U.N. Charter, which specifies non-military actions including sanctions.
The Security Council held an emergency meeting Friday in New York just hours after North Korea conducted its fifth nuclear test.
The bomb triggered a blast that seismic monitors indicated was its largest such detonation yet.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says the United States and Russia have finalized a plan to reduce violence in Syria and lead to a political transition that would end more than five years of war.
After more than 18 hours of negotiations Friday, Kerry said the deal clinched with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov could be a turning point for the conflict if implemented.
"No one is building this based on trust. It is based on a way of providing oversight and compliance through mutual interest and other things. And we are determined to explore every single avenue possible for progress."
Kerry said that a new nationwide cease-fire would take effect at sundown on Monday [September 20] September 12, that is, coinciding with the Eid al-Adha holiday.
Lavrov confirmed the agreement and said it could help expand the counter-terrorism fight and aid deliveries to civilians in Syria. He said that President Bashar al-Assad's government was prepared to comply.
This is VOA news.
The two nominees for president have weighed in on North Korea's latest nuclear test.
Speaking to the conservative Values Voters Summit in Washington, Republican nominee Donald Trump said that North Korea's nuclear program is proof that his opponent, Hillary Clinton, failed as secretary of state.
"North Korea performed its fifth nuclear test - its fourth since Hillary Clinton became secretary of state. It's just one more massive failure from a failed secretary of state."
Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton said after meeting with a bipartisan group of national security experts in New York City that as president she would not allow North Korea to threaten the United States or its allies.
"That is absolutely a bottom line. And if other countries want to assist us in this effort we welcome that and we will engage in intensive discussions as soon as possible."
The former secretary of state also called for new sanctions in addition to those endorsed by the Obama administration and adopted earlier in the year with the United Nations.
The U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation Friday that would allow families of the victims of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks to sue the Saudi Arabian government for allegedly supporting terrorism.
The majority of the airline hijackers were Saudi nationals but the Riyadh government has denied any involvement in the attacks.
Ted Poe is a Republican representative from Texas: "The legislation gives the victims' families access to the courts, to the rule of law. And we as a people should be more concerned about these victims of terror than we are about diplomatic niceties with other countries."
The bill has already cleared the U.S. Senate, but President Obama has promised to veto the legislation out of concern it could weaken U.S. ties with Saudi Arabia.
The World Health Organization has stepped up its warning for Southeast Asia to guard against the threat posed by the mosquito-borne Zika virus amid mounting concerns in the region of the impact to local populations.
WHO regional emergencies director for Southeast Asia Roderico Ofrin said that countries need to adopt "effective surveillance and reporting systems" to closely monitor the spread of the disease.
South America has borne the brunt of the virus' severe impact, especially in Brazil, where hundreds of cases of the birth defect microcephaly have been confirmed since a Zika outbreak began last year.
For more on these stories, visit our website. I'm David Byrd in Washington.
That's the latest world news from VOA.