September 6, 2016
From Washington, this is VOA news. I'm David DeForest reporting.
U.S. President Barack Obama is seeking to reassure nations in Southeast Asia that the U.S. is firmly committed to its re-balance to the region.
He will be attending the Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit and the East Asia summit in Laos, where he will seek to deepen ties.
The U.S. leader will meet with Laos President Bounnhang Vorachit at the presidential palace Tuesday. He will try to build trust with his Lao hosts.
"As we're trying to build trust, a lot of work can be done around war legacy issues. For the Lao, that involves dealing with unexploded ordnance, which is still plaguing big chunks of the countryside." :President Obama.
A string of explosions Monday in Syria killed at least 48 people and wounded dozens. The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility.
The blasts hit the government-held cities of Homs and Tartus, the Kurdish-held city of Hasakeh, and the countryside of Damascus.
A third blast has rocked Afghanistan's capital, Kabul, late Monday, hours after a suicide bomber blew up his explosives-laden vehicle, killing at least 30 people and wounding more than 90 earlier in the day.
The blast was followed by gunfire. A guesthouse frequented by foreigners was said to be the target. Afghan Special Forces quickly reached the area and reported to have engaged at least two gunmen trying to enter the facility.
Japan is denouncing North Korea's firing of three ballistic missiles into the Sea of Japan on Monday.
South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff have identified them as Rodong missiles, which have a range of 1,000 kilometers.
This is VOA news.
A new generation of lawmakers bent on preserving Hong Kong's autonomy from the Chinese government is heading to victory in the territory's parliamentary elections.
Final results show pro-democracy candidates won 30 of 70 seats in the Legislative Council.
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton assailed Republican rival Donald Trump's business record Monday, pointing out his numerous bankruptcies and allegations of poor treatment of his workers.
Her campaign speech at a Labor Day event in Cleveland, Ohio, got off to a rough start. Cleveland had a coughing fit and appeared to have a hard time breathing. She told the crowd that (quoting now) "every time I think about Trump, I get allergic." (end of quote)
Trump was also in Ohio Monday, meeting with union members and blaming President Barack Obama for allowing the U.S. corporations to move to Mexico.
Italy's coast guard says the bodies of 15 migrants were recovered off the coast of Libya on Monday.
It says 2,700 migrants were rescued as they made their way across the Mediterranean toward Europe.
Irate truckers and farmers in France began the week by blocking traffic around the northeastern port city of Calais. It's the latest protest against the recent influx of migrants.
Meanwhile, in Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel and her center-right Christian Democratic party are weighing their next steps. They were defeated by an upstart anti-immigrant group in her home state.
Analysts describe Sunday's parliamentary vote as a rebuke to Ms. Merkel's liberal immigration policy.
Russia's Justice Ministry has designated the country's only independent national polling agency a "foreign agent."
The Levada Center was added to the list of non-governmental organizations deemed to be functioning as "foreign agents" following an unscheduled check of the polling group's documents.
Russian authorities have used a 2012 law on "foreign agents" to blacklist groups receiving international funding and engaging in activities deemed political.
Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has again questioned Saudi Arabia's ability to manage Islam's most significant sites, accusing the kingdom of murder in last year's hajj pilgrimage stampede. That stampede at last year's hajj left 769 people dead.
Saudi Crown Prince and Interior Minister Mohammed bin Nayef said Iran is attempting to "politicize' the Muslim pilgrimage.
Relatives of inmates of Ethiopia's Kilinto prison are still seeking news of their loved ones after a fire at the high-security penitentiary Saturday. A government spokesman says 23 prisoners died in the blaze.
The prison houses high-profile political prisoners detained amid a wave of anti-government protests.
In Washington, I'm David DeForest.
That's the latest world news from VOA.