September 5, 2016
From Washington, this is VOA news. I'm David DeForest reporting.
The United States and Russia have been working to finalize a cease-fire in Syria that would allow more humanitarian aid into the country.
The two countries appeared to be closer to an agreement, but major obstacles remain.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov Sunday and the two will meet again on Monday.
"And so we've been working very hard over these past months to see, if we can get something, that we get it right and that what we get is sufficiently pinned down that we both understand where we're going."
There are hopes that U.S. President Barack Obama and Russia's Vladimir Putin will have a chance to talk informally on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in China. But so far, nothing has been arranged.
Turkey says Turkish-backed rebels battling Islamic State extremists on the Syrian border have driven IS fighters from their last remaining strongholds along a 100-kilometer stretch of borderland.
Sunday, Turkey's state-run Anadolu news agency said border territory stretching from Azaz northeastward to Jarublus had been cleared.
Those claims were confirmed by monitors from the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
U.S. President Barack Obama assured Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Sunday that the U.S. is committed to bringing the perpetrators of the failed July coup in Turkey to justice.
"I've assured him that our Justice Department and my national security team will continue to cooperate with Turkish authorities to determine how we can make sure that those who carried out these activities are brought to justice." That was President Barack Obama.
This is VOA news.
South Sudan Sunday agreed to the deployment of a 4,000-member regional protection force approved last month by the United Nations Security Council.
Sunday's decision by President Salva Kiir came a day after Council members visited the capital, Juba, to press senior officials for approval of the new force.
Mr. Kiir had earlier rejected the deployment of more peacekeepers.
An anti-migrant party came in second Sunday in legislative elections in the German state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania.
Media projections indicate Social Democrats gained the most votes, the Alternative for Germany party came in second and Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats came in an embarrassing third.
Voters were angry about Ms. Merkel's welcoming of refugees.
A recent poll showed her approval rating at a five-year low, 45 percent.
Hong Kong voted in its first major elections Sunday since the mass pro-democracy protests of 2014.
Turnout was reported to be above average and election results are expected early Monday.
Republican Donald Trump has edged closer to Democrat Hillary Clinton in public opinion polls, three weeks ahead of their first debate in the U.S. presidential campaign.
Several U.S. polls show Clinton ahead of Trump. But he has cut her lead to about four percentage points or less, about half the gap of a few weeks ago. Clinton narrowly leads in several key states.
A new United Nations report warns restrictions on freedom of expression threaten Somalia's political transition to democracy after decades of conflict and violence. Lisa Schlein reports.
The 48-page report documents widespread violations in Somalia against journalists, human rights defenders and political leaders, including numerous killings, arbitrary arrests and detention, intimidation and closure of critical media outlets.
Over the past four years, the report notes 30 journalists and 18 parliamentarians have been killed in Somalia. It also documents 120 cases of arbitrary arrest and detention of media workers between January 2014 and July 2016.
Lisa Schlein, Geneva.
The U.S. Weather Service says tropical storm Hermine is once again gaining strength and is posing a danger along the American East Coast from New Jersey to Connecticut.
British Prime Minister Theresa May said Sunday she intends to seize new trading opportunities for Britain.
After the prime minister's first meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama since taking office, the two leaders sought to downplay the impact of the British exit from the European Union on the "special relationship" between the United States and U.K.
In Washington, I'm David DeForest.
That's the latest world news from VOA.