August 26, 2016
From Washington, this is VOA news. I'm David DeForest reporting.
In the midst of the current Turkish cross-border military offensive, Syrian Kurdish fighters say they are withdrawing to their bases east of the Euphrates River.
It's unclear if all of them have withdrawn, though, as we hear from Edward Yeranian.
Amateur video shows scores of Free Syrian Army fighters inside the town of Jarablus up to the Islamic State group ran away Wednesday.
U.S.-backed YPG Kurdish militia fighters have also reportedly begun pulling back from the town of Manbij in a move to comply with Turkish demands.
But the head of the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights told Arab media Kurdish YPG militia fighters were still fighting on the western side of the Euphrates River and had even captured some ground.
Edward Yeranian, Cairo.
U.N. officials are saying Russia has agreed to support a 48-hour pause in fighting in and around Syria's largest city Aleppo so that humanitarian aid can be delivered to its population.
Citing local media, Reuters reports that anti-government rebels and Syria's army agreed to evacuate all residents and insurgents from the Damascus suburb of Daraya, ending one of the longest standoffs in the war.
Secretary of State John Kerry Thursday visited Saudi Arabia to discuss U.S. military operations in Syria. Kerry was trying to shore up support for his Syria plan ahead of scheduled meetings with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Friday in Geneva.
During the meeting with Lavrov, the two sides will try to come up with an agreement over military cooperation and information sharing in a bid to defeat Islamic State militants in Syria.
This is VOA news.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has announced military exercises on land and in the Black and Caspian Seas.
The drills began Thursday in Russia's southern, western and central military districts where troops have been put on combat alert.
The drills will last until the end of the month.
A strong 4.3-magnitude aftershock hit the town of Amatrice in central Italy Thursday.
The aftershock caused damage to buildings and sent up plumes of smoke, instilling panic in the town already reeling from Wednesday's earthquake.
Officials are putting the death toll at that earthquake at 250.
Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton Thursday accused Republican Donald Trump of fueling what she called America's "radical fringe." Clinton told a crowd in Nevada that Trump has built his campaign on prejudice and paranoia.
Meanwhile, the Clinton campaign is bracing for the release of more of the former secretary of state's emails.
A judge Thursday ordered the State Department to begin releasing any new Clinton emails by September 13.
Trump, meanwhile, has been trying to appeal to minority voters by presenting a softer immigration plan. He has dropped promise to deport all illegal immigrants, saying he would focus on deporting the bad ones without uprooting the good ones.
An aggregate of surveys compiled by realclearpolitics.com says Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton has an average 6-percentage point lead over Trump nationwide.
Voters continue to view both candidates unfavorably.
Brazil's Senate has begun the impeachment trial of suspended President Dilma Rousseff.
Chief justice Ricardo Lewandowski declared the trial open and later briefly suspended it as senators yelled at each other.
Mrs. Rousseff is accused of shifting money between government budgets to hide the country's deficits.
U.S. Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte has been charged in Brazil with making a false crime report to police. The charge stems from an incident during the Rio Olympics where Lochte and three other athletes claimed they had been robbed at gunpoint.
Two of the athletes later recanted the story. Lochte admits he exaggerated following a night of drunken revelry.
He could be tried in absentia if he fails to return to Brazil.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has agreed on a plan to restart peace talks in Yemen with Gulf Arab states and the United Nations. He spoke to reporters Thursday during a visit to the Saudi city of Jeddah.
He said participants in the talks "agreed on a renewed approach to negotiations."
The secretary called on the rebel Houthi group to cease fighting with Saudi Arabia and work with its domestic foes to form a unity government.
From the VOA news center in Washington, I'm David DeForest.
That's the latest world news from VOA.