August 20, 2016
From Washington, this is VOA news. I'm David Byrd reporting.
Syrian government planes bombed U.S.-supported Kurdish militia targets in the northeastern town of Hasaka Friday.
As Edward Yeranian reports, this attack marks a new escalation of the Syrian government [against its once] against its once Kurdish allies.
Amateur video shows hundreds of civilians fleeing Hasaka after a second day of airstrikes by Syrian government warplanes over the city.
Kurdish militia targets in addition to civilian areas were reportedly hit.
Rami Abdel Rahman, who heads the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, told the media that 20 people were killed by both the airstrikes and fighting on the ground between Kurdish militiamen and government forces.
He said that the city's hospital was also in urgent need of doctors to treat the casualties.
Amateur video showed Kurdish militia units known as Asayish exchanging fire with Syrian government forces over control of part of the city.
Kurdish forces reportedly control the east of the city while government forces are hunkered down in the city center.
Edward Yeranian, for VOA news, Cairo.
Meanwhile, the head of the U.N. children's organization, UNICEF, says that thousands of Syrian children are in danger of contracting diseases because the taps have gone dry in some parts of Aleppo.
Christophe Boulierac added that the ongoing fighting in the northern city has prevented technicians from fixing severely damaged water and electrical systems.
Boulierac reminded journalists that millions of Syrian children under the age of five have known nothing but war while hundreds of thousands were born as refugees in neighboring countries.
The U.N. has proposed a 48-hour cease-fire in the city to allow in relief.
This is VOA news.
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and his running mate Mike Pence visited flood-ravaged areas of the southern state of Louisiana Friday. The nominee visited water-ravaged neighborhoods where debris piled up in front lawns and on curbs as people continued to muck out their homes.
Later in Michigan, Trump continued his outreach to African-Americans, saying that the policies of Democratic administrations have hurt in cities.
"Look at how much African-American communities have suffered under Democratic control. To those I say the following: What do you have to lose by trying something new like Trump? What do you have to lose?"
Trump made no comments about the resignation of his former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort. Manafort stepped down Friday and in a statement Trump called him a "true professional."
Manafort has also been the subject of extensive news coverage over his work for pro-Russian former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych that allegedly involved overseeing millions of dollars in secret payments. Manafort has denied any wrongdoing.
Florida's Governor Rick Scott said on Friday that officials had identified a second area of Zika virus transmission on the U.S. mainland.
Scott told reporters that five Zika infections had been linked to an area that encompasses most of the tourist-friendly south beach.
"We are requesting additional support from the CDC. We are gonna, we've already begun increased spraying. We'll do everything we can to help fight pregnant women all across our state. We have a safe state and we're going to keep it that way."
Another infection zone had previously been identified in Miami's Wynwood arts district.
The mosquito-borne virus has been linked to severe birth defects in children.
American swimmer Ryan Lochte apologized for his behavior in a robbery scandal in Rio de Janeiro following his competition in the Olympics.
In a statement on Twitter Friday, Lochte wrote that he wanted to apologize for his behavior "for not being more careful and candid in how I described the events of that early morning."
He also said he wanted to apologize for his role in "taking the focus away" from athletes competing in the Olympics.
Lochte and three team mates initially told police they were robbed at gunpoint early Sunday morning on their way back from a party outside the Olympic village in Rio de Janeiro.
Two of the swimmers admitted to fabricating that story after they were detained at the Rio airport.
The U.S. Olympic Committee said in a statement that the athletes' behavior was unacceptable and apologized to the Brazilian people.
For more on these stories, log on to our website. I'm David Byrd in Washington.
That's the latest world news from VOA.