June 19, 2016
From Washington, this is VOA news. I'm David Byrd reporting. Three Belgian nationals have been charged with attempting to commit terrorist murder.
Belgium's federal prosecutors said in a statement Saturday that the three were also charged with taking part in the activities of a terrorist group.
The charges came after 12 people were arrested in overnight raids across the country in Belgium. Nine other people detained have been released.
The arrests came after Belgian authorities carried out a massive security sweep ahead of Belgium's European Championships football match against Ireland.
Prime Minister Charles Michel said his country would remain on its second highest terror alert status. Belgium has been on alert since the November 13, 2015 attacks in Paris, in which several of the attackers were Belgian or had lived in Brussels and then in March, terrorist attacks at the Brussels airport and a subway station killed 32 people.
U.S. President Barack Obama says that inaction on guns like the ones used in this week's deadly attack in Orlando is inexcusable.
In his weekly media address, the president said he had thought a lot about the parents around the country who have to explain to their children what happened in the Orlando nightclub where a lone gunman shot and killed 49 people.
"We need our kids to hear from us why tolerance and equality matter, about the times their absence has scarred our history and how greater understanding will better the future they will inherit. We need our kids to hear our words and also see us live our own lives with love."
Meanwhile, in Orlando, funerals continued for some of the victims killed in Sunday morning shootings.
This is VOA news.
The man charged with murdering British lawmaker Jo Cox gave his name as "death to traitors, freedom for Britain" when he appeared in court on Saturday.
Meanwhile, the family of the slain parliamentarian paid tribute to the 41-year-old. Speaking next to a makeshift memorial in Birstall on Saturday, Cox's sister Kim Leadbeater described her as a dedicated mother and local representative who will live on through all the good people in the world.
"We want to say the most sincere and heartfelt thank you to everyone who has expressed their love and affection for Jo and sent their thoughts and sympathies to us. It has genuinely made a difference and helped us through some dark times in the last 48 hours."
The murder of Cox, a mother of two young children, has shocked Britain, elicited condolences from leaders around the world and raised questions about the tone of campaigning ahead of Britain's EU referendum on Thursday.
The International Olympic Committee has closed the door on Russia's doping case, confirming the decision to ban Russian track and field athletes from the Rio Games in August.
The IOC said Saturday it fully respects a ruling by track and field's world governing body to bar Russian athletes from Rio. The IWAF, the governing body for track and field, announced Friday that Russia has not done enough to restore international confidence in its athletes in the wake of a national doping scandal.
In the race for the White House, presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump dismissed reports of what he termed a delegate revolt at next month's Republican convention.
Speaking in Las Vegas, Nevada, Trump said he has already beaten the leading candidates in the primary races.
"Who are they going to pick? I beat everybody. But I don't mean beat, I beat the hell out of them. Right? Beat the hell out of them. And we're gonna beat Hillary, and it would be helpful if the Republicans could help us a little bit, you know. OK? It's a little bit."
Some Republican leaders and lawmakers in the House of Representatives have been struggling to get behind the billionaire businessman who became the party's presumptive nominee for November's election.
And, a Soyuz capsule, carrying a crew from the International Space Station, made a successful landing Saturday in Kazakhstan.
The three-man returning crew included U.S. astronaut Tim Kopra, British astronaut Tim Peake and Russian cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko.
Peake was the first British astronaut to have gone to the International Space Station.
For more on these stories, please visit our website voanews.com. I'm David Byrd in Washington.
That's the latest world news from VOA.