June 16, 2016
From Washington, this is VOA news. I'm David DeForest reporting. A coalition spokesman says Iraqi security forces are inside Fallujah three weeks after launching an offensive to retake the city from the Islamic State group.
He said the Iraqis are working to "seize the center" of Fallujah and then fight outward.
Iraqi Security Force brigades, police, Anbar tribal fighters and Popular Mobilization Units have encircled Fallujah, the first Iraqi city to fall to Islamic State militants in 2014.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is calling for Russia and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to respect a fragile cease-fire in Syria.
In Norway for the annual Oslo Forum meeting, Kerry accused Russia and the Syrian government of selectively enforcing the cease-fire. He said members of the Syrian opposition will also be held accountable for the continuance of fighting.
U.S. investigators say that the wife of the man who carried out Sunday's mass shooting in Florida had some knowledge of his plans.
They say Noor Zahi Salman had accompanied him on a so-called "reconnaissance" mission to the gay nightclub where the attack occurred.
Federal Bureau of Investigation officials say Salman has been cooperating with their probe.
The National Rifle Association says it will be "happy" to meet with Donald Trump to discuss gun control in the aftermath of the Florida shootings.
Earlier, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee announced via Twitter that he would meet with the gun rights organization.
NRA chief lobbyist Chris Cox said the group has consistently opposed allowing terrorists to buy guns.
Meanwhile, two newly-released polls show increased voter dissatisfaction with Trump.
This is VOA news.
The U.S. presidential primary election season officially ended Tuesday as Hillary Clinton defeated Bernie Sanders in the nation's capital. The two candidates held what they called a "positive discussion" in Washington.
Clinton is the Democratic Party's presumptive nominee. Sanders has persisted in his campaign despite trailing in the race for months.
Authorities said Wednesday there is "no question" a 2-year-old boy was killed when he was dragged by an alligator into a lake near the Disney World hotel in Florida.
The boy, [who has been] not been identified, [was with visiting Florida] was visiting Florida, rather, with his family, having troubled with them from Nebraska. The local sheriff says the boy was wading in shallow water Tuesday night when the alligator grabbed him.
China is warning U.S. President Barack Obama not to meet with the Dalai Lama, saying such a meeting would damage mutual trust. The meeting scheduled for Wednesday will be closed-door to avoid angering the Chinese government.
President Obama has met with the Tibetan religious leader many times and referred to him a good friend.
Pakistan and Afghanistan agreed late on Wednesday to observe a cease-fire near the Torkham crossing along their mutual border.
Fighting there in recent days has left four soldiers dead and more than 40 people wounded.
Afghanistan and Pakistan blame each other for starting the skirmishes, which started amid dispute between the two nations over the construction by Pakistan of a gate at border.
Global climate change has become a reality. We get the latest from Lisa Schlein.
The World Meteorological Organization warns the state of the climate in 2015 was alarming, but that climate of this year will exceed anything that has happened before.
World Climate Research Program director David Carlson says the climate system is changing and what used to be abnormal is becoming the new normal. He says global carbon dioxide levels have never been higher.
CO2 is the main greenhouse gas that leads to global warming.
Lisa Schlein, Geneva.
Top officials of the U.S. central bank are holding interest rates steady at a relatively low level in a bid to keep stimulating the economy, which has been slow to recover from the recession.
A meeting of the Federal Reserve governors ended Wednesday. Fed officials said U.S. labor market improvements have slowed recently, pointing to surprisingly weak job growth. That was the signal the economy still needs the boost it gets from low interest rates.
The U.S. central bank has been holding the interest rates steady.
From VOA news center in Washington, I'm David DeForest.
That's the latest world news from VOA.