June 13, 2016
From Washington, this is VOA news. I'm David DeForest reporting. President Barack Obama has ordered U.S. flags to be flown at half-staff in memory of the victims of the worst mass shooting in the nation's history.
Mr. Obama declared that it is an act of terrorism and said the FBI is leading the investigation. Fifty people were dead, 53 wounded.
Authorities identified the shooter as 29-year-old Omar Saddiqui Mateen, an American-born to Afghan parents.
The FBI's Ron Harper says Mateen was known to officials. "The FBI first became aware of Mateen in 2013 when he made inflammatory comments to co-workers alleging possible terrorist ties. The FBI thoroughly investigated the matter, including interviews of witnesses, physical surveillance, and records checks. In the course of the investigation, Mateen was interviewed twice."
Florida Senator Marco Rubio spoke to reporters about the tragedy. "Suffice it to say that we know that there's hate in the world. We know that some of it is inspired by a warped ideology. We know that we've been in conflict with it for a very long time. We know they seek to intimidate us. They seek to terrorize us, and I hope they see today they won't terrorize America. They won't terrorize Floridians, that we stand for and with all Americans." :Florida Senator Marco Rubio.
A bomb blast ripped through a commercial area of Beirut, Lebanon Sunday, severely damaging one of the country's largest banks. There were no immediate casualties reported.
Beirut's Daily Star newspaper quoted a source as saying the bomb weighed about 5 kilograms that exploded outside a Blom Bank branch.
An Iraqi general says troops seeking to recapture the Islamic State stronghold of Fallujah have opened a safe corridor that humanitarian workers say has allowed about 4,000 residents to flee the city in the past day.
This is VOA news.
The long string of U.S. presidential nominating contests is finally nearing an end. Democrats will vote Tuesday in the city of Washington DC.
There are 330,000 registered Democrats in the national capital and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is the heavy favorite in the city's primary over her sole challenger, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders.
Sanders says he will meet Clinton with after Tuesday's primary before deciding whether to drop out of the race.
Clinton has already claimed the party's nomination.
European football's governing body, UEFA, threatened Sunday to expel both Russia and England from Euro 2016 in France if their fans continue violent behavior.
More than 35 people were injured in Marseille late Saturday after British and Russian soccer fans brawled in and around the Stade Velodrome.
After the match ended in a 1-1 draw, Russian supporters charged the English side, forcing fans to flee.
Martin O'Neill is a coach for the Irish team. "I think UEFA have come out and condemned it in very strong language and I think everybody feels the same. So, it is a poor start to the competition, I hope it can be rectified and sorted out."
The governing body is expected to recommend a punishment on Tuesday.
Police in Bangladesh say they have arrested more than 5,000 criminal suspects in the first three days of a nationwide sweep. Authorities took the action in response to a rash of extremist violence against religious minorities and secular activists.
Libya's unity government says it is close to driving Islamic State militants from the city of Sirte.
The offensive to take the city has made rapid advances in the past three days, a success there would help the shaky government establish credibility.
Meanwhile, Libya's general prosecutor confirms bodies of at least a dozen loyalists of former Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi have been found just days after the loyalists were released from detention.
The bodies have been turning up in different parts of the Tripoli area. Local officials tell VOA the latest count is at 17 bodies. The victims had been tortured before being shot.
Taiwan's government has barred former President Ma Ying-jeou from visiting Hong Kong. The government cited security reasons and the fact that there has been too little contact with authorities in China. President Tsai Ing-wen's office said Sunday six agencies had met twice during the past week to consider the travel plans of Mr. Ma, who stepped down May 20, and who planned to give a speech at a journalism awards ceremony.
From the VOA news center in Washington, I'm David DeForest.
That's the latest world news from VOA.