June 12, 2016
From Washington, this is VOA news. I'm David Byrd reporting. Deadly bombings killed at least 12 people in a Damascus suburb on Saturday.
Syrian state media report, report, that is, that at least 12 people were killed in Sayyida Zeinab, the home of Syria's holiest Shiite shrine.
Islamic State has claimed responsibility, saying that three militants, two with suicide belts and one in a car, carried out the attacks about 10 kilometers outside of Damascus.
At least 55 people were reported injured in the bombings which left charred wreckage and blasted building behind.
The Sayyida Zeinab shrine contains the grave of one of the Prophet Muhammad's great granddaughters and is the most revered Shiite shrine in Syria.
Meanwhile in Iraq, government forces met with heavy resistance from Islamic State fighters whey they tried to retake the town of Fallujah.
As Edward Yeranian reports, fighting raged along three fronts near the city.
Iraqi government forces and their Shiite militia allies fought to wrest the Anbar province bastion of Fallujah from Islamic State militants Saturday amid conflicting reports on progress.
Iraqi Defense Minister Khaled al-Obeidi claimed during a visit to the battle zone Saturday that government forces were advancing along a new front from the west of the city.
Fighting raged along three fronts, but government attempts to push into the southern district of Shuhadah appeared to meet heavy resistance, despite government claims that elite counterterrorism units were just 3 kilometers from the city center.
Edward Yeranian, for VOA news, Cairo.
For more on these stories and the rest of the day's news, log on to our website voanews.com. This is VOA news.
The English Football Association has called on England fans to act in a respectful manner and support their squad in the right way after a third day of violence in Marseille, France.
English and Russian fans clashed with each other and the French police who used tear gas and water cannon both in the city's old port and near the Stade Velodrome ahead of England's game with Russia.
That contest ended 1-1 and [there was] there were clashes between Russian and English fans in the stand after the game.
UEFA says it will open disciplinary proceedings over the violence in Marseille, with Russia facing the stronger sanctions because its fans attacked England supporters in the stadium.
Air France pilots are striking to demand better working conditions, while France is hosting the European football championships.
About one-fourth of the airline's pilots are on the picket line. Air France says it canceled about 20 percent of both domestic and international flights due to the strike on Saturday.
Police have identified the man who shot a former contestant on the NBC TV show "The Voice" to death Friday night in Orlando, Florida.
Orlando police say that 27-year-old Kevin James Loibl of St. Petersburg, Florida, shot and killed Christina Grimmie as she was signing autographs and meeting fans outside a concert venue.
John Mina is Orlando's police chief: "So, this white male approached her and opened fire, striking her. At that, almost immediately, her brother Marcus Grimmie tackled the suspect to the ground. Shortly after that, the suspect killed himself."
Mina said detectives hoped to get more information from Loibl's phone and computers to establish a motive for the attack.
Christina Grimmie built up a huge fan base on YouTube and finished third in the 2014 season of The Voice.
President Barack Obama is urging the Senate to swiftly send him a bill to help Puerto Rico mange its staggering debt crisis.
In his weekly media address, Mr. Obama said the House has already passed a bipartisan bill to address the crisis, and now the Senate must "move quickly to follow suit."
"This bill won't cost federal taxpayers a dime. It doesn't include special-interest bailouts. And it gives Puerto Rico the ability to restructure its debt, safeguard essential services, and provide important protections to public pensions that more than 300,000 folks rely on to retire with dignity."
Puerto Rico is an unincorporated, organized territory of the United States with commonwealth status. That means that it cannot declared bankruptcy.
For more on these stories, visit our website voanews.com. I'm David Byrd in Washington.
That's the latest world news from VOA.