June 5, 2016
From Washington, this is VOA news. I'm David Byrd reporting. Funeral arrangements have been announced for boxing legend Muhammad Ali, who died in a hospital late Friday.
At a news conference Saturday, family spokesman Bob Gunnell said the 74-year-old Ali died of septic shock due to natural causes.
He said that Ali's public funeral will be held Friday afternoon at the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, Kentucky, and will be open to the public.
Gunnell said the family wanted everyone who wanted to to have the chance to say good-bye.
"Muhammad's extraordinary boxing career only encompassed half of his life. The other half was committed to sharing a message of peace and inclusion with the world. Following his wishes, his funeral will reflect those principles and be a celebration open to everyone."
Former President Bill Clinton, comedian Billy Crystal and journalist Bryant Gumbel will deliver eulogies.
The celebration of Ali's life will include a funeral procession through his hometown and he will be buried in a private service at the city's Cave Hill cemetery.
Tributes to the late champion have poured in worldwide.
President Obama said that Ali shook up the world and the world is better for it.
Civil rights leader Jesse Jackson said Muhammad Ali transformed American society. "From Texas across, from Florida up to Maryland, we couldn't use a single public toilet. We couldn't use the libraries or the theaters or sit in the public parks. Ali identified with that struggle, used his person and his fame to illuminate that state of moral darkness in our country."
Brazilian soccer icon Pelé said on social media that the sporting universe has suffered a big loss and the sadness is overwhelming.
This is VOA news.
Thousands attended a candlelight vigil Saturday in Hong Kong on the 27th anniversary of the 1989 Chinese government crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators in Tiananmen Square in Beijing.
Organizers estimated around 125,000 people attended the main candlelight vigil in Victoria Park. Local broadcaster RTHK said that was the lowest attendance since 2008.
Albert Ho is the chairman of the Hong Kong Alliance. "This candlelight vigil, we want to indicate the 1989 patriotic movement. We condemn the June 4 massacre and call for those responsible be brought to justice."
On June 4, 1989, China sent in tanks to break up pro-democracy demonstrations in Tiananmen Square. Beijing has never released a death toll but estimates from human rights groups and witnesses range from several hundred to several thousand.
The Syrian army has reached the edge of the northern province of Raqqa on Saturday, home to the defacto capital of the self-claimed caliphate of the Islamic State group.
The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Syrian troops, backed by Russian airstrikes, reached the "administrative border" of Raqqa province.
It said that during three days of fighting, at least 26 Islamic State militants had been killed along with nine from the Syrian troops and allied forces.
Niger's Defense Ministry says hundreds of Boko Haram extremists attacked a military post near the country's border with Nigeria, killing at least 32 soldiers.
The attack in Bosso on Friday left 30 Niger soldiers and two soldiers from Nigeria dead. Adding that, at least 67 other soldiers were wounded.
The Defense Ministry said Niger's military launched a counterattack Saturday, using air and land forces, pushing the militants out of Bosso and inflicting heavy casualties.
Pope Francis [has decr] has decreed, that is, that Roman Catholic bishops who are found to be "negligent" when dealing with priests accused of child abuse can be removed from office.
A new Vatican law the pope issued Saturday appeared to be a response to a long-standing demand by American Catholics who have denounced what they saw as the church's failure to take action against pedophile priests.
At the French Open tennis tournament in Paris, Spain's Garbiñe Muguruza beat defending champion Serena Williams of the United States in straight sets to take the women's title.
Sunday's men's final has top seed Novak Djokovic of Serbia facing Britain's Andy Murray.
For more on these stories and the rest of the day's news, log on to our website voanews.com. I'm David Byrd in Washington.
That's the latest world news from VOA.