June 4, 2016
From Washington, this is VOA news. I'm David Byrd reporting. U.N. officials have appealed to the Syrian government for permission to drop relief into besieged areas.
The U.N. Security Council held an emergency closed-door meeting Friday to hear briefings about the blockage of humanitarian aid in Syria.
French ambassador to the U.N. François Delattre told reporters after the briefing the U.N. will ask Damascus to authorize the air drops.
"On Sunday the U.N., in accordance with the ISSG's requests, will ask Damascus to authorize humanitarian air drops to reach localities for which land access was denied by the Syrian regime."
Syria's U.N. ambassador Bashar Ja'afari dismissed claims by some Council members that the government is hindering deliveries to certain areas.
Nearly 600,000 people are besieged in 19 different areas in Syria.
The International Syria Support Group, a coalition [for] of world powers, had called for the World Food Program to unilaterally deliver food to besieged areas, starting June 1 if access was not granted.
An American military cargo plane dropped light weapons Thursday to rebels besieged by the Islamic State group in the northern Syrian town of Marea. That was the first resupply by the United States to the rebels after weeks of appeals for help.
Colonel Pat Ryder, a spokesman for the U.S. Central Command, declined to provide details about the resupply missions, saying only that the U.S. provides weapons and ammunition to Syrian Arab counter-Islamic State forces as they make progress.
U.S. warplanes have also launched several strikes on IS positions in the countryside north of the city of Aleppo.
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Nine people were confirmed dead and many more feared missing after a boat capsized in the Mediterranean Sea early Friday.
A 25-meter-long wooden boat overturned 140 kilometers south of Crete. Rescuers pulled more than 340 people from the sea, most of them from Africa and the Middle East.
Joel Millman is a spokesman for the International Organization for Migration: "They fit the profile that we saw from the Balkan route most of the past 12 months, which is Afghans, Syrians and Iraqis. Crete in the last three days has become extremely active and today active could also be tragic."
Meanwhile, in a separate incident, at least 117 bodies washed upon the beach on the coast of Libya Friday after a smuggling boat carrying mainly African migrants sank in the Mediterranean.
Ten refugee athletes from Africa and the Middle East will compete as a team in the upcoming 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach announced the choices for the first Refugee Olympic Team at the close of a three-day IOC board meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland.
Bach said that Olympics officials are hopeful that the refugee team will represent displaced people throughout the world. "And it can send a signal to the international community that refugees are our fellow human beings and are an enrichment to society."
With no country to represent, the refugee team will march under the Olympic flag and the Olympic anthem will be played for it.
The U.S. economy added only 38,000 jobs last month. It's lowest number in more than five years.
The U.S. Labor Department said the economy's net gain of jobs in May was less than one quarter as many as independent experts had predicted.
Gus Faucher is with PNC Financial Services: "There isn't a ??? in this report even the decline in the unemployment rate happened because we had fewer people looking for work. But soon the rate hike in June is less likely. I think we still see rate hike in July."
The rate of unemployment nationwide declined by three-tenths of one percent to 4.7 percent. It's lowest level since 2007. But much of that decline in joblessness was due to the survey's finding that hundreds of thousands of employed people have stopped looking for work.
The job's report helped drive down stock prices on Wall Street with all three major indices down on Friday. European markets were mixed. Asian stocks closed higher.
For more, log on to our website. I'm David Byrd in Washington.
That's the latest world news from VOA.