June 2, 2016
From Washington, this is VOA news. I'm David DeForest reporting. An attack on Mogadishu.
Witnesses in Somalia's capital say at least 10 people were killed and more than 15 were wounded when militants attacked a hotel Wednesday.
The assault on Mogadishu's Ambassador Hotel came hours after Somali officials said a top commander of the militant group al-Shabaab was killed in a military operation.
Fighting rages for control of the Iraqi city of Fallujah. Islamic State militants seized the city more than two years ago and now Iraqi forces are trying to take it back.
Iraqi Lieutenant General Abdul-Ghani al-Asadi said his troops pushed into the city yesterday.
Some 20,000 children are believed to be still trapped in Fallujah. The U.N. children's agency says very few families have been able to leave.
Syrian Democratic Forces, a Kurdish-led alliance working alongside American special forces troops, have taken control of nine villages near the Turkish border in Syria since Tuesday. They are advancing toward the Islamic State-controlled town of Manbij.
The U.S. had carried out airstrikes on Manbij in the last 24 hours which the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said killed 15 civilians.
Suspected arsonists have burned down a new refugee center in Austria near the German and Czech borders.
The Red Cross said 48 asylum-seekers had been expected to move into the residential center in two weeks. Authorities said the building at Altenfelden in northern Austria was deliberately set on fire overnight.
No injuries are reported.
The Red Cross estimated the fire damage at $335,000 but said it will build a new shelter on the same site.
This is VOA news.
Egyptian aviation officials said Wednesday a French ship picked up signals likely emitted from the black boxes of the EgyptAir jet that crashed into the Mediterranean Sea last month.
The Civil Aviation Ministry said a French navy surveillance vessel picked up the signals from the seabed.
About half of France's train traffic was halted Wednesday. Rail workers went on strike to protest their working conditions and proposed changes to French labor rules.
[While] The bands played today as Switzerland inaugurated the Gotthard Base Tunnel, the world's longest and deepest rail tunnel, running more than 57 kilometers beneath the Alps. German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President François Hollande and Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi joined Swiss leaders in an opening celebration for the tunnel.
The tunnel will become fully operational in December.
Tensions have escalated in Uganda's capital after a court appearance for opposition leader Kizza Besigye was canceled and two opposition leaders arrested. Besigye is charged with treason after calling February's presidential election rigged and declaring himself president. Lizabeth Paulat has more.
When it became clear that Besigye wouldn't attend Wednesday's hearing, the packed courtroom erupted in anger.
The government cited security concerns for Besigye's absence, saying they couldn't risk bringing him to court.
Although the chief magistrate called for calm, Besigye's supporters continued to demonstrate, eventually shutting down the session. They remained in the courtroom demonstrating their dissatisfaction by holding prayers and singing that one day President Yoweri Museveni would die and they would be free.
Besigye's next court appearance is scheduled for mid-June.
Lizabeth Paulat, Kampala.
The United States is taking action to block North Korea's access to global financial systems - an effort aimed at preventing money-laundering. The Treasury Department on Wednesday designated North Korea as a "primary money-laundering concern."
The department says the North Korean government is notoriously deceitful in its financial transactions. It says the North continues an elicit weapons program and other destabilizing activities.
Health officials in New Jersey say a baby girl born Tuesday to a mother who is infected with the Zika virus has severe microcephaly.
A New Jersey doctor from the Hackensack [Medical] University Medical Center said a 31-year-old woman visiting the U.S. from Honduras was infected with the virus after she was bitten by a mosquito early in her pregnancy.
Microcephaly is a birth defect marked by small head size that can lead to developmental problems.
In Washington, I'm David DeForest.
That's the latest world news from VOA.