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From Washington, this is VOA news. I'm Dave DeForest reporting.
U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and the European Union must move forward on a free-trade agreement, despite opposition to the idea. Mr. Obama spoke during a joint news conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Hannover, Germany.
"If you look at the benefits to the United States or to Germany of free trade around the world, it is indisputable that it has made our economy stronger. It has made sure that our businesses are the most competitive in the world..."
The United States and Germany are among each other's largest trade partners and hope to build support for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. On Monday, Ms. Merkel and Mr. Obama will hold talks with their counterparts from Britain, France and Italy.
Exit polls show the candidate of Austria's anti-immigration Freedom Party winning the first round of presidential elections, gathering more than 35 percent of the vote. The exit polls show the party beating five rivals, including nominees of the governing coalition. If the projections hold, a runoff election will be held May 23.
The United Nations Security Council has condemned North Korea for its submarine launched ballistic missile test Saturday. The North Korean government is calling the ballistic missile test a "great success." [ SOUND ] A South Korean foreign ministry spokesman condemned the test. And officials from that country called it a "failure." To confuse the matter a bit, some military analysts are calling the North's missile launch only partially successful or (in their words) a "successful failure." This is VOA news.
Protesters who mounted anti-government demonstrations on April 15 to express their anger with a presidential decision to give two Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia as gifts, have vowed to stage mass sit-ins Monday to mark a patriotic holiday, in Egypt, Sinai Liberation Day. A group of lawyers says Egyptian authorities have arrested dozens of activists ahead of the planned protests.
U.S. President Barack Obama says he will not consider sending U-S ground troops into Syria. The president said there needs to be more than just a military effort to solve Syria's problems. Instead of direct military action, Mr. Obama said the international community should apply pressure to Russia and Iran, who he says are propping up the government of Bashar al-Assad.
A Dutch journalist was arrested by Turkish police early Sunday at her home in Turkey after she made a negative statement about President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Twitter. Ebru Umar, a well-known columnist for the Dutch Metro newspaper, tweeted that police were at the front door of her home late Saturday night and they were taking her to a police station for questioning. A Dutch Foreign Ministry spokesman confirmed that Umar had been detained, but gave no details.
Thousands of Nepalis marked the one-year anniversary Sunday a powerful earthquake, grieving the loss of nearly 9,000 people. About 100 protesters clashed with riot police outside the prime minister's office, demonstrating against the slow pace of the Nepalese recovery. Max Santer of the Red Cross says the government has been preoccupied with political issues.
Prime Minister Khadga Prasad Oli placed a wreath at the ruins of the Dharahara tower in the capital, Kathmandu. The tower collapsed in the quake, killing 132 people.