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From Washington, this is VOA news. I'm Dave DeForest reporting.
Libya's internationally-recognized parliament in Tobruk voted overwhelmingly Monday not to approve the new 32-member U.N.-sponsored "national unity" government. Edward Yeranian reports.
The U.S. is stepping up efforts to help Laos deal with such problems as hunger, the existence of unexploded bombs and the need to provide access to technology in some areas. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry outlined the efforts during a Monday visit to Vientiane. He also held talks to lay the groundwork for a special ASEAN summit next month in California.
In the U-S presidential race, the latest opinion polls indicate Democrats Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are nearly tied in the state of Iowa. On February 1 Iowa will hold neighborhood meetings to begin the process of choosing delegates who will participate in nominating conventions next summer. On the Republican side, businessman Donald Trump and Senator Ted Cruz are far ahead of the rest of the field of 12 candidates in Iowa. Opinion polls give Trump the edge.
The European Union police agency issued a report Monday saying the Islamic State and other militant groups are likely to carry out large scale attacks in Europe. Europol says Europe is facing the most significant terrorist threat in over 10 years. The report says "the attacks will be primarily directed at soft targets," because of the impact it generates. " Europol is also launching a new European Counter Terrorism Center, based in The Netherlands.
A senior U.S. Treasury official is accusing Russian President Vladimir Putin of corruption. Adam Szubin, who oversees U.S. Treasury sanctions, says the Kremlin leader used his position to enrich his friends and allies at the expense of others. Szubin makes the accusation in a BBC documentary scheduled for broadcast Monday evening. In the broadcast, he says the U.S. government has known of Mr. Putin's corruption for "many, many years."
A rare blast of winter weather has paralyzed much of eastern Asia, with temperatures falling to record lows in places accustomed to much warmer conditions. A combination of snow, sleet and winds forced officials to cancel hundreds of flights and shut down schools. Scores of people--many of them elderly--are reported dead from the effects of the cold weather in Taiwan and Japan.
The American East Coast is gradually recovering from a winter storm. U.S. government offices in Washington were closed for all but emergency employees as the city clears snow covered streets. Schools in the capital and the surrounding suburbs are closed. Washington's subway system is partially running after being closed for two days. There was limited air service returning to Washington, New York City, Baltimore and Philadelphia.