From Washington, this is VOA news. I'm Dave DeForest reporting.
Russia endorses plans for a third round of talks on Syria: The United States and Russia appear to have bridged some of their differences on the issue. After meeting Tuesday with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, Russian leaders endorsed a plan for a third round of talks in New York this Friday to discuss a political transition in Syria. Kerry met with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Moscow.
"Even when there have been differences between us, we have been able to work effectively on specific issues."
U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter said President Barack Obama has told the military of the need to accelerate the campaign against the Islamic State. He said the United States is seeking more help from coalition partners. Carter spoke to reporters Tuesday before arriving in Turkey, where he stressed the need for Turkey to maintain better control of its border with Syria.
New political surveys show billionaire real estate mogul Donald Trump has gained strength in his race for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination. The polls show an upsurge in support for Trump after he called for a temporary ban on Muslims entering the United States. Meanwhile, Trump and eight other Republican presidential contenders are set to face one another Tuesday in Las Vegas, Nevada in their last debate of the year.
The U.N. high commissioner for human rights is urging the Burundi government and opponents to avoid a full-fledged civil war. Lisa Schlein reports.
"The U.N.'s top human rights official, Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein, says he is deeply alarmed by the latest developments in Burundi's unfolding crisis. The High Commissioner is referring to the bloody events on Friday, when gunmen attacked three military camps in the capital, triggering heavy fighting that killed a reported 87 people. The high commissioner's spokeswoman, Cecile Pouilly, says security forces searched houses and arrested hundreds of young men. There are reports the security forces may have executed some of those arrested. Lisa Schlein, Geneva."
Policy makers at the U.S. central bank, the Federal Reserve, started a two-day meeting Tuesday in Washington. Analysts predict the Fed will increase the benchmark interest rate for the first time in nearly a decade.
The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime said Myanmar's opium output remains steady in its latest production assessment. Ron Corben reports.
"The U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime's latest opium survey for Myanmar and Laos, released Tuesday, says poverty and conflict are the driving forces behind poppy cultivation, the second largest behind that of Afghanistan. The UNODC says although Southeast Asia's opium poppy output generally has steadied in recent years, production is still more than triple the output in 2006. And 90 percent of Southeast Asia's production is centered in Myanmar, especially northern Shan state. Ron
Corben, Bangkok, Thailand."
Saudi Arabia announced Tuesday what it called a new Islamic military alliance to fight terrorism. The alliance would include 34 countries and would have an operations center in Riyadh to coordinate military operations.
The U.N. nuclear agency has officially closed its more than decade-old investigation into allegations Iran once worked to develop nuclear weapons. The International Atomic Energy Agency unanimously approved a resolution to end the investigation. The approval Tuesday came after IAEA chief Yukiya Amano presented his final report on the matter.