From Washington, this is VOA news. I'm Dave DeForest reporting.
U-S troops to stay longer in Afghanistan: President Obama has announced he will maintain the current number of U-S troops in Afghanistan through most of 2016.
"But maintaining our current posture through most of next year rather than a more rapid drawdown will allow us to sustain our efforts to train and assist Afghan forces as they grow stronger."
The troops will be stationed at a small number of bases and focus on training and counterterrorism operations.
South African athlete Oscar Pistorius will be released from prison next week and moved to house arrest. His move comes one year after he was convicted of killing his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, in 2013.
Israel has released a photo of a Palestinian boy that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas had claimed was executed by Israeli soldiers. The boy, 13-year-old Ahmed Mansara, was involved in a stabbing attack in Jerusalem Monday that wounded two Israelis. Here is Dr. Asher Salmon, Deputy Director at Haddasah University Medical Centre...
"In general his condition is good. He is mildly wounded. He is now treated in one of our best departments."
The Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has accused Abbas of making provocative remarks that have incited the wave of Palestinian stabbings and shootings of Israelis in recent weeks.
Iran is intensifying its presence in Syria, sending hundreds of troops into the country in support of the regime of President Bashar al-Assad. Iran dispatched the troops into northern and central Syria, where they joined fighters from Iran's Lebanese ally, Hezbollah.
For more on that story, check our website: voanews.com. This is VOA news.
A top U.S. Navy official says it should not be considered "provocative" that the U.S. is considering sending warships around artificial islands that China claims as its territory. U.S. chief of naval operations Admiral John Richardson says a (so-called) "freedom of navigation" operation would be consistent with international law. Recent reports suggest the U.S. military could sail warships within weeks near the artificial islands that China claims as an extension of its territory.
UN Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson says he is hopeful UN mediated peace talks on Yemen can begin within a few weeks. Lisa Schlein reports.
"Jan Eliasson says he is encouraged by the interest he found from both Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates on one side and Iran on the other to start negotiations as soon as possible. He expresses disappointment that talks, which were supposed to have begun last month, never materialized. Eliasson says the newly proposed talks have a better chance of getting off the ground. He tells VOA he hopes both sides will come to the talks without pre-conditions and that they will adhere to a cease-fire during the political process ahead. Lisa Schlein, Geneva."
A European Union summit Thursday in Brussels focused mainly on the war in Syria and the migrant situation in Turkey. The president of the European Council, Donald Tusk, says Europe must be prepared to handle "all possible scenarios" that could cause "a new massive exodus of refugees." Tusk said the deteriorating conditions in Syria and volatile situation in Libya will be high on the agenda, as well as help for major migrant and countries that have had major burden of housing refugees--Greece, Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon. Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras called for a push to end the crisis in Syria.
"I think that now it's time to take brave, brave political initiatives in order to solve the Syrian crisis--in order to try to stop these waves of refugees in the Mediterranean."
Volkswagon says it will recall 8.5 million cars in Europe as a result of a scandal involving rigged emissions tests.
Early results from Guinea's presidential election have President Alpha Conde running well ahead of the competition in a hotly contested election.
The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled Thursday that a Turkish politician should not have been prosecuted for saying that the 1915 mass deportation and massacre of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire was not genocide.
In Washington, I’m Dave DeForest. That’s the latest world news from VOA.