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Updated: 1 hour 31 min ago

Security Council Puts N. Korean Human Rights on Agenda

2 hours 33 min ago
The U.N. Security Council took up the issue of North Korea's bleak human rights situation for the first time Monday, a groundbreaking step toward possibly holding the country and leader Kim Jong Un accountable for alleged crimes against humanity. The meeting appeared to be the first time any country's human rights situation has been scheduled for ongoing debate by the U.N.'s most powerful body, meaning that the issue now can be brought up at any time. North Korean diplomat...

Massive Study Provides Best Look at Greenland Ice Loss Yet

3 hours 5 min ago
The Greenland ice sheet is melting faster than predicted, according to a new study released in the Proceedings of the National Academic of Sciences that combines NASA satellite data and aerial missions. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the finding means coastal communities worldwide could be at greater risk, sooner, from the impact of rising seas.

2014 Brings Hopeful Signs to Address Global Warming

3 hours 29 min ago
In 2014, the United Nations released a series of climate reports that affirm with ever greater certainty the planet is warming. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, while the predictions are grim, 2014 also brought some hopeful signs that the global community is beginning to take action on climate change.

Trade Talks Could Heat Up in 2015

3 hours 29 min ago
With boosting trade a top priority for the Obama administration, 2015 may be the year that an agreement is finally reached on the Trans Pacific Partnership. But the trade deal, which is intended to boost trade between 12 Pacific countries, faces opposition as VOA's Jim Randle reports.

US Senator Helped Cuban Prisoner Become a Father

3 hours 30 min ago
After 16 years apart, the only thing between convicted Cuban spy Gerardo Hernandez and his wife Adriana when they reunited in Havana last week was her full, pregnant belly. With only weeks to go before the birth of their daughter, eyebrows raised around the island about how the couple could be expecting a child. The answer came down to modern medical procedures and the goodwill of a U.S. senator. In a statement released to VOA on Monday, Sen. Patrick Leahy confirmed that during a...

US Army Refers Bergdahl Case to General Courts Martial Convening Authority

3 hours 32 min ago
The U.S. military has referred the investigation of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl’s 2009 disappearance from a base in Afghanistan to a General Courts Martial Convening Authority, to determine if he should be court martialed. In a written statement Monday, the Army said the head of its Forces Command, General Mark Milley, will decide either to prosecute the case or take no further action. The U.S. secured Bergdahl’s release last May in a prisoner exchange with the Taliban. Bergdahl was held...

Study: Lightweight Human Skeleton Due to Less Activity

4 hours 13 min ago
The bones of modern humans are more fragile than those of non-human primates and our hunter-gatherer ancestors, and we have the agricultural revolution to blame. Researchers from Penn State and the University of Cambridge compared the top of the femur, where the long legbone joins the hip, in samples from early farmers, foraging populations and non-human primates. CT scans showed the honeycomb-like bone inside the femur head of hunter-gatherers was much denser than the more sedentary...

US Business Groups Press for Greater Access to Cuba

5 hours 8 min ago
President Barack Obama's decision to do all he can to ease restrictions on U.S. trade, travel and financial activities with Cuba has drawn criticism from some conservatives and Republicans. People who bring tourists to the island and farmers who want to sell more food to Cuba, however, think they can do a lot more business with Cuba. VOA's Jim Randle reports.

British Rocker Joe Cocker Dead at 70

5 hours 43 min ago
Blues and rock and roll singer Joe Cocker has died of lung cancer at age 70. The British-born singer was known for his rendition of the Beatles' song "With a Little Help From My Friends," as well as singles such as "You Are So Beautiful" and "(Love Lifts Us) Up Where We Belong." His singing voice was a throaty growl that lent depth and texture to the lyrics of the songs he recorded. He was known as well for an unruly shock of curly hair, and for...

WHO: Ebola Death Toll Passes 7,500

5 hours 44 min ago
The World Health Organization says the death toll from the Ebola outbreak has risen to more than 7,500 people and the number of cases is nearing 20,000. The latest data, posted Friday, reflects recent trends with Liberia and Guinea seeing a decrease in the rate of Ebola transmissions, while Sierra Leone's cases continue to rise. Those three West African countries account for almost all the Ebola deaths. The death toll in other countries remains the same with six deaths in Mali,...

French Firm to Pay Record Fine in Bribery Case

5 hours 52 min ago
The U.S. Justice Department announced Monday that it has cracked a massive international bribery scheme involving a French company that paid bribes to government officials in several countries over more than a decade. The French power and transportation company Alstom has agreed to plead guilty to violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act in connection with a scheme carried out between 2000 and 2011. Alstom also was ordered to pay a criminal penalty of more than $772 million. If...

Ukraine Peace Talks to Resume This Week

6 hours 9 min ago
The leaders of Ukraine, Russia, France and Germany have reached an agreement to hold a new round of peace talks on Ukraine. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said after speaking by phone with his French, Russian and German counterparts that the negotiations will be held in the Belarusian capital, Minsk, Wednesday and Friday. Previous talks in September led to a tenuous peace agreement, although fighting has continued in eastern Ukraine. The agreement, signed in Minsk, succeeded in...

Zimbabwe President Fires Seven More Ministers

6 hours 19 min ago
Zimbabwe's longtime President Robert Mugabe has fired two more Cabinet ministers and five deputy ministers in an apparent purge of allies of his former Vice President Joice Mujuru. The government announced Monday the ouster of Flora Bhuka, minister of state for presidential affairs, and Sylvester Nguni, minister of state in the vice president's office. A presidential statement said they and the five deputies were fired for performing below the expected standard. Mugabe asked...

Massive Study Provides Best Look at Greenland Ice Loss Yet

6 hours 39 min ago
The Greenland ice sheet seems to be melting faster than predicted, according to a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. This puts the world's coastal communities at greater risk sooner. Greenland is a huge island. If it were a country, it would be a little larger than Saudi Arabia. Eighty percent of the island is covered by ice. If all of it melted completely, global sea level would rise more than seven meters. Beata Csatho, an associate...

December 22, 2014

7 hours 8 min ago
A look at the best news photos from around the world.

UN Rights Chief Criticizes Jordan Reviving Death Penalty

7 hours 41 min ago
The U.N. human rights chief is decrying the resumption of capital punishment in his home country of Jordan. The kingdom ended an eight-year moratorium Sunday by executing 11 men convicted of capital crimes. High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein said crime rates are not lowered by executions, and with what he called "tragic frequency," executed prisoners are later proven innocent. He also criticized Pakistan for resuming executions last week in the wake...

Ex-minister Kudrin Warns of ‘Full-fledged Crisis’ in Russia

7 hours 56 min ago
Russia's government has pushed the country into an economic crisis by not tackling its financial problems fast enough, former finance minister Alexei Kudrin said on Monday, as evidence mounted of trouble spreading through the economy. As he spoke, President Vladimir Putin prepared to hold emergency talks with Western leaders to try to resolve the stand-off over Ukraine, the central bank bailed out its first victim of the collapsing currency and authorities announced a tax on grain...

South Sudan Peace Talks Collapse - Again

7 hours 59 min ago
The latest round of IGAD-brokered peace talks for South Sudan have collapsed, Information Minister Michael Makuei said Monday, blaming the rebel side for the talks' failure. "Yesterday... the rebels reneged completely from all we had agreed" at an earlier round of talks, Makuei told South Sudan in Focus. "The mediators have decided to adjourn this session so that they can conduct further consultations on some of the issues that erupted in this last session," he...

Cambodian Man Faces Charges in HIV Outbreak

8 hours 15 min ago
Cambodian officials say a man in Battambang province has been arrested and charged with infecting at least 140 people with HIV in what authorities described as "cruel murder." Authorities said Yem Chrin, 55, had been in custody since last week and was charged Monday following an investigation into the outbreak in Roka commune. Police said Yem Chrin was operating an unlicensed clinic and was not licensed as a doctor. Battambang’s police chief, Sar Thet, said Yem Chrin...

Ugandan Doctors Aid Victims of Sudan's Civil War

8 hours 21 min ago
In Sudan's state of South Kordofan, the number of amputees as result of civil war is in the thousands, but few have access to sufficient medical help. A small team of Ugandan doctors has been providing remote help, producing new prosthetic limbs for those in need. In Sudan's Nuba mountains civilians are trapped in the middle of a conflict. Government forces have staged thousands of aerial attacks since 2011. Mother of Mercy hospital is the only fully functional medical...

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