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Updated: 4 hours 17 min ago

Greece's Financial Condition Getting Worse

4 hours 41 min ago
The International Monetary Fund said Thursday that debt-ridden Greece’s financial plight is even worse than it first thought as the country heads to Sunday’s vote on whether to accept lenders’ demands for more austerity in exchange for new bailout loans.

Greeks Divided on Sunday's Bailout Referendum

5 hours 41 min ago
A poll of Greeks likely to vote in Sunday's referendum on a European bailout proposal indicated they are nearly evenly divided between an up or down vote. The poll of 1,000 people conducted by the ALCO company for the To Ethos newspaper June 30 and July 1 indicated 44.8 percent of respondents said they would vote "yes" on the bailout terms, while 43.4 percent would vote "no" and 11.8 percent are undecided. Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is campaigning for a...

Analysts Wary of Asia Contagion From Greece Crisis

5 hours 50 min ago
In Asia, financial analysts say Greece's economic woes have had little direct impact on regional stock markets, which are instead focused on signs of trouble on China's exchanges. But VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Seoul that there is growing concern that the repercussions from the Greek crisis could be wider and more severe than initially anticipated

Malaysia PM Slams Corruption Accusations as 'Political Sabotage'

5 hours 56 min ago
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak on Friday dismissed as "political sabotage" reports that he received over $700 million from a government-owned investment fund. The Wall Street Journal and the Malaysia-based Sarawak Report initially published the findings, based on documents from a government investigation into the 1MDB fund. The reports said the two largest deposits, in the amounts of $620 million and $61 million, were transferred into Najib's account in the midst of...

Greeks Angry, Confused Ahead of Sunday Referendum

6 hours 18 min ago
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has urged angry and confused Greeks to stand united and vote against the conditions for a new bailout in a referendum Sunday. If they follow his advice, Greece may be pushed out of Europe's common currency zone, something many people fear. Zlatica Hoke reports

India Banking Official: Little Impact From Greece Crisis

6 hours 18 min ago
An Indian banking official said the financial crisis in Greece will not have a great impact on New Delhi's economy, which has picked up momentum in the past year. The optimistic projection came as global rating agency FITCH said it expects India’s growth to surpass China’s this year for the first time since 1999. Indian Reserve Bank Governor Raghuram Rajan said India should not suffer from the crisis in Greece, partly due to its record-high foreign exchange reserves of about $ 355...

EU Leaders Unlikely to Attend Chinese Military Parade

8 hours 4 min ago
The European Union's ambassador to Beijing says top officials from the organization are unlikely to attend a Chinese military parade marking the anniversary of the end of World War II in Asia, amid uneasiness about such displays of armed might in the tense region. Hans Dietmar Schweisgut said Friday that questions remain about whether the event will encourage reconciliation or further stir resentment, a reference to China's ongoing feud with Japan over wartime history and...

Analysts Wary of Asia Contagion from Greece Crisis

8 hours 34 min ago
In Asia, financial analysts say Greece's economic woes have had little direct impact on regional stock markets, which are instead focused on signs of trouble on China's exchanges. But there is growing concern that that if the financial repercussions from the Greek crisis are not contained, the impact could be wider and more severe than was initially anticipated. Limited Direct Asian Impact A Goldman Sachs financial assessment this week predicted Asian emerging markets will...

Nepal, UN Differ on Quake Aid Priorities

9 hours 12 min ago
Nepal's government continues to be at odds with the international aid community on the priorities and pacing for earthquake relief. A 7.8-magnitude quake on April 25 and second major quake on May 12 left more than 8,700 people dead. Tens of thousands of people are still in need of assistance. Late last month Nepal received $4.4 billion in aid pledges, which the government says is two-thirds of what will be needed over five years for rebuilding. The government wants the...

Solar Plane to Land in Hawaii

9 hours 53 min ago
A solar-powered Swiss airplane is scheduled to touch down in Hawaii Friday after a record-breaking flight across the Pacific Ocean, the riskiest leg of its 35,000-kilometer trip around the world without a drop of fuel.  Solar Impulse 2 pilot Andre Borschberg has now beaten the previous longest solo piloting record that was held by American adventurer Steve Fossett. Borchberg has taken 20-minute naps during the journey in the unpressurized cockpit while the aircraft was on...

Malaysia Government Fund Denies Funneling Najib $700m

10 hours 13 min ago
A Malaysian government-owned investment fund is denying reports that suggest it transferred over $700 million to bank accounts belonging to Prime Minister Najib Razak. The Wall Street Journal and the Malaysia-based Sarawak Report initially published the findings, based on documents from a government investigation into the 1MDB fund. The development fund has faced accusations of corruption and mismanagement, and is over $11 billion in debt. It is chaired by Prime Minister Najib, who has...

Earthquake Kills 4 in China's Xinjiang

10 hours 57 min ago
A Chinese state-run news outlet says at least four people were killed Friday when a strong earthquake hit the country's northwest region of Xinjiang. The Xinhua news agency says the magnitude 6.5 earthquake injured at least 48 others and damaged or destroyed an unspecified number of homes. Communications have been disrupted and an airport was forced to close following the quake, which was followed by several aftershocks, according to Xinhua. China's Earthquake Networks...

Kerry, Zarif to Meet on Key Iran Nuclear Disputes

11 hours 29 min ago
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will meet with Iranian Foreign Minister Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in Vienna Friday on key disputes that have prevented nuclear negotiators from meeting a June 30 deadline. The discussions follow IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano’s trip to Tehran where he met with President Hassan Rouhani and Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkhani. The discussions were aimed at moving forward on sticking points regarding IAEA monitoring...

Hong Kong Democracy Activists Ponder Next Steps

11 hours 38 min ago
This week, Hong Kong's pro-democracy activists turned out in lower numbers than expected for marches marking the 18th anniversary for the territory's handover to China. After almost a year of non-stop rallies, some 48,000 Hong Kongers took to the street on July 1, making it one of the annual protest’s lowest turnouts since 2003, according to the organizers. Police estimates say the number peaked at 20,000. That led Johnson Yeung of Civil Human Rights Front into admitting the...

US Cancels Assistance to Burundi Over Flawed Election

11 hours 47 min ago
The United States says it is suspending some security assistance programs to Burundi because of abuses committed by police during political protests and the government's decision to proceed with what the U.S. says were "flawed" parliamentary elections. The State Department said late Thursday that Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza's decision to run for a third term in office "has resulted in dozens of deaths, the exodus of over 144,000 Burundians to neighboring...

US, UN Condemn Mali Attack Claimed by Al-Qaida

12 hours 37 min ago
The United States has condemned "in the strongest possible terms" Thursday's ambush on a convoy of U.N. peacekeepers in Mali, in which six people were killed and five more were wounded. The attack took place on a road about 45 kilometers southwest of the city of Timbuktu in Mali's restive northern desert. The extremist group al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb has claimed responsibility for the ambush. In a statement late Thursday, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Samantha...

41 Killed in Philippines Ferry Accident

12 hours 41 min ago
Philippine authorities say the death toll from a ferry accident has risen to 41 and that at least five people remain missing. At least 134 passengers were rescued or swam ashore after the Kim Nirvana went down Thursday just minutes after leaving Ormoc City on the island of Leyte on its regular route to the Camotes Islands. Officials said Friday six more bodies were found and that bad weather is hampering the search effort for the others.  An initial investigation suggests a...

Obama: More to Do to Boost US Economy

12 hours 51 min ago
President Barack Obama said the latest jobs report for the U.S. is "good," but there is still more work to do "get folks' wages and incomes to keep going up." The president said Thursday in remarks at the University of Wisconsin at La Crosse that while the country has had a record "64 straight months of private sector job growth... there are a lot of folks who still feel like the playing field is tilted in ways that make it hard for them to get...

Iraqi Government Training Thousands of Sunni Tribesmen

Thu, 2015-07-02 20:21
Three senior U.S. defense officials with ties to the Iraqi government have told VOA that Iraq has recruited about 6,000 Sunni tribesmen fighters, a force many say will be critical in defeating Islamic State. Analysts said the large number was a step in the right direction. “There’s 6,000 who are willing to work together — that may be even more important,” said Michael O’Hanlon, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. “It’s not so much that they’re going to get great training in...

US Drone Strike in Syria Kills Senior IS Militant

Thu, 2015-07-02 20:01
A senior Islamic State fighter from Tunisia has been killed in a U.S. drone strike in Syria, the Pentagon said Thursday. Tariq bin Tahar al-’Awni al-Harzi helped raise money for the Islamic State group, oversaw efforts to bring in foreign fighters and was dubbed the “emir of suicide bombers” by the U.S. State Department. Pentagon spokesman Captain Jeff Davis said al-Harzi was killed in a U.S. drone strike June 16 in Shaddadi. Davis said al-Harzi's death will hurt the Islamic...