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Boko Haram Denies Peace Deal With Nigerian Government

Fri, 2014-10-31 23:46
Boko Haram has denied negotiating a cease-fire deal announced by the Nigerian government October 17. The statement was made in a new video from the terrorist group obtained Friday by the French news agency AFP. In the video the Islamist group’s leader, Abubakar Shekau, denied he even knows Danladi Ahmadua, the man said to be the Boko Haram envoy at the supposed talks. Shekau calls the Nigerian government's claims of a truce nothing but "lies." Shekau also said the 219...

Mexican Court Frees Ex-US Marine Jailed on Gun Charges

Fri, 2014-10-31 23:24
A Mexican court has ordered a former U.S. Marine jailed for bringing guns into the country freed from prison. Sergeant Andrew Tahmooressi has been behind bars since March. A doctor who examined him determined he needs treatment in the U.S. for post traumatic stress syndrome, which he developed after serving in Afghanistan. Mexican border agents arrested him in March after finding three guns in his truck after he crossed the border from San Diego, California into...

Yemeni Rebels Give President Ultimatum on New Government

Fri, 2014-10-31 22:58
Shi'ite Muslim rebels in Yemen are giving President Abed Rabbu Mansour Hadi 10 days to form a new government or face another possible takeover. The rebels, known as Houthis, issued their ultimatum Friday, warning the president that "all revolutionary options are open" if a new government is not in place. Hadi has appointed Khaled Bahah as the new prime minister, but squabbling among the Houthis and other political parties that have been promised Cabinet seats and...

White House Celebrates Halloween

Fri, 2014-10-31 20:56
The White House opened its lawn to thousands of young trick-or-treaters Friday as President Barack Obama celebrated Halloween with local schoolchildren. The president and first lady Michelle Obama handed out butter cookies, licorice and chocolate candies on the South Lawn. The guest list included students from local elementary schools and military families, dressed like their favorite superheroes and goblins. Giant inflatable pumpkins decorated the White House grounds, along with...

Pentagon: Russian Military Flights in Europe Unhelpful to Security

Fri, 2014-10-31 20:51
The Pentagon says increased Russian flights over parts of Europe are unhelpful to the security situation there and risks an escalation of tensions. NATO has been tracking Russian fighter jets, long-range bombers and tankers across the Baltics, North Sea, and Atlantic Ocean. Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby said Friday the flights could also pose a risk to civilian aviation because of their number, size and scope. Kirby also said Russia's continued interference inside...

Russia, Ukraine Reach Gas Deal to Secure Winter Supplies

Fri, 2014-10-31 20:20
Russia and Ukraine have signed an agreement to end their dispute over gas supplies. Analysts say the deal - brokered by the European Union - will relieve Kyiv’s fears that it might not have enough gas in storage to get through the coming winter. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

Deadline Looms for Iran Nuclear Talks

Fri, 2014-10-31 18:57
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is traveling to Europe, Asia and the Middle East for a series of meetings on numerous issues. In the Mideast, Kerry will visit Oman for a trilateral meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif and EU rep Catherine Ashton on the Iran’s nuclear program. Negotiators for the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council and Germany face a November deadline to reach a nuclear agreement with Iran. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.

Researchers Use Computerized Harness to Communicate With Dogs

Fri, 2014-10-31 18:42
Dog-loving scientists at North Carolina State University have figured out a way to communicate better with man's best friend — via tactile means, not verbally. David Roberts, a mathematician and computer scientist at the Raleigh university, said he and his colleagues have developed a comfortable harness with a small computer mounted on it that allows dog owners to detect, from a distance, what Fido is doing and feeling. “This involves outfitting the harness with a bunch of sensors...

Gorgeous Fall Leaves Unfold Along Virginia’s Blue Ridge Parkway

Fri, 2014-10-31 18:01
In autumn, the Blue Ridge Parkway is considered one of the top places in the United States to see the colorful fall leaves. The scenic highway, which stretches through Virginia and North Carolina, also offers fantastic mountain views of woods and farmland. VOA’s Deborah Block takes us for a drive along the Virginia section of the parkway to show us the stunning displays.

Iraqi Kurds Join Syrian Kurds in Fight for Kobani

Fri, 2014-10-31 17:16
A convoy of 150 Iraqi Kurdish fighters have crossed from Turkey into Syria to bolster Syrian Kurds defending the city of Kobani from Islamic State militants. Kurdish civilians lined the road leading to the border crossing Friday, cheering the pershmerga fighters who responded with victory signs and holding rifles over their heads. This is the first time Turkey has allowed an armed force to cross its border into Syria. The United States has been frustrated that Turkey, a fellow NATO...

Zambia Workers Group ‘Concerned’ Over Power Struggle

Fri, 2014-10-31 16:57
The leader of Zambia’s Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) has expressed concern about the ongoing power struggle within the ruling Patriotic Party (PF) even before the burial of deceased President Michael Sata. Leonard Hikaumba said the power struggle is an affront to the people of Zambia, and undermines the cultural sensibilities and respect that should be accorded the late president. “It’s very disappointing that leaders at that level can ignore and put aside our values customary...

Wilderness Awaits in the Okefenokee Swamp

Fri, 2014-10-31 16:30
When you look at it on a map, the Okefenokee Swamp seems too close to the Atlantic Ocean’s white sandy beaches and Florida’s golf courses and theme parks to be a wilderness area. That proximity led to an ill-conceived plan at the beginning of the 20th century to drain the 180-thousand hectare wilderness and reclaim it as farmland. Developers dug a 19-kilometer long canal, right into the center of the swamp, called the Suwanee Canal. But the project failed: it had engineering problems, and...

Wilderness Awaits in the Okefenokee Swamp

Fri, 2014-10-31 16:26
Fifty years ago, President Lyndon Johnson signed the Wilderness Act designating some federally owned lands as wilderness areas. These large tracts of land had few roads or buildings, offered opportunities for outdoor recreation, and were important because of their educational, scientific or historical value. One such pristine area is the Okefenokee Swamp, a 180-thousand hectare wilderness located in the southeastern part of the United States in the state of Georgia.

Kerry, Iranian FM to Hold Nuclear Talks in November

Fri, 2014-10-31 16:22
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will hold talks next month with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif as the deadline for an agreement on Iran's nuclear program approaches. The State Department says Kerry will meet with the Iranian diplomat in Oman on November 9 and 10. European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton will also be part of the talks. Iran and the so-called P5 plus 1 (the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council and Germany) face a November...

NYC Kids Draw Worldwide Praise for Chorus

Fri, 2014-10-31 16:14
Fourteen-hundred fresh-faced, eager, talented, New York youngsters blending their voices -- the Young People’s Chorus of New York City -- are making an impact on the world. VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports from New York.

The Correspondents

Fri, 2014-10-31 16:00
The Correspondents is VOA’s weekly discussion of the world’s top stories, as seen through the eyes of our dedicated reporters in the US and around the globe. Hosted by Mil Arcega, our panel of journalists goes beyond the headlines to give listeners and viewer real context and understanding of what’s driving the story.

New Ebola Treatment Center Opens in Liberia

Fri, 2014-10-31 15:59
One of the largest Ebola treatment centers opened Friday in Liberia, as the death toll from the disease continues to rise in West Africa. Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf thanked the international community for its part in opening the 200-bed center, which was built with help from American soldiers and will be operated by Cuban doctors.  "So today, we applaud you, we honor you, we thank you for demonstrating what it is in the interest of humanity — reaching...

'Point and Shoot' Shows American Filmmaker in Libyan Revolution

Fri, 2014-10-31 14:57
It sounds like fiction: A young American takes to the road in a motorcycle journey around the Arab world -- and ends up fighting alongside Libyan rebels to depose Moammar Gadhafi. It’s actually a true story, and the subject of an unusual documentary. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more

Virgin Galactic Spaceship Crash Kills 1

Fri, 2014-10-31 14:42
Authorities in the western U.S. state of California say a space tourism rocket has crashed while on a test flight in the Mojave desert, killing one pilot and seriously injuring another. Officials say the injured pilot ejected from the Virgin Galactic commercial spaceship before it crashed Friday. Television images showed parts of SpaceShipTwo scattered amid brush in the desert north of Los Angeles. The CEO of Virgin Galactic -- founded by British billionaire Richard Branson -- said it...

UN Report: Thousands of Foreign Fighters Joining Extremist Groups

Fri, 2014-10-31 14:33
According to a U.N. report, an estimated 15,000 fighters from around the world have left their homes to join extremist groups operating in Iraq and Syria. It adds that actual numbers could be even higher. The report, which was submitted to the U.N. Security Council by a panel that monitors al Qaeda and the Taliban, states that foreign fighters are joining the Islamic State and other extremist groups on "an unprecedented scale." They are coming mainly from the Middle East,...

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