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Updated: 3 hours 35 min ago

Sierra Leone Under 3-Day Ebola Lockdown

4 hours 27 min ago
The capital of Sierra Leone was “eerily quiet” on Friday as hundreds of health volunteers spread out across the city and the surrounding area to search for hidden Ebola patients and raise awareness during a three-day lockdown. Sierra Leone, the country worst-affected by the disease, has reported nearly 12,000 cases and more than 3,000 deaths since the epidemic was declared a year ago. The slums around Freetown are among the hardest-hit areas. Case numbers have tumbled from a peak of...

Nigerian Leader Urges Peaceful Vote

4 hours 45 min ago
Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan urged his nation to vote peacefully and accept the results of Saturday's presidential elections, which analysts say will be the most tightly contested in the history of Africa's richest nation and its largest democracy.   "No political ambition can justify violence or the shedding of the blood of our people,'' Jonathan said Friday in a televised broadcast.   Dozens already have been killed in a country steeped in...

Australia Warns of Possible Attacks in Kenyan Capital

4 hours 50 min ago
Militants may be planning attacks against crowded places in the Kenyan capital Nairobi, the Australian government said in a travel alert on Friday, without naming any group it suspected might opt for violence. The Kenyan government was not immediately available for comment but has criticized such alerts in the past, saying they hurt Kenya's vital tourism industry and play into the hands of those behind the gun and grenade assaults. The Australian travel advisory came days after a...

German Police Search for Clues to Germanwings Crash

6 hours 1 min ago
German police have searched the homes of the German co-pilot who is believed to have crashed an Airbus jetliner into the French Alps on purpose, killing himself and 149 others. On Friday, police searched the two homes where 27-year-old Andreas Lubitz stayed when not flying: an apartment he kept in the German city of Dusseldorf, and his parents' home in the small German town of Montabour. Police said several items were taken as evidence. Details are expected later Friday. On...

Aquino Urges Congress to Push Ahead with Muslim Autonomous Region

6 hours 15 min ago
Philippine President Benigno Aquino on Friday urged lawmakers to resume debating a proposed law on an autonomous territory in the Muslim south, in a bid to end a 45-year conflict that has killed 120,000 people. The two-chamber Congress suspended deliberations on the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law, which would grant self-rule to the Moro minority, after 44 police commandos died in a clash with Muslim rebels on Jan. 25. “If the proposed bill is lacking, it can be addressed by pushing...

DOJ: Illinois National Guard Soldier Tried to Join ISIS

6 hours 24 min ago
U.S. federal law enforcement agents arrested two suburban Chicago men accused of trying to join ISIS overseas, while also plotting attacks in the United States. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports from the Midwest state of Illinois, one of those arrested is a soldier of the Illinois National Guard.

US Senate Passes Budget, Setting Up Fight With Obama

6 hours 31 min ago
The U.S. Senate has passed a bill that proposes deep cuts to the federal budget, setting up a fight between congressional Republicans and Democratic President Barack Obama. At an all-night session that lasted until early Friday, senators passed their version of a balanced budget plan that proposes $5.1 trillion in spending cuts over the next decade. Much of the savings would come by cutting health care, and funding for the military would increase. The Senate 2016 budget plan is similar...

Chinese South China Sea Reclamation Projects Hamper Philippines, Others’ Claims

6 hours 36 min ago
China is forging ahead with reclamation projects on at least seven tiny but hotly contested features in the South China Sea, posing what could be a major challenge in the Philippines' international arbitration case against China. Surveys of the disputed outcroppings will be key. Since the beginning of the year, various satellite images of Chinese reclamation work in the Spratly Islands have shown shoals and reefs turning into artificial islands. Major harbors that can dock military...

Court Rules Suspected Uighur Family Must Remain in Thai Custody

7 hours 20 min ago
A Thai court Friday ruled that a family of 17 - suspected to be Uighur Muslims - must remain in custody until their nationalities are proven. The court rejected the refugee family's contention that indefinite detention in the kingdom is illegal. It said Thai authorities must continue to hold them until identification documents are received from both China and Turkey. The case has pitted Turkey against China, with Thailand seemingly reluctant to make a decision that would anger...

Iran, US Continue Nuclear Talks Ahead of Deadline

7 hours 43 min ago
U.S. and Iranian negotiators are set Friday to continue a final round of talks on Tehran's nuclear program, as a March 31 deadline to reach a framework deal draws closer. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met Thursday with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif in Lausanne, Switzerland. Both sides have expressed optimism a deal can be reached. Senior diplomats of the other so-called P5+1 nations participating in the talks are expected to soon join their Iranian and U.S....

Ten Hindu Devotees Killed in Bangladesh Stampede

8 hours 51 min ago
Police in Bangladesh say 10 people were killed and dozens more were injured Friday in a stampede 20 kilometers from Dhaka, the capital, during a Hindu ceremony. Officials say the seven women and three men died Friday morning at the Rajghat point on the banks of the Brahmaputra River.  The annual religious bathing ritual in Bangladesh's Narayanganj district draws thousands of Hindu devotees. 

Two Killed in Pakistan Bomb Blast

9 hours 7 min ago
Pakistani police say a bomb blast has killed two people and wounded at least 13 others in Karachi. Officials say the explosion Friday morning was caused by a bomb planted on a motorcycle. Police say the bomb was detonated when a police bus passed by the motorcycle. Most of the victims were police. "The policemen were coming from Razzaqabad to resume duty at Bilawal house. When they reached here, a motorcycle was parked here and suddenly the explosion took place. Two of the...

Saudi-Led Airstrikes Continue for Second Day in Yemen

9 hours 28 min ago
Fighter jets are striking rebel targets in Yemen for a second consecutive day, as part of a Saudi Arabia-led regional effort to oust the Shi'ite Houthi group that has taken over much of the country. Coalition warplanes pounded military bases and other rebel-held targets in and around the capital, Sana'a, Friday, according to officials and witnesses. Military officials also said air strikes targeted the northern province of Saada, home to the Houthi rebels. Saudi military...

South Korea Demands Release of 2 Men Detained in North Korea

10 hours 31 min ago
South Korea on Friday demanded the immediate release of two nationals arrested in North Korea on espionage charges. North Korea announced late Thursday that it had arrested two South Korean men, identified as Kim Kuk-gi and Choe Chun-gil, last year in the Chinese border city of Dandong. State media said the two were working to smear North Korea. The official Korean Central News Agency said the two took part in an anti-DPRK smear campaign organized by U.S. intelligence and the South...

Deliberate Plane Crash to Have Lasting Effect on Industry

10 hours 50 min ago
Indications that the co-pilot of a Germanwings flight deliberately brought down the plane enroute from Barcelona to Dusseldorf on Tuesday could have an impact on the airline industry. The crash investigation now focuses on the co-pilot's possible motives for destroying the aircraft and killing 150 people. Zlatica Hoke has this story.

Yemen Conflict Is Local, Not Regional, Experts Argue

Thu, 2015-03-26 21:56
Yemen's internal conflict has expanded regionally, with airstrikes from a Saudi-led coalition and a vow by Egypt to commit ground troops if needed. Experts say the international community has failed Yemen by focusing too much on the fight against al-Qaida and not enough on the country's development. VOA's Victoria Macchi reports.

Study: N Korea Farm Output Growth Rate is Asia's Lowest

Thu, 2015-03-26 21:14
North Korea’s agricultural output growth rate is the lowest in Asia, a recent study found. A report by the International Food Policy Research Institute, a Washington private research group, said North Korea’s agricultural output growth rate was minus 0.8 percent between 2007 and 2012, making North Korea the only country in Asia with decreased agricultural output during the time period. The research group measured the total output of crop and livestock products from 18 developing...

US Soldier, Cousin Charged in Alleged Effort to Join IS

Thu, 2015-03-26 20:48
A soldier in the U.S. Army National Guard and his cousin have been charged with forming a plan to fight for the Islamic State terrorist group in the Middle East and kill dozens at a U.S. military installation. Hasan Edmonds, 22, was taken into custody at Chicago's Midway Airport late Wednesday before boarding a flight to Egypt, and Jonas Edmonds, 29, was arrested at his home.  Both men are U.S. citizens from the Midwestern city of Aurora, Illinois. The alleged plan was for...

NATO Chief Backs Slower US Exit From Afghanistan

Thu, 2015-03-26 19:56
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has applauded the U.S. decision to slow down its military withdrawal from Afghanistan, while rejecting the notion that ties between the alliance and Washington have become strained. “I welcome the flexibility which is now shown by the United States and President [Barack] Obama,” Stoltenberg told VOA during an exclusive interview Thursday in Washington. “That just once again confirms and shows the strong commitment the United States and NATO have...

Asians' Musical Mix Applauded at Texas Festival

Thu, 2015-03-26 19:37
At the annual South by Southwest music festival last week in Austin, Texas, Asian groups were well-represented, playing rock, pop and hip hop. Some of these groups used traditional instruments and a mix of modern and ancient sounds. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.

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