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Updated: 5 hours 59 min ago

Boko Haram Continues Campaign of Violence Across Nigeria’s North

6 hours 11 min ago
A twin bombing in Nigeria's northeastern city of Maiduguri on Tuesday showed the continued ability of militant group Boko Haram to attack at will. But even after a five-year insurgency, much else about the group - including its strength, the territory it controls and its relation to the Islamic State group - remains unclear. To stop Boko Haram, Nigeria’s government has declared a state of emergency, deployed the military and even tried to negotiate with the group. But Boko Haram’s...

'World’s Best Rice' Title Could Boost Cambodian Rice Exports

6 hours 16 min ago
For the third year in a row, Cambodia’s premier rice has been voted the world’s best at the World Rice Conference. The award, which it shares this year with Thailand, comes at a time when Cambodia is looking at rice exports as a way to increase incomes for its many impoverished subsistence farmers. Although Cambodia is a minnow in the world rice stakes, producing just 1 percent of global output in 2012, the award for its fragrant romduol varietal should help promote exports. The...

Political Pressure Mounts on Ukraine's Poroshenko

6 hours 36 min ago
Political pressure is mounting both at home and abroad on Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko, with critics arguing he lacks direction in combating a pro-Moscow insurgency in the east and not moving fast enough on reform. A month after Ukraine held its first parliamentary polls since the ouster of pro-Moscow President Viktor Yanukovych, politicians continue to wrangle over the formation of a coalition government. Seeking to assuage criticism over the tardiness, Poroshenko promised...

Islamic State Fighters Battle Iraqi Forces Near Baiji Refinery

6 hours 41 min ago
Islamic State insurgents battled Iraqi forces in the center of Baiji on Tuesday, a week after the army broke their prolonged siege of the country's largest oil refinery just outside the town, an army officer and residents said. The renewed fighting in Baiji by the Islamist militants, who control thousands of square miles of territory in Iraq and Syria, appeared aimed at reimposing that stranglehold around the sprawling oil facility 4 kilometers (2 miles) to the north. Islamic State...

Sierra Leone Ebola Burial Workers Dump Bodies in Pay Protest

6 hours 49 min ago
Burial workers in Sierra Leone have dumped dead bodies in the street outside a hospital in protest at authorities' failure to pay bonuses for handling Ebola victims, in the latest strike to hamper the fight against the worst known outbreak of the virus. A spokesman for the striking workers in the eastern town of Kenema, who asked not to be identified, said they had not been paid their weekly hazard allowance for seven weeks. Authorities accepted that the money had not been paid but...

Lawyers Appeal Acquittal in Egypt’s First-ever Female Genital Mutilation Trial

7 hours 52 sec ago
Lawyers in Egypt are appealing to a higher court after two men accused of causing the death of a 13-year-old girl during an illegal circumcision were acquitted last week.  Activists said this is Egypt’s first attempt ever at prosecuting people for female genital mutilation, or FGM. For years, rights groups in Egypt have been railing against FGM, saying it devastates girls’ bodies and minds.   In a 2008 victory for those activists, the practice was banned.   But late...

Sudan Shuts UN Peacekeepers' Darfur Rights Office in Khartoum

7 hours 18 min ago
Sudan has shut the human rights office of the joint United Nations-African Union (UNAMID) peacekeeping mission in Darfur, the foreign ministry said, amid tension over allegations of mass rape by Sudanese troops in the troubled region. UNAMID confirmed on Tuesday that it had received a formal closure request from the Sudanese government on Sunday, but said it was working with authorities to “clarify the role” of its Khartoum-based human rights and liaison offices. Sudan announced on...

'World’s Best Rice' Title Could Boost Cambodian Rice Exports

7 hours 32 min ago
For the third year in a row, Cambodia’s premier rice has been voted the world’s best at the World Rice Conference. The award, which it shares this year with Thailand, comes at a time when Cambodia is looking at rice exports as a way to increase incomes for its many impoverished subsistence farmers.

Asia Seeks to Improve Vital Birth Registrations

7 hours 48 min ago
This week government ministers from Southeast Asia are meeting in Bangkok to discuss how to improve official registrations of births, deaths and marriages - critical measures for providing government services. Thailand has had notable success but issues remain, especially with birth registrations for children of migrant workers. Just hours after coming into the world, baby Edar is among the lucky ones. Her registration process has already commenced - something that will prove vital for...

Jewish-Nation Bill Frays Israel's Delicate Social Fabric

7 hours 58 min ago
Israel is poised to pass one of the most divisive laws in its 66-year history, a bill that would declare it the homeland of the Jewish people only - and further alienate its Arab minority. Political infighting over the measure is already threatening to tear apart Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's governing coalition. The legislation, which is seen as compromising equality by differentiating between Jewish and non-Jewish citizens in granting some symbolic rights to the Jewish...

US Economy Advance Fastest in a Decade

8 hours 10 min ago
The U.S. economy is advancing at a faster clip than first thought, giving the world's largest economy its most robust growth in more than a decade. Major economies in Europe and Asia are slowing, but the U.S. said Tuesday that the American economy jumped 3.9 percent from July through September. That was up from the 3.5 percent gain the government had estimated several weeks ago. The U.S. economy grew 4.6 percent in the second quarter, producing the biggest six-month advance since...

Kenyans Rally Against Terror Attacks, Insecurity

8 hours 24 min ago
Kenyan activists took to the streets Tuesday, demanding the government fire the police chief and interior cabinet secretary for failing to protect the population. The protest comes a few days after the Somali militant group al-Shabab attacked a bus in northeast Kenya killing 28 people. The protesters said they are tired of mourning the innocent. Demonstrators camped outside President Uhuru Kenyatta's office for the better part of the day and paraded hundreds of crosses painted in...

New Bird Flu Strain Reaches Europe

8 hours 54 min ago
A new strain of bird flu – known as H5N8 – has been detected in Europe. The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) says it poses a serious threat to poultry there. African countries have been put on alert for possible cases. The FAO’s Ian Douglas says researchers have been monitoring the spread of H5N8. “We have been following this particular strain for quite some time. It’ been detected in Asia – in China, Japan and South Korea. It’s caused disease in poultry in those...

Asia Seeks to Improve Vital Birth Registrations

9 hours 16 min ago
This week government ministers from Southeast Asia are meeting in Bangkok to discuss how to improve official registrations of births, deaths and marriages - critical measures for providing government services. Thailand has had notable success but issues remain, especially with birth registrations for children of migrant workers. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Samut Prakan.

Ferguson Remains on Edge After Violent Night

9 hours 25 min ago
The Midwestern U.S. town of Ferguson, Missouri, and surrounding areas are bracing for more protests after a grand jury decided not to indict a white police officer who shot and killed an unarmed black teenager in August.

India, U.S. Hold First Trade Talks in 4 Years

9 hours 28 min ago
The United States and India held their first round of formal trade talks in four years on Tuesday, seeking to capitalize on the resolution of a global trade dispute to repair a dialog that had fallen into neglect. While the two sides reported no breakthroughs at the Trade Policy Forum, they did set out a work schedule to follow up on talks that focused on agriculture, services, manufacturing and intellectual property rights, a joint statement said. U.S. Trade Representative Michael...

Pope Urges Europe to Do More for Migrants

10 hours 20 min ago
Pope Francis told Europe's leaders on Tuesday to do more to help thousands of migrants risking their lives trying to get into the continent, saying they had to stop the Mediterranean becoming “a vast cemetery.” Addressing the European Parliament for the first time, Francis also said Europe should create jobs and not allow the bureaucracy of its institutions to suffocate the ideals that once made it vibrant. The Argentine pope has made defense of migrants and workers a key plank of...

China Demands Philippines Release Fishermen

10 hours 56 min ago
China is demanding that the Philippines release nine Chinese fishermen who were arrested in a part of the South China Sea claimed by both countries. The fishermen, who were detained in May near the Half Moon Shoal, were fined this week $100,000 each for poaching an endangered species of sea turtle. China's Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying on Tuesday urged Manila to "unconditionally release" the boat and the fishermen. Hua said the men and the boat were...

Tunisia's Essebsi Wins First Presidential Round, Heads for Runoff

11 hours 13 min ago
Tunisian secularist leader Beji Caid Essebsi beat incumbent President Moncef Marzouki in the first round of landmark presidential elections, but the two men will have to meet again in a December runoff, early results showed on Tuesday. Essebsi, from the Nidaa Tounes party, got 39.46 percent in Sunday's poll, short of the needed overall majority but ahead of Marzouki, who got 33.4 percent, according to the figures. The vote for Tunisia's first directly-elected president marks...

At least 18 killed in Cairo Building Collapse

11 hours 21 min ago
An eight-floor residential building collapsed overnight in Cairo, killing at least 18 people and injuring seven others, security sources said on Tuesday, adding that the casualty figure was expected to rise. Emergency services, soldiers and neighbors spent the morning rifling through a 5-meter (15 foot) high pile of rubble in search of survivors in a densely populated northeast district of the capital. Bodies wrapped in black were removed on stretchers to waiting ambulances as bulldozers...

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