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Updated: 4 hours 26 min ago

Gabon Chooses a President

5 hours 3 min ago
Voters are going to the polls Saturday in oil-rich Gabon to elect a president. The top candidates are incumbent Ali Bongo and career diplomat Jean Ping. Bongo's family has ruled the Central African nation for the past five decades. Ping, the former chair of the African Union Commission, said at a recent rally Gabon's economic inequality would continue if Bongo is returned to office.  "You have before you two choices.  Life and death," Ping said. ...

Bangladesh Police Kill Dhaka Cafe Attack Prime Suspect

7 hours 12 min ago
Police in Bangladesh say they killed at least three Islamist extremists Saturday after raiding a militant hideout just outside the country’s capital, Dhaka.  The suspected mastermind of last month's deadly attack on a cafe filled with foreigners is reported to be among those killed. Senior police officer Sanwar Hossain confirmed the deaths of the militants. Officials said police exchanged fire during an hour-long gun battle with the extremists in Narayanganj, 25 kilometers...

Russia to Take Paralympics Ban to Higher Court

Fri, 2016-08-26 21:23
Russia on Monday will appeal the Court of Arbitration for Sport's decision to uphold a blanket ban on its athletes from competing in next month's Rio Paralympics. Russian Paralympic Committee President Vladimir Lukin announced Friday that the appeal would go before the Swiss Federal Court, according to the Interfax news agency. Earlier this week, the Lausanne-based CAS, sport's highest tribunal, rejected an RPC appeal against the suspension, which was handed out by the...

Children Brutalized by IS Will Need Urgent Help, Experts Say

Fri, 2016-08-26 21:20
The chilling image of five children staring into the camera with guns in their upraised arms as five grown men dressed in orange jumpsuits kneel in front of them, about to be executed, was posted by Islamic State extremists almost as a badge of honor. According to the SITE counterterrorism website where the image was released Friday, the young boys were British, Egyptian, Kurdish, Tunisian and Uzbek — and featured in an IS video from Raqqa, Syria. IS has increasingly featured children...

Poverty Could Hobble Colombia's Anti-drug Push After Peace Deal

Fri, 2016-08-26 21:15
Jose Toconas picks at branches hanging in rows from the roof of his marijuana drying house and smells their spiky flower buds. In two days he will strip them from their stems, trim the dark green florets into neat little balls and hand them over to dealers working with Marxist rebels of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). "This doesn't make me a drug dealer. I'm a farmer," says Toconas, 45, who earns about 2 million pesos ($640) a month growing weed at...

Border Patrol Urges Central American Migrants Not to Travel to US Illegally

Fri, 2016-08-26 20:56
The head of U.S. Customs and Border Protection is urging Central Americans to not make the dangerous trip to the United States to try to enter the country illegally. During a trip to Honduras, Commissioner Gil Kerlikowske said he discussed the issue of migrants with a delegation of Honduran officials, including first lady Ana Garcia. "We're very much in agreement with the government of Honduras to help their people stay in their country and not make the dangerous journey to...

Americans Overseas Need to Take Steps Now to Vote

Fri, 2016-08-26 20:35
With less than 75 days left before the U.S. presidential election, it is time for Americans living, working or traveling abroad to take steps to vote. The extra time is needed because U.S. elections are managed individually by the 50 states, U.S. territories (American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands) and the District of Columbia. This means there are 55 different sets of rules for absentee voting. But the basic steps are simple: Step 1. Register to vote. If you...

Shouts, Charges of 'Stupidity,' at Brazil President's Trial

Fri, 2016-08-26 20:00
A trial against Brazil's president turned into a yelling match and was temporarily suspended on Friday after the head of Senate declared "stupidity is endless'' and sharply criticized a colleague who had questioned the body's moral authority.   The second day of the trial against President Dilma Rousseff got off to an edgy start when Senate President Renan Calheiros decided to bring up a comment made on Thursday by Sen. Gleisi Hoffmann, a member of Rousseff's...

Bolivian Miners Lift Roadblock After Deputy Minister's Death

Fri, 2016-08-26 19:55
Protesting Bolivian miners on Friday abandoned a roadblock where a day earlier they kidnapped a government deputy minister, who was later found beaten to death. President Evo Morales called for three days of national mourning and declared Friday a day of "deep pain" for the country. Deputy Interior Minister Rodolfo Illanes, 56, was beaten to death on Thursday after being taken hostage by miners who had blocked a major highway near Panduro, around 160 km (100 miles) from...

Juno Gets Its First Close-up Look at Jupiter Saturday

Fri, 2016-08-26 19:53
This was the first picture of Jupiter taken by Juno spacecraft, tomorrow it makes its closest approach.

Congo to Free Five Activists to Smooth Election Negotiations

Fri, 2016-08-26 19:45
Democratic Republic of Congo will free five pro-democracy activists in the next few days, the justice minister said on Friday, to try to appease the opposition and ease negotiations over an election timetable after a delayed presidential vote. Opponents accuse President Joseph Kabila of deliberately delaying the vote in order to cling to power beyond the end of his mandate in December, a charge his supporters deny. Opposition leaders could not be reached for comment but Friday's...

Venezuela's Steep Prices, Scarcities Open Way for Cardboard Coffins

Fri, 2016-08-26 19:40
When Venezuelan entrepreneurs Alejandro Blanchard and Elio Angulo decided to create cardboard coffins, they were looking  for an ecological selling point to compete against classic wood and brass caskets. Three years on, with the oil-rich country mired in deep economic crisis, their "bio-coffins" are becoming a viable option because of high prices for wooden coffins and shortages of brass ones. Blanchard and Angulo are offering their product in funeral homes in...

Attacks Cloud Thailand's Upcoming Peace Talks

Fri, 2016-08-26 19:31
A series of recent bombings in Thailand, including one this week, remain unexplained. But analysts say they cast a shadow over peace talks scheduled to begin next Friday between the Thai government and southern insurgents. On Tuesday, a stolen ambulance truck packed with 80 kilograms of explosives detonated outside the Southern View Hotel in the seaside town of Pattani, wounding at least 30 people and killing a 35-year-old woman. A second victim died Friday from injuries suffered in the...

Rakhine Nationalists Reject Annan's Commission on Myanmar Ethnic Violence

Fri, 2016-08-26 19:25
Rakhine nationalists in Myanmar have rejected the news that former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan will head a commission to discuss ethnic conflict and clashes in Myanmar's Rakhine state. The creation of a commission led by foreigners with no background knowledge or capacity to understand the circumstances in Rakhine state would undermine the rights of all of Burma's ethnic groups, as well as Myanmar's sovereignty, said Arakan National Party vice chairperson Aye Nu...

Quiet US Trading Week Comes to Stormy End

Fri, 2016-08-26 19:21
U.S. stocks ended Friday on a volatile note, following a week of relatively quiet trade. The catalyst for the move was comments by Federal Reserve Chairman Janet Yellen. The formal topic of her remarks in Jackson Hole, Wyoming — “The Federal Reserve’s Monetary Policy Toolkit” — implied a technical focus on the challenges facing the central bank in an era of tepid growth and low inflation. But then the Fed chief hinted at a bump in interest rates. Yellen noted the “case for an...

Cuba: US Commercial Flights Welcome

Fri, 2016-08-26 19:20
Cuba said on Friday it was ready to receive U.S. commercial flights beginning next week and that it viewed their renewal after being suspended in 1961 as another positive step in a growing detente. JetBlue is scheduled to inaugurate direct flights between the long-time nemeses on Aug. 31, when it flies from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to Villa Clara in central Cuba. American Airlines in September will start flying from Miami to the provinces, followed by other airlines. There will be...

African-Japanese Trade Deals Expected From Summit

Fri, 2016-08-26 19:00
African heads of state and VIPs from around the world have converged in this Kenyan capital for the sixth Tokyo International Conference on African Development, expected to foster a host of new trade and investment deals. For the first time since its 1993 inception, the summit — now held every three years — is being held in Africa. It’s an historic occasion, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told reporters here Friday. He said Japan would work hand in hand with Africa to realize the...

SpaceX Dragon Returns to Earth With Station Science, Gear

Fri, 2016-08-26 18:50
A SpaceX Dragon capsule returned to Earth on Friday with scientific gifts from the International Space Station. NASA astronaut Kate Rubins waved goodbye as the Dragon slowly flew away Friday morning. Six hours later, the spacecraft parachuted into the Pacific, just off Mexico's Baja California coast. It's loaded with 3,000 pounds of research and equipment, including 12 mice that flew up on the Dragon as part of a genetic study.   "Good splashdown of Dragon...

Bombing May Be Sign of PKK Offensive After Turkey Incursion Into Syria

Fri, 2016-08-26 17:52
The Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) claimed responsibility on Friday for a truck bombing at a security headquarters in Cizre, in southeastern Turkey near the Syrian border, that killed 11 officers and injured dozens more. The attack, days after Turkish forces deployed into Syria, is seen as a harbinger of a PKK offensive. Ankara is targeting Islamic State, as well as calling for the withdrawal of a Syrian Kurdish militia it claims is linked to the PKK. Ertugral Kurkcu, a member of...

Immigrants Help Immigrants at Health Care Center in Washington

Fri, 2016-08-26 17:48
As the political debate rages over U.S. immigration policy, those who are already in the United States face numerous challenges trying to find their way in a new culture. As VOA Executive Producer Linda Ringe discovered, the help immigrants give to each other is often the most effective. VOA's Carol Pearson narrates.