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Updated: 4 hours 33 min ago

UN: Violence Killed 1,100 Iraqis in September

4 hours 56 min ago
Acts of terrorism and violence in Iraq killed more than 1,100 people in September, continuing what has been a particularly deadly year for the country. The United Nations mission in Iraq reported Wednesday the toll from last month included 854 civilians and 265 members of the Iraqi Security Forces. In the first nine months of 2014, nearly 12,000 people were killed - roughly the same number as the past two years combined. A push by Sunni Islamist militants to take over large parts of...

Karadzic to Give Closing Arguments at Genocide Trial

4 hours 59 min ago
Former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic began his closing statements to the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague, where he is being tried for war crimes including genocide. Karadzic, who insists he is innocent, has apologized to victims of crimes, and said he bore "moral responsibility" for any crimes committed by citizens and forces of the Bosnian Serb republic.  Karadzic is charged with 11 crimes, including genocide in Srebrenica,...

Chinese Ship Sinks off Japan, 9 Missing

5 hours 16 min ago
The Japanese coast guard is searching for nine people thought to be missing after a Chinese ship sank off western Japan. The coast guard says the Chinese-registered ship Lurongyu 2859 sank Tuesday off the coast of Shimane prefecture in the Sea of Japan. The agency said China requested Japan's assistance with the rescue, adding at least five crew members have already been saved. The Chinese vessel is believed to either be a cargo or fishing ship. The nationalities of the crew...

Death Toll from Japan Volcano Rises to 48

5 hours 34 min ago
The death toll from Saturday's massive volcanic eruption in central Japan has risen to 48 after rescuers found 12 more bodies on Wednesday. Authorities in Nagano prefecture say the bodies were found near the ash-covered summit of Mount Ontake, which was packed with hikers at the time of the eruption. Hundreds of police and soldiers aided by helicopters continue searching the mountain. Authorities believe an unknown number of people are still missing. Hundreds of people were...

Australian Intelligence Agencies Get More Powers with New Laws

5 hours 42 min ago
Australia's parliament has passed legislation giving intelligence agencies broader powers to fight extremists, such as those associated with the Islamic State group. The National Security Legislation Amendment Bill passed Wednesday has been slammed by some rights groups and opposition members, who say it erodes freedoms of the press. Under the legislation, those who expose information related to special intelligence operations can be jailed for 10 years - a measure that could see...

France Defies EU Partners with ‘No Austerity’ Budget

6 hours 36 min ago
France laid down the gauntlet to EU partners on Wednesday with a 2015 budget setting out how it would bring its borrowing back to within EU limits two years later than promised, a retreat it blamed on a fragile economy. “We have taken the decision to adapt the pace of deficit reduction to the economic situation of the country,” Finance Minister Michel Sapin told a news conference. “Our economic policy is not changing, but the deficit will be reduced more slowly than planned due to...

Hong Kong Marks National Day as Protesters Defy Orders to Disperse

7 hours 53 sec ago
Hong Kong officials on Wednesday held ceremonies marking the 65th anniversary of the founding of communist China as city leaders remain locked in a standoff with protesters demanding greater democratic reforms. As the city bristled with tension, an early morning flag-raising ceremony in Bauhinia Square drew marching bands and hundreds of dignitaries to commemorate China's National Day. Nearby, tens of thousands of pro-democracy demonstrators angered by pro-Beijing government...

Kurdish Fighters Reclaim Border Crossing from Islamic State

8 hours 39 min ago
Kurdish fighters battling Islamic State militants have retaken a key border crossing between northern Iraq and Syria. The Peshmerga forces took control of Rabia after heavy fighting Tuesday, reclaiming one of the areas the militants seized as they swept into large parts of Iraq this year.  The Iraqi Kurds were aided by Kurdish fighters from the Syrian side of the border. In northern Syria, along the Turkish border, Islamic State fighters pressed an assault on Kobani, also known as...

Taliban Bombs Hit Afghan Army Vehicles, Kill 7

9 hours 44 min ago
Taliban suicide bombers targeted soldiers in the Afghan capital, Kabul, killing at least seven people and leaving more than 15 injured. “An Afghan army bus and another car carrying Afghan army personnel were targeted by two suicide bombings,” deputy interior minister General Ayoub Salanghi said in a statement. Kabul police say the first attack, early Wednesday morning, targeted a bus carrying Afghan National Army personnel. Shortly after, a second bomber detonated an explosive device...

India's PM Continues First US Visit

10 hours 18 min ago
India's prime minister is on his first visit to Washington, to strengthen political and economic ties between the world's oldest and the world biggest democracies. He came to the U.S. capital from New York, the first stop on his five-day visit to the country that denied him an entry visa in the past. From Washington, Zlatica Hoke reports Modi seemed most focused on attracting foreign investment and trade to increase job opportunities for his people.

Guinea-Bissau's President Pardons 2012 Coup Attempt Soldiers

10 hours 30 min ago
Guinea-Bissau President Jose Mario Vaz has pardoned a group of soldiers convicted for a 2012 coup attempt. They include coup leader Pansau Ntchama, who led the soldiers in the attack on an army barracks in an attempt to seize power before a run-off presidential election could be held. President Vaz said Tuesday he wanted to offer "an encouraging gesture of forgiveness" as he tries to reconcile all factions in the troubled West African nation. Guinea-Bissau has gone...

India-Pakistan Dialogue: Is It Possible?

Tue, 2014-09-30 23:50
Both the Indian and Pakistani prime ministers insisted in their recent U.N. speeches that they want engagement with the other, but the actual possibility of meaningful dialogue between the two countries in the near future appears slim. After Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi invited his Pakistani counterpart to his inauguration, and Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif accepted, despite pressure from the country’s security establishment, the two sides seemed to be off to a good...

NASA to Drop Former Marine Helicopter to Test New Airframe Design

Tue, 2014-09-30 23:47
NASA engineers will purposely crash a retired U.S. Marine helicopter, retrofitted with various composite subfloors, to see how well an airframe of that material would protect anyone inside the cabin. According to the space exploration agency there is growing interest in carbon airframes, but not a lot of safety testing has been done on a full-scale level to determine its crashworthiness. Wednesday’s experiment at NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia will swing a...

Euphoria and Fear in Hong Kong as National Day Dawns

Tue, 2014-09-30 23:34
Hundreds of thousands of protesters continue to occupy Hong Kong's central business district. The atmosphere was festive as night fell on the eve of the October 1 national holiday, marking the 65th anniversary of the establishment of the People’s Republic of China, but it is freedom and democracy that these Chinese citizens wish to celebrate, not communist-imposed rule. To the accompaniment of protest songs and rousing speeches calling for the resignation of Hong Kong chief executive...

At Age 90, Former President Jimmy Carter is Still Going Strong

Tue, 2014-09-30 23:28
Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter celebrates his 90th birthday October 1. While not the oldest living president, Carter has set the record for the longest post-presidency of any former occupant of the White House, surpassing Herbert Hoover for the honor in 2012. And he shows no signs of slowing down.

Afghan BSA Signed to Promote Country's Stability

Tue, 2014-09-30 23:22
Afghanistan has signed long-delayed security pacts with the United States and NATO to authorize a small international military force in the country after the end of the year. VOA’s Carla Babb has the story.

Interviewing President Carter

Tue, 2014-09-30 22:46
If there is one thing I’ve learned over the last decade while interviewing former President Jimmy Carter, it is to be on time, and be ready.  The former Navy officer still lives by a military clock even at the age of 90, and is absolutely punctual.  Through all of our interviews, he has never been late.  Not once. Being early is a different story. “President Carter is ready for you now, if you could start early,” his staff member asks as myself and cameraman and...

At Age 90, Former President Jimmy Carter is Still Going Strong

Tue, 2014-09-30 22:37
Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter celebrates his 90th birthday October 1. While not the oldest living president, Carter has set the record for the longest post-presidency of any former occupant of the White House, surpassing Herbert Hoover for the honor in 2012.  And he shows no signs of slowing down. His Vice President, Walter Mondale, believes Jimmy Carter stands apart among former presidents. “He’s got this part of him, this focus, this commitment… he gets on to something he...

Indonesian President Returns Home to Widespread Criticism

Tue, 2014-09-30 21:42
Outgoing Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has returned home early from an official trip overseas after sparking protests and anger over his handling of a bill that will end direct elections for local and regional officials. After returning from Japan Tuesday, the president held an emergency meeting with his Cabinet and reaffirmed his government's support for direct elections. "The government’s position on the [elections of governors, regency heads and mayors] is...

Secret Service Under Fire After White House Breach

Tue, 2014-09-30 21:20
U.S. lawmakers grilled the head of the Secret Service Tuesday, one day after it was revealed the man who breached White House security nearly two weeks ago not only made it past the front door, but deep inside the executive mansion. VOA’s Aru Pande has more from the White House.

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