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From Washington, this is VOA news. I'm Dave DeForest reporting.
Iraqi troops closed in on Islamic State fighters in Ramadi: The troops are trying to retake the city which they lost seven months ago to the Islamic State group. U.S. Army Colonel Steve Warren is a spokesman for Operation Inherent Resolve.
"There's still a long way to go before we can declare Ramadi is completely clear. There is a lot of dense terrain here that has to be negotiated."
In the second day of a major offense, forces led by an elite counterterrorism unit pushed toward the government complex in Ramadi, capital of Iraq's Anbar province.
A Russian court has issued an international arrest warrant for Mikhail Khodorkovsky, former Yukos Oil chief and critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Russian police accuse Khodorkovsky, who is now based in London, of ordering killing the mayor of a town in Siberia for financial gain. Khodorkovsky denies the charges.
Amnesty International Wednesday said Russian bombings in Syria have killed at least 200 civilians in Homs, Idlib and Aleppo provinces. The rights group said the Russian airstrikes have hit houses and hospitals in areas where no fighters or military targets are nearby. A Russian defense ministry spokesman denied the Amnesty allegations.
Villagers in northeastern Nigeria say Cameroonian troops searching for Boko Haram militants Sunday killed about 70 civilians. Africa Director of Human Rights Watch Daniel Bekele doesn't accept an official version of events.
"If you really look deeper into the version of events as laid out by the military, it does not really stack up."
Witnesses say many villages ran to escape the gunfire, then returned the following day, finding 70 bodies of people who had been shot.
A British lawmaker has written to Prime Minister David Cameron, asking him to press U.S. officials for an explanation after a British Muslim family was denied permission to travel to southern California. Stella Creasy, who represents northeast London, says she is concerned that a growing number of British Muslim families are being denied entry to the United States with no reason given. A spokesman for the U.S. Customs and Border Protection says religion is not a determining factor about admissibility into the county.
An Obama administration report reveals the United States deported fewer immigrants in 2015 than in the past 15 years. The Department of Homeland Security Tuesday released its end of Fiscal Year 2015 statistics. It says the drop in deportations is largely due to the decline in arrests at the U.S. border.
Israeli police shot and killed two Palestinians who stabbed Israeli pedestrians outside Jerusalem's Old City. Police say three Israelis were seriously injured in the incident Wednesday. One later died from his wounds. Another died from a wound apparently from police gunfire aimed at subduing the attackers. Micky Rosenfeld is an Israeli Police spokesman.
"An investigation is continuing as to how they arrived inside the area. And heightened security is continuing in Jerusalem in order to prevent any further terrorist attacks from taking place."
The attack occurred outside Jaffa Gate, a popular spot for tourists visiting Jerusalem's Old City.
Protests in Ethiopia's Oromiya region have entered their second month. The Oromo people are opposing a plan to expand the capital. Marthe van der Wolf reports.
"Schools are closed, businesses just re-opened after being closed for almost a week, and there is tension in the small town of Ginchi, about 80 kilometers west of Ethiopia's capital, Addis Ababa. Police are on the main road, and interviews have to be conducted on the basis of anonymity and on the outskirts of the town. The most recent protest in Ginchi was last weekend, after a funeral. Citizens say security forces killed three people before the protest took place. Marthe van der Wolf, Addis Abbaba."
The Afghan government has sent reinforcements to the besieged southern district of Helmand province, after Taliban militants captured large parts of the area. Fighting continues as army and police arrive to help security forces.
Burundi has rejected a 5,000 member peacekeeping mission the African Union said last week it would send to the country. There are fears that Burundi is sliding into a civil war.
A young migrant worker has been rescued alive from the rubble of a weekend landslide that wiped out an industrial park in southern China. Authorities say 19-year-old Tian Zeming was rescued early Wednesday morning at the Heng-tai-yu Industrial Park in Shenzhen, Guangdong province.
From the VOA news center in Washington, I’m Dave DeForest. That’s the latest world news from VOA.