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From Washington, this is VOA news. I'm Dave DeForest reporting.
The senior U.S. military commander in Afghanistan told Congress Thursday that training for Afghan forces will be severely constrained if the number of American troops there is cut to 55-hundred, as President Barack Obama is promising. Army General John Campbell told the Senate Armed Services Committee that the cut would mean that "very little" additional training of Afghan soldiers would be possible.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has pledged nearly a billion dollars in new U.S. aid for Syrian refugees. He made the pledge at an international donor’s conference. Kerry called for the Syrian government and Russia to halt attacks on rebel-held areas in order to let humanitarian aid through. The conference opened Thursday in London with donor nations exceeding their goal of $9 billion. U-N Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon was pleased.
Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton face off Thursday in a Democratic presidential debate in New Hampshire. According to RealClearPolitics, Sanders has nearly a 16 point lead over Clinton in the northeastern state, just days ahead of its primary election.
A high-profile court case involving events that led to the Gaza war in 2014 has concluded in Israel. Robert Berger reports.
A new survey revealed a sharp difference between Democrats and Republicans on how the next president of the United States should discuss Islamic extremism. The Pew Research Center study found 65 percent of Republicans, or those who lean Republican, want President Barack Obama's successor to speak bluntly about Islamic extremism. Seventy percent of Democrats, or those who lean Democratic, think the next president should speak more carefully.
Swedish prosecutors say that a United Nations panel has found that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been 'arbitrarily detained' in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London. They add that his confinement has no impact on the rape case against him in Sweden. Assange has been living at the Ecuadorian embassy in London to avoid extradition to Sweden, where he is wanted for questioning on allegations of rape, a charge he denies.
Allegations that Rwanda has been recruiting and training Burundian rebels on its territory resurfaced Thursday in a confidential U.N. report. The Burundian rebels hope to oust Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza. A group of experts monitoring U.N. sanctions implementation in the Democratic Republic of Congo said it had interviewed 18 Burundian fighters. In Washington, I’m Dave DeForest. That’s the latest world news from VOA.