From Washington, this is VOA news. I'm Dave DeForest reporting.
The United States and Russia agree on a cessation of hostilities in Syria: The move could pave the way for an expansion of humanitarian aid to besieged cities and set the stage for a resumption of talks on a political transition. In a joint statement, on Monday, the U.S. and Russia proposed that the ceasefire begin on February 27.
Police in Uganda arrested opposition leader Kizza Besigye on Monday. Besigye lost an election Thursday to incumbent President Yoweri Museveni. The opposition leader charges the election was fraudulent. Besigye had planned to go to the headquarters of the electoral commission to collect evidence ahead of a possible legal challenge. Authorities also raided his party's headquarters and seized data that party officials used for their own tally of the votes.
British Prime Minister David Cameron says the results of a referendum on Britain's exit from the European Union will be final. Speaking to parliament, Mr. Cameron dismissed calls for a second referendum. He said the Western world needs to remain united...
“The challenges facing the West today are genuinely threatening: Putin’s aggression in the East, Islamist extremism to the South. In my view, this is no time to divide the West.”
Apple chief executive Tim Cook told the firm's customers Monday that a recent demand by the U.S. government is "chilling." The government wants the technology company to build a "backdoor" into an encrypted Apple phone used by one of the terrorists who launched an attack last year in California. In an open letter to Apple customers, Cook said if Apple complies with the request, it would open the door to countless future searches of Apple customers' phones. This is VOA news.
Republican presidential candidates are campaigning in Nevada, with businessman Donald Trump hoping to win his third straight nominating contest in Tuesday's party caucuses. Recent political surveys show Trump with a significant lead in Nevada. The next Democratic presidential nominating contest is in South Carolina on Saturday. It is a party primary election that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is heavily favored to win.
The legislative fight over a U.S. Supreme Court vacancy begins Monday. Michael Bowman reports.
For weeks or possibly the remainder of the year, the Senate will be ground zero for a ferocious battle to replace Justice Antonin Scalia, who died nine days ago. With the ideological tit of the Supreme Court at stake, Republicans want the vacancy filled by the next president, not Barack Obama. They have the power to withhold confirmation of any Obama nominee and run out the clock on the administration. Senate Democrats are crying foul, and have the power to block almost all legislation indefinitely in protest, effectively grinding Congress to a halt. Michael Bowman, the Capitol."
The suspect in a shooting spree in the U.S. state of Michigan was charged Monday with six counts of murder. Investigators are searching for a motive for the shootings. Kalamazoo County prosecutor Jeff Getting filed the murder charges against Jason Dalton--a 45-year-old Uber driver who had no previous criminal record.
A study to determine whether the Zika virus is causing babies to be born with a serious birth defect has begun in Brazil. A 16-member team from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are doing the study. Dr. Erin Staples is an epidemiologist with the CDC:
" ...we'll also be taking blood samples from the mom and the baby to look for the presence of Zika virus infection and then we will be comparing between again the mom who didn't have microcephaly, the moms that do have a child born with microcephaly..."
The World Health Organization has declared the Zika outbreak an international health emergency.
United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is in Burundi for a visit aimed at calming a political crisis that has embroiled the country for almost a year. Mr. Ban arrived in the capital Bujumbura, Monday, ahead of scheduled meeting with the country's politicians and civil society groups. His visit comes a month after a U.N. Security Council delegation travelled to the country to press for negotiations between President Pierre Nkurunziza and his opponents. Ahead of the visit, four people were killed in two grenade attacks in the capital. Burundi has been mired in a sometimes violent political crisis since April of last year, when Mr. Nkurunziza sought and won what is widely seen as an unconstitutional third term. In Washington, I’m Dave DeForest. That’s the latest world news from VOA.