2016-5-18 16:44



From Washington, this is VOA news. I'm Dave DeForest reporting.

EU officials move to make the migrant return process more humane: European Union officials are pledging that there will be "no automatic return" for the migrants before they are given a chance to apply for asylum. The announcement follows angry protests by international human rights activists who have accused the EU of denying migrants the basic rights of refugees to seek asylum. Jean-Pierre Schembri is a spokesman for the European Asylum Support Office...

"...so every individual, every case is different OK? Because everyone has specific things which needs to be looked into - so that's what I want to highlight, that this won't be a blank decision to send everyone back."

Meanwhile, Turkey is to receive a second group of migrants deported from Greece.

NATO is preparing to step up its response to threats from the Islamic State group and from Russia. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg says the alliance is neither seeking confrontation with Russia nor a cold war.

Dutch voters went to the polls to vote on whether to back a European Union free trade agreement with Ukraine. The referendum is nonbinding, but it will be an important measure of EU support. It comes just three months before British voters cast ballots on whether to remain in the European Union.

A Panamanian law firm says the millions of documents leaked from its offices this week about offshore bank accounts were stolen by hackers, not divulged by an insider. Ramon Fonseca, one of the founders of Mossack Fonseca, says he has ruled out an inside job. He said the hacking was carried out from overseas, but did not say what country. The disclosures about the creation of the offshore accounts have forced several world leaders to defend their investments. This is VOA news.

Texas Senator Ted Cruz's resounding win over Republican front-runner Donald Trump in the Wisconsin primary election Tuesday makes it more likely that none of the three candidates will have enough votes to win the party's nomination. Speaking Wednesday in New York, Cruz said the campaign changed in Wisconsin.

"...and I am so encouraged after what was a terrific victory yesterday in Wisconsin. It was a turning point, I believe, in this entire election."

There were 16 state Republican nominating contests to go, extending into early June. Trump would have to win more than 60 percent of the remaining delegates in order to claim the nomination at the national convention next July. Republicans have not had a contested convention since 1976. In the Democratic race, former secretary of state Hillary Clinton is facing growing competition from her sole challenger, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. Sanders has defeated her in six of the last seven state nominating contests, including Tuesday's primary in Wisconsin.

Regional security issues will be a focal point of discussions for Secretary of State John Kerry as he visits Bahrain. Bahrain is on the first leg of a weeklong overseas trip that includes a stop in Japan. The primary focus of Kerry's visit to Manama is a meeting with his Gulf Cooperation Council counterparts. He will also make preparations for President Barack Obama's attendance at an April 21 GCC summit in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Later in the week, Kerry travels to Hiroshima, Japan, where he will attend a G-7 ministerial meeting and visit a World War II memorial.

The World Health Organization reports 422 million adults are living with diabetes, a four-fold increase over 1980 figures. Lisa Schlein reports.

"The release of this report in advance of World Health Day is meant as a call to global action to halt the rise of type 2 diabetes, which is killing one and one half million people a year. The World Health Organization estimates 43 percent of these deaths occur prematurely, before the age of 70. The WHO says the highest rates are in the Middle East, Southeast Asia and the western Pacific. The WHO report says the dramatic rise of this deadly disease is largely due to the increasing number of overweight and obese people. Lisa Schlein, Geneva."

Senior White House officials say the Obama administration will redirect nearly $600 million in funds--the majority from existing Ebola resources--to fight the spread of the Zika virus. The Office of Management and Budget said those funds are not enough to support a comprehensive anti-Zika program and can only temporarily address what is needed until Congress acts on an emergency supplemental request.

In Washington, I’m Dave DeForest. That’s the latest world news from VOA.
















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