2016-10-17 15:02




October 16, 2016

From Washington, this is VOA news. I'm Michael Brown reporting.

Syrian opposition forces backed by Turkish airstrikes and armor launched an offensive Saturday in northern Syria to wrestle control of a key border town from Islamic State extremists.

Monitors from the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the force seized the several strategic areas near Dabiq on Saturday.

In other developments, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, had another round of talks aimed at easing the crisis in the war-shattered northern Syrian city of Aleppo, but it isn't clear if any progress was made.

Prominent international charities called Saturday for a 72-hour cease-fire in northern Syria. The target of the government and Russian-backed airstrikes to allow the sick and wounded to be evacuated and for food and medical aid to enter the besieged area.

Rwanda's minister for natural resources is declaring the adoption of a historic agreement to reduce greenhouse gases used in refrigerators and air-conditioners a - major step in the fight against climate change.

The agreement was announced today at a climate meeting in Rwanda.

This the United States Environmental Protection Agency administrator Gina McCarthy: "And if you look at, we are going to achieve somewhere in the order of 80 and 90 percent of the emission reductions from these chemicals. It is staggering what this will achieve. We're talking about an amount that's, that's comparable to thousands of coal-fired power plant emissions."

The U.S. and most of Europe have committed to reducing their use of the gases incrementally, starting with a 10 percent cut by 2019 and reducing 85 percent by 2036.

This is VOA news.

The U.S. military said Saturday that a failed missile launch was detected in northwestern North Korea.

The Pentagon says the presumed to be an intermediate-range ballistic missile was attempted at 12:03 local time.

A Pentagon spokesman told Reuters that the U.S. condemn(s) North Korea's missile tests and intends to raise their concern at the U.N. to bolster international resolve in holding the DPRK accountable for these actions.

U.S. Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has accused the media of influencing the upcoming November 8 presidential election in favor of Democratic rival Hillary Clinton as he continues to deny multiple allegations of sexual misconduct.

"The election is being rigged by corrupt media pushing completely false allegations and outright lies in an effort to elect her president."

Trump has said repeatedly that Clinton should be jailed for her use of a private email server while she was secretary of state. After an investigation, though, the FBI director announced in July that charges against Clinton were not appropriate.

In this homestretch of the presidential race, Clinton has extended her lead over Trump in national polls.

The two will have their final and third debate on Wednesday.

Investigators with the Saudi-led coalition fighting Yemeni rebels said Saturday that incorrect information led to the bombing of a crowded funeral in the Yemeni capital last weekend, killing about 140 people and wounding at least 525 others.

The Joint Incidents Assessment Team, JIAT, said "a party affiliated to the Yemeni Presidency of the General Chief of Staff" provided the wrong information.

JIAT said one of the coalition's warplanes bombed the wrong target, resulting in one of the most deadly strikes in the coalition's nearly 19-month bombing campaign in support of the Yemeni government.

The strike prompted strong international criticism, even from Saudi Arabia's closest Western allies.

And, police in northern India say a stampede early Saturday outside a Hindu temple killed at least 19 people.

The stampede occurred when a larger than expected crowd of devotees of an Indian guru gathered in Uttar Pradesh state.

Police started turning back people from an overcrowded bridge, triggering a rumor among the devotees that the bridge had collapsed and causing throngs of people to run for safety.

And, gunmen kidnapped an American aid worker in Niger on Friday after storming his home and killing two of the worker's guards.

There has been no claim of responsibility for the abduction.

No U.S. citizen had been kidnapped before in Niger where such a seizure of foreigners is rare.

The details and much more news will invite you to join us at voanews.com. I'm Michael Brown reporting in Washington.

That's the latest world news from VOA.

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