2016-10-31 11:45




October 28, 2016

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

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is calling for an investigation into an airstrike on a school in Syria Wednesday that killed nearly 40 people, most of them children.

Jan Egeland is an adviser to the United Nations special envoy for Syria: "So, the war is getting worse, it's getting more ruthless and it's affecting more and more the children and the civilians.

Observers say warplanes carried out six strikes Wednesday on a village in rebel-held Idlib. They are blaming either the Syrian or the Russian governments for the attacks.

But the Russian military says claims about the airstrike are a sham and that its planes did not fly over the area.

As government aligned forces moved to retake the Iraqi city of Mosul from the Islamic State group, witnesses are reporting abuse of civilians. There are reports that Islamic State fighters are taking civilians from outlying villages and using them as human shields.

China's Communist Party has elevated President Xi Jinping's status to "core" leader, putting him on a par with former Chinese leaders Mao Zedong and Deng Xioaping.

A lengthy comminqué released following a four-day Communist Party meeting in Beijing called on all members to unite around the party leadership with (quoting now) "Comrade Xi Jinping as the core."

Final demolition work began at the "jungle" refugee shelter in Calais, France, Thursday.

Workers used large construction equipment and machines to rip down the make-shift shelters, some of which had been badly burned by refugees setting fires Wednesday before they were forced to leave.

This is VOA news.

Here is the latest on the U.S. presidential campaign.

First lady Michelle Obama campaigned Thursday with Democrat Hillary Clinton. The two held a rally at Wake Forest University in North Carolina, one of the key electoral states.

"Well, actually, Donald, you're the one who's got a lot to learn about the military and everything else that makes America great. Starting by learning about the dignity and sacrifice of our men and women in uniform and their families, and he should learn from Michelle Obama how a leader supports them, not disrespect them."

Latest opinion poll average compiled by RealClearPolitics shows Clinton with a 5.8 percent lead over Republican Trump nationwide.

Campaigning Thursday, Donald Trump criticized President Obama's health care plan.

"Obamacare is really, and you know this, a catastrophic, it's a catastrophic event for Ohio workers and it's making it impossible for many parents to pay their bills, support their families or get quality medical care to their children." :Donald Trump.

Police say a man who admitted to defacing Donald Trump's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame was arrested on Thursday.

Federal prosecutors have charged 61 defendants in connection with a scam in which suspects posing as federal tax and immigration officials allegedly bilked 15,000 people out of more than $300 million.

Officials with the U.S. Justice Department said the defendants were involved with an Indian-based call center that managed five operations located primarily in the U.S. and India.

Here is Assistant Attorney General Leslie Caldwell: "Federal and state law enforcement officials today have arrested 20 individuals. Two other individuals are also in custody. And we executed nine search warrants across eight states in a coordinated takedown of this organization."

Caldwell said the operation manipulated mostly senior citizens and minorities and laundered the money with the help of prepaid debit cards.

India has expelled a staffer from the Pakistani High Commission in New Delhi, accusing him of running a spy operation.

The Indian government alleges Mehmod Akhtar obtained sensitive information about Indian security operation.

Akhtar was detained outside the gates of Delhi Zoo, where he allegedly received sensitive documents from two Indian associates.

The Pakistani government rejected the allegation, saying the man had been detained on false and unsubstantiated charges.

Late Thursday, Pakistan expelled an Indian diplomat.

Taking a brief look at markets, on Wall Street, U.S. stock indexes were down at the close of trade Thursday.

In Washington, I'm David DeForest.

That's the latest world news from VOA.

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