2017-2-4 10:36




January 28, 2017

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

U.S. President Donald Trump has signed a new executive order implementing "new vetting measures" that are said to be aimed at keeping so-called "radical Islamic terrorists" out of the United States. Mr. Trump also signed an order he said would begin to rebuild the U.S. military.

Trump signed the orders at the Pentagon, where he participated in a swearing-in ceremony for Defense Secretary James Mattis.

Speaking to reporters earlier Friday, Trump suggested his disagreement with Mattis for enhanced interrogation of American enemies is not an issue.

"I don't necessarily agree, but I would tell you that he will override because I'm giving him that power. He is an expert. He is highly respected. He is the generals' general, got through the Senate very, very quickly, which in this country is not easy, I will tell you. And so I am going to rely on him. I happen to feel that it does work. I've been open about that for a long period of time, but I am going with our leaders. And we are going to, we're gonna win with or without. But I do disagree."

The military is likely to ask Trump for broader authorities to give commanders room to maneuver in the fight.

Trump held talks with British Prime Minister Theresa May at the White House Friday where May said they laid the groundwork for a Britain-U.S. trade agreement.

"The president and I have mentioned future economic cooperation and trade. Trade between our two countries is already worth over 150 billion pounds a year."

President Trump said great days lie ahead for the British and American people.

And from here in Washington, this is VOA news.

The United Nations said Friday there was "no confirmation" of a postponement of the Syria talks scheduled for February. The U.N. statement came after Russia's foreign minister told Syrian rebels earlier in the day the U.N.-hosted peace talks would be postponed.

Earlier this week, Turkey and Russia, along with Iran, brought delegates from the Syrian government and rebel groups to Kazakhstan for a round of peace talks that ended with the three nations agreeing to help monitor a partial cease-fire and work toward a political resolution to the Syrian conflict.

A U.S. research institute that monitors North Korean weapons development says the Communist country has likely resumed operations at its plutonium reactor at its Yongbyon nuclear facility.

The website 38North.organization posted commercial satellite images Friday that it said indicate Pyongyang is preparing to restart the reactor after previously recovering spent fuel rods, which can be used to produce weapons-grade plutonium.

North Korea is believed to be able to reprocess plutonium used in its nuclear warheads.

Friday is recognized as Holocaust Remembrance Day, a day when the world is to pause and reflect upon the atrocities by the Third Reich of Nazi Germany and the efforts made to eliminate occupied countries of World War II [all Jews] of all Jews, that is. Lisa Schlein has more on the story from the United Nations.

Six million Jews were exterminated in the Nazi Holocaust during World War II.

While honoring the memory of the victims, the United Nations warned the monstrous act of genocide could happen again.

U.N. officials are urging nations to be vigilant and to take preventive action against ??? rising anti-Semitism, extremism, xenophobia, racism and anti-Muslim hatred.

Rupert Colville, a spokesperson for the High Commissioner for Human Rights: "The kind of social restraints, the cultural restraints, appear to be slipping quite fast, certainly in Europe and possibly the U.S. as well, but also in other parts of the world. You shouldn't forget that you know you have ethnic-based attacks and religious-based attacks in quite a few countries that are actually leading to deaths and destruction, and so on."

Lisa Schlein, for VOA news, Geneva.

The U.N. envoy to Somalia is warning against corruption as the country's electoral body begins to register candidates for the February 8 presidential election.

Speaking exclusively to VOA from New York, Ambassador Michael Keating said it's very important to have a free and fair election.

More than 15 candidates, including the current president, are vying for the position of the president of Somalia.

From here in Washington, I'm Michael Brown reporting.

That's the latest world news from VOA.

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