2017-4-23 11:15




April 23, 2017

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

Thousands of scientists and their supporters worldwide attend the March for Science.

Here in Washington, the event featured speakers and several large teach-in tents on the National Mall. That's where scientists, educators and leaders from a variety of disciplines discussed their work.

Scientist Bill Nye told the crowd that many modern services we take for granted came from dedicated scientific research.

"Each is a product of scientific discoveries, diligent research and thoughtful engineering. These vital services are connected to policy issues, which can only be addressed competently by understanding the natural laws at play."

In Berlin, organizers said about 10,000 people marched toward the Brandenburg Gate holding a placards that read "Facts not feelings" and "We love experts - those with evidence."

In London, demonstrators marched from the Science Museum to Parliament Square in Westminster holding placards supporting science.

Organizers of the international event, which coincides with Earth Day, say it is the first step in a global movement to acknowledge and defend the vital role that science plays in everyday life.

The death toll has risen to 140 in a Taliban attack on an Afghan army base in northern Afghanistan.

Militants disguised as Afghan soldiers attacked the mosque and dining hall at the base at Mazar-i-Sharif on Friday.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani visited some of the more than 100 wounded in a hospital Saturday.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack - the deadliest [Afghan army] against Afghan army troops since 2001.

This is VOA news.

The United States and Australia have urged China to take a greater role in pressuring North Korea to drop its nuclear weapons program.

Speaking at joint news conference after meeting with Australia's Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull in Sydney Saturday, Vice President Mike Pence said that all options remain on the table but the United States is quietly confident in China's role.

"Nuclear weapons in the hands of the regime in Pyongyang, with a ballistic missile program and with the potential for intercontinental ballistic missiles, represents a threat to the stability and security of this region and potentially a threat to the continental United States. And continuing on the path the world has been on with North Korea over the last 25 years is just unacceptable."

Prime Minister Turnbull said that China can use its economic leverage to force Pyongyang into complying.

"It is self-evident that China has the opportunity, and we say the responsibility, to bring pressure to bear on North Korea to stop this reckless and dangerous trajectory upon which they have embarked."

Pence also confirmed the Trump administration would honor a controversial refugee deal with Australia, under which the United States would resettle more than 1,200 asylum seekers - a deal that President Donald Trump has described as "dumb."

French expatriates in the United States are voting for the country's presidential election.

Eleven contenders are vying for the Élysées Palace this year. The top two vote getters will qualify for a runoff scheduled for May 7.

The polls in France open Sunday morning.

Thousands of Venezuelans dressed in white [and] marched in silent protest to pay homage to at least 20 people killed in unrest generated after the nation's Supreme Court stripped Congress of its last powers, a decision it later reversed.

Walking with black bands tied around their arms and carrying signs denouncing President Nicholás Maduro, protesters in Caracas headed to the Venezuelan Episcopal Conference and prayed for those killed.

The protest is the latest mass gathering in a wave of tumult that has rocked the nation over the last three weeks as demonstrators press for new elections.

For more on these stories, visit our website voanews.com. I'm David Byrd in Washington.

That's the latest world news from VOA.





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