May 16, 2017
From Washington, this is VOA news.
The worldwide ransomware cyberattacks appeared to ease Monday although thousands more computers, mostly in Asia, were hit as people signed in at work for the first time since the infections spread to 150 countries three days ago.
Health officials in Britain, where surgeries and doctors' appointments in its national health care system had been severely impacted Friday, were still having problems Monday. But Health Minister Jeremy Hunt said it was "encouraging" that a second wave of attacks had not materialized.
He said "the level of criminal activity is at the lower end of the range that we had anticipated."
The United States accused Syria on Monday of carrying out mass killings of prisoners on a daily basis and then burning their bodies in a large crematorium outside the capital, Damascus.
The U.S. State Department said as many as 50 prisoners a day are being hanged at the Saydnaya prison. It alleged that the regime of President Bashar al-Assad then is using the crematorium to hide evidence of the extent of the mass killings.
The top U.S. diplomat for the Middle East, Stuart Jones, said the Damascus regime "has sunk to a new level of depravity" with the continuing military assistance of Russia and Iran, two countries that have supported the Assad government's six-year fight against [rebel] various rebel groups attempting to overthrow it. About 400,000 people have been killed in the fighting.
Jones said the U.S. has "an ongoing conversation with the Russians, talking about the problem that their failure to condemn Syrian atrocities and their apparent tolerance of Syrian atrocities has created.
This is VOA news.
A Syrian war monitor says airstrikes early Monday killed 23 people near the country's border with Iraq.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the strikes in Al-Bukamal were likely carried out by the U.S.-led coalition that has been targeting Islamic State with bombs since late 2014.
There was no immediate comment on the airstrikes from the coalition, which has said its actions were likely responsible for killing more than 350 civilians since the air campaign began. Rights groups say the figure is much higher.
North Korea's latest missile launch suggests a major step forward in Kim Jong Un's quest to develop a nuclear-tipped intercontinental ballistic missile that could strike the U.S. mainland, analysts say.
Pyongyang claimed on Monday that the missile it fired over the weekend was a "new ground-to-ground medium long-range strategic ballistic rocket" [carrying] capable of carrying "a large, heavy nuclear warhead."
The missile was launched at a high trajectory on Sunday.
White House officials on Monday continued to deflect criticism of President Donald Trump's firing of FBI Director James Comey and insisted the search to name his successor is moving quickly.
Six days after Trump fired Comey, the firestorm over the decision rages on in Washington, with Democrats ramping up their calls for a special prosecutor to look into possible Russia-Trump ties.
Although the extent of the political fallout remains unclear, the decision to fire Comey has become a distraction from the president's legislative agenda, which already was facing major roadblocks.
Before being fired, Comey was overseeing an investigation into alleged Russian hacking of the 2016 presidential election, as well as into possible collusion between Moscow and the Trump campaign.
A cholera outbreak in Yemen has killed at least 180 people since April 27, the International Committee of the Red Cross said Monday.
Two Ivory Coast cities were in a state of shutdown Monday as disgruntled soldiers continued firing in the air to demand the government pay them promised bonuses.
Israeli officials are reported to be shocked and "astonished" after a U.S. official allegedly told them the Western Wall - Judaism's holiest site - is in the West Bank and "not your territory."
The exchange reported by Israel's Channel 2 television is threatening to create a fierce diplomatic storm as Israel gets ready for a visit by President Donald Trump later this week.
According to Channel 2, Netanyahu's team asked the U.S. official if the prime minister could join Trump praying at the Western Wall.
The American reportedly shot back "no" because this is "not your territory."
That's the latest world news from VOA.
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