2017-8-15 10:53




August 15, 2017

From Washington, this is VOA news. I'm Jonathan Smith reporting.

President Trump has belatedly denounced the white supremacists who staged last weekend's deadly rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

He spoke from the White House on Monday. "Racism is evil. And those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs, including the KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists and other hate groups that are repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans."

The president vowed that anyone who committed "racist violence" in Charlottesville would be held accountable. "Justice will be delivered," he said.

He said the hatred and bigotry on display "has no place in America and as I have said many times before, no matter the color of our skin we all live under the same laws. We all salute the same great flag. And we are all made by the same, almighty God."

His comments followed two days of intense criticism from across the U.S. political spectrum for his failure to explicitly condemn the white nationalists and other groups who organized Saturday's rally.

Many critics praised the president Monday for finally directly criticizing the groups, but also lamented that it took him days to call them out by name.

The top American general, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Joe Dunford, says the United States and South Korea are dealing with "technical issues" in preparation for the deployment of a missile defense system on the Korean peninsula.

Dunford met with South Korean President Moon Jai-In on Monday.

You're listening to news from the Voice of America in Washington.

President Trump ordered his trade office Monday to investigate whether China is stealing American intellectual property. China has warned that both countries would end up losers in a trade war if that is the result of the investigation.

Trump took a break from his working vacation to sign an executive order directing the trade representative to investigate the alleged Chinese theft of American technology and intellectual property.

Trump said, "We will defend our workers and protect our innovations." He called the investigation "one big move. This is just the beginning."

Officials in Sierra Leone's capital, Freetown, say at least 200 people are dead after a mudslide and heavy flooding.

The catastrophe in the early hours of Monday followed heavy rains. Witnesses said a hillside collapsed and roads became "churning rivers of mud."

Zambia's top opposition leader pleaded not guilty to treason charges in court Monday, disappointing those who had hoped the prosecution would drop the charges to make way for talks between the opposition and the president.

Hakainde Hichilema's lawyer was tight-lipped about the case he plans to present when the opposition leader appears in court later this week on treason charges.

Keith Wemba spoke to VOA from Lusaka, the capital: "They have pleaded not guilty to the charge. And the matter has been adjourned for trial Wednesday."

Hichilema was arrested after an April incident in which his convoy refused to yield to the president's motorcade on a narrow country road.

The political impasse started when Hichilema cried foul after losing last year's election to President Edgar Lungu and has intensified since the opposition leader was arrested.

The case has deepened the nation's political crisis and prompted international mediators to intervene.

Journalists were barred from the courtroom Monday. The day before, several media outlets had reported Hichilema's charges were to be dropped and he was to be released but did not happen.

Anita Powell, VOA news, Johannesburg.

Burkina Faso's security forces have ended their operation against suspected Islamic militants who opened fire on a restaurant in the country's capital, killing at least 18 people and wounding eight.

Many of the victims were children dining with their families at the Aziz Istanbul restaurant, an upscale Turkish eatery. The attack began around 9 p.m. Sunday when two gunmen drove up on motorcycles and began indiscriminately shooting at the people inside.

At least five members of Burkina Faso' security forces were among the wounded.

You can find more on these and other stories, from around the world, around the clock, at voanews.com - your source for breaking and late developing stories. I'm Jonathan Smith reporting live from Washington.

That's the latest world news from VOA.



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