2017-8-30 16:14




August 28, 2017

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

The governor of Texas, Greg Abbott, says his top priority is to "protect human life" as Tropical Storm Harvey targets the Houston, Texas, area with what Abbott calls "incredibly heavy" ongoing rain.

The city of Houston is the fourth largest city in the United States.

During a Sunday afternoon news conference, Abbott warned all residents to stay off the roads, saying they would be taking their lives into their own hands if they attempt to drive. He added that anyone who has not evacuated the area yet should seek refuge in a location as high as possible.

Harvey is forecast to bring "historic rainfall if not an all-time record" to a geographical triangle of southeast Texas, including Houston, the fourth largest city in the U.S.

Forecasters expect up to a mind-boggling 127 centimeters of rain in the triangle by the end of the week. Tornadoes are also likely.

The VOA's Celia Mendoza said Sunday from Houston it's impossible not to feel overwhelmed. Everything is closed. She said people are concerned about what is happening to them, to their neighbors and they are concerned about their homes.

She said many people were stuck where they work and are trying to keep in touch with their families at home.

Harvey is the strongest hurricane to hit the United States mainland.

Several Houston area oil refineries shut down on Sunday as the storm continued. The closures take roughly 12 percent of U.S. fuel making capacity offline.

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

A suicide car bomber attacked a market in southern Afghanistan Sunday, killing at least 13 people and wounding many more.

The attack in Helmand province's Nawa district targeted a military convoy, according local officials. Most of the victims were Afghan soldiers and police.

The Afghan Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack.

In the past two years and after the withdrawal of most foreign combat troops, the Taliban have stepped up attacks and spread out from their southern heartland across the country. Attacks in the north have also increased.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says President Trump, who has faced criticism over his response to a recent white nationalist rally in Virginia, "speaks for himself" on his values.

Tillerson appeared on Fox News Sunday. He made the comment when he was asked about Trump's reaction to the rally in which the president blamed "many sides" for violence that erupted in the city of Charlottesville.

Asked if he was separating himself from Trump on the matter, Tillerson said, "I have spoken, I have made my own comments as to our values as well in a speech I gave to the State Department this past week."

Guatemala's constitutional court says it has blocked an order issued by President Jimmy Morales to expel the head of a U.N. anti-corruption commission.

Morales posted a video on Twitter Sunday, announcing that he was expelling Iván Velásquez, the head of the U.N. commission against impunity and corruption.

Morales said Velásquez had to leave immediately.

On Friday, Velásquez and Guatemala's chief prosecutor announced they would seek to lift Morales's immunity so he could be investigated for possible campaign finance violations.

India is deploying thousands of riot police and shutting down Internet services in two northern states.

The police are preparing for the sentencing on Monday of a self-styled "godman" whose followers went on the rampage Friday after he was convicted of rape.

Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh's cult called Dera Sacha Sauda has a vast rural following in Punjab and Haryana states, where frenzied mobs burned gas stations and train stations and torched vehicles after a local court found the man guilty of raping two women in a 2002 case.

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

That's the latest world news from VOA.



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