2017-9-4 14:35




September 1, 2017

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

As rescue and recovery from the former Hurricane Harvey continues in southeast Texas, the White House assured storm victims that it is "not going anywhere" and that money to help them will be there.

Vice President Mike Pence was in Rockport, Texas, on Thursday.

"When Congress reconvenes next week, the president will be calling on our nation's lawmakers, including all those gathered here, to take immediate action to pass additional funding for federal disaster assistance."

Harvey left unspeakable damage as it spent five days dumping record-breaking rainfall on Texas and Louisiana. Houston, the nation's fourth-largest city, was especially hard hit.

Even if the rain has stopped and the sun is out, more evacuations were ordered east of Houston on Thursday.

The United States flew some of its most advanced warplanes in bombing drills with South Korea on Thursday.

The flight involved two supersonic U.S. B-1B bombers, four U.S. stealth F-35B jets and South Korean fighter jets coming at the end of an annual joint U.S.-South Korean military exercise focused mainly on computer simulations.

North Korea said the launch of an intermediate-range ballistic missile on Tuesday was to counter U.S. and South Korean military drills and was the first step in military action in the Pacific to contain the U.S. territory of Guam.

Philip Alexiou, VOA news.

Some Americans left North Korea Thursday, a day before U.S. restrictions on travel to the country take effect.

Some humanitarian workers were among those who took Thursday's one flight from Pyongyang to Beijing.

The travel ban goes into effect September 1.

This is VOA news.

The American government has ordered Russia to close its consulate in San Francisco and buildings in Washington D.C. and New York City.

The move was in response to a demand from Moscow that Washington reduce its diplomatic staff in Russia.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov expressed his regret about the closures shortly after the announcement was made.

Thursday's announcement marked the latest chapter in a diplomatic spat largely caused by new U.S. sanctions on Russia put in place last month.

Jim Randle, VOA news.

Tanzania, Burundi and the U.N. refugee agency announced Thursday that they reached an agreement to [repatriot] repatriate, that is, Burundian refugees who want to go home. Mohammed Yusuf has the story for VOA from Nairobi.

Tanzania's president has faced criticism since he publicly urged Burundian refugees to go home last month.

Tanzania hosts more than 350,000 refugees from neighboring countries. More than two thirds of them are from Burundi.

Tanzania's minister for home affairs, Mwigulu Nchemba, insists no refugees will be forced out of the country.

"These people have decided in their own, to us as stakeholders and governing body, we are only trying our level best to make sure that we facilitate and it is provided."

The Ministry of Home Affairs says it has registered 11,000 Burundians for voluntary repatriation, but the process has been delayed.

The Burundian government has complained that returns have so far been chaotic and informal.

Officials from the two countries met with the U.N. refugee agency Thursday in Dar es Salaam.

The process to repatriate the first Burundians from Tanzania is expected to begin September 7. Burundi says it will open reception centers to receive its citizens.

Mohammed Yusuf, for VOA news, Nairobi.

Iraq's prime minister has declared victory over the Islamic State in the city of Tal Afar and the entire province of Nineveh

It further shrinks [the country] the territory, that is, controlled by the extremists who overran nearly a third of the country three years ago.

Militants have suffered a series of major defeats in recent months, including the loss of Mosul, the second largest city, in July.

And the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency has selected four construction companies to erect prototypes of the Mexican border wall that President Trump has said he intends to build to deter illegal immigration and smuggling.

The four firms from four different American states are to build solid-concrete prototypes of the border wall within 30 days.

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 reporting from the Voice of America in Washington.

That's the latest world news from VOA.



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