2017-10-18 16:35




September 10, 2017

From Washington, this is VOA news. Hello, I'm Steve Miller.

Mexicans began mourning some of the 67 dead on Saturday after an earthquake and a Gulf coast hurricane struck the country.

The area hardest hit was Juchitan, where 36 people died when a magnitude 8 earthquake toppled buildings. Another two people died on Friday in a mudslide in the city of Veracruz after Hurricane Katia hit late on Friday.

Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto vowed that the government would help rebuild the affected areas.

Florida Governor Rick Scott had a sober warning for those in the state as Hurricane Irma approached.

"This is a deadly storm, and our state has never seen anything like it."

Scott said some 5.6 million Floridians have been ordered to evacuate and he said that if you're in an evacuation zone and weren't on the road by noon Saturday, individuals ??? near shelter to avoid the life-threatening weather.

Cuban coastal cities were clobbered by high winds from Hurricane Irma that [upheld] upended trees, toppled utility poles and scattered debris across streets. Roads were blocked and witnesses said a provincial museum near the eye of the storm was in ruins.

The Dutch government also estimates 70 percent of houses on the island of St. Maarten were badly damaged or destroyed by Hurricane Irma. Some 40,000 residents are now reliant on public shelters as they brace for Hurricane Jose.

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said the situation remains "grim" on the island where widespread looting has broken out.

Be sure to follow Voice of America on social media for videos and more. This is VOA news.

(Fire)fighters in Australia are bracing for what they fear will be one of the worst bushfire seasons on record. From Sydney, Phil Mercer has the story.

Australia had one of warmest-ever winters in 2017, and forecasters are predicting dry conditions for spring, prompting fears that the bushfires that rage every year will begin earlier than usual.

Traditionally, summer and autumn are the most dangerous periods in the heavily-populated southeast of Australia.
The annual fire season in the state of Victoria is now 50 percent longer than it was in the past, while emergency crews in New South Wales fought 2,500 fires in the winter month of August.

Craig Lapsley, the Emergency Management Commissioner in Victoria, warns that dangerous times lie ahead.

"We are already seeing some fires in the very eastern part of Victoria being difficult to manage and that is in winter."

Southeastern Australia is one of the most fire-prone regions in the world.

Phil Mercer, for VOA news.

The United States told the U.N. Security Council Friday that it intends to call a meeting Monday to vote on a draft resolution establishing additional sanctions on North Korea for its missile and nuclear program. Maya Bush has the details on the proposed sanctions.

The United States wants the Security Council to impose an oil embargo on North Korea, ban its exports of textiles and the hiring of North Korean laborers abroad, and to subject leader Kim Jong-Un to an asset freeze and travel ban.

It was not immediately clear how China and Russia will vote, but a senior U.S. official expressed skepticism that either nation will accept anything more stringent than a ban on imports of North Korean textiles.

Chinese officials have privately expressed fears that imposing an oil embargo could risk triggering massive instability in its neighbor.

Beginning Sunday, Rohingya insurgents have declared a month-long unilateral ceasefire. They hope this will allow aid groups to address the humanitarian crisis in the northwest area (of) Myanmar where some 300,000 Rohingya have fled to Bangladesh and 30,000 non-Muslim civilians have been displaced.

This after a military launched a counter-offensive following attacks by the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army insurgents on 30 police posts and an army base on August 25.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has ruled out the possibility of allowing Islamic State-linked militants to flee a southern city in exchange for the release of dozens of hostages. The militants seized large parts of Marawi City in May and survived more than 100 days of airstrikes and ground attacks by troops.

For in-depth coverage to these stories and more, visit voanews.com. From the Washington news center, I'm Steve Miller.

That's the latest world news from VOA.



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