Voice of America : Asia (181)

Evacuation Drills and Nuclear Shelters: Japan Readies in Face of North Korean Threats

In the quiet town of Kotoura on Japan’s western coast, children practice baseball and soccer on the school grounds, while elderly residents tend to the summer rice harvest. Suddenly, the scene is punctured by a piercing siren and loudspeaker announcements warning of an incoming missile from ...

China Objects to New US Sanctions Linked to North Korea

China has objected to new sanctions the United States imposed against a group of Chinese and Russian companies for allegedly supporting North Korea’s nuclear program. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said at a news briefing that the sanctions are not helping U.S.-China ...

Japan Readies for Worst Over North Korean Missile Threat

Japan has begun conducting a series of emergency drills in response to the perceived threat of a North Korean missile strike. Pyongyang has test-fired more than a dozen missiles into the Japan Sea this year. Many experts believe North Korea is on the brink of producing nuclear weapons to top those ...

Trump Targets Media, Renews Campaign Promises

U.S. President Donald Trump blamed the media for much of the controversy surrounding his presidency, in a speech to supporters in Phoenix, Arizona, Tuesday night. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the president also reaffirmed his political agenda.

Synchronized Fireflies Light Up Mountain Skies

Fireflies can be found around the world. But only in a handful of places on earth will you find the species of fireflies that synchronize their light. VOA's Masha Mason went to one of those special places, in the mountains of Tennessee, to brings us a dazzling light show.

Suicide Bombing Kills 5 in Southern Afghanistan

A suicide car bomber set off a blast Wednesday in southern Afghanistan’s Helmand province, killing at least five people and wounding 38 others. Local officials said the attack in Lashkar Gah, the provincial capital, happened near a police headquarters where people were gathered outside. Two ...

Danish Police: Torso Is From Missing Journalist

Danish police said Wednesday that a headless torso found in the Baltic Sea has been identified as that of missing Swedish journalist Kim Wall, who is believed to have died on an amateur-built submarine that sank earlier this month.   Wall, 30, was last seen alive Aug. 10 on Danish inventor Peter ...

South Korea Wants Study Before Renegotiating US Trade Agreement

South Korea’s top trade negotiator said Tuesday that Seoul will not discuss renegotiation of the free trade agreement with the U.S. without first looking into what is really causing the U.S. trade imbalance. Speaking after a video conference with U.S. trade representative Robert Lighthizer, ...

Angola Voters Choosing Successor to Longtime President

Voters in Angola are choosing a new president Wednesday to replace longtime leader Jose Eduardo dos Santos, who is stepping down after 38 years in power. Dos Santos’ People’s Movement for the Liberation of Angola, or MPLA, is expected to get enough votes to remain in power, led by his ...

Egypt's Top Islamic Religious Leaders Work to Promote Moderate Vision of Islam

Al Azhar University, Egypt's venerable seat of Islamic law, has been working to portray a more modern image of Islam to counter the violent versions being espoused by Islamic State, al-Qaida and other militant groups. Efforts by Al Azhar religious authorities to control the tenor of Islamic ...

Tillerson: New Strategy Will 'Turn the Tide' From Losing Battle in Afghanistan

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says President Donald Trump has empowered U.S. commanders to make decisions based on conditions on the ground in Afghanistan, and that will alter the dynamics in the United States' longest war. But as VOA's Diplomatic Correspondent Cindy Saine reports, he also ...

Dutch Researchers Develop Blazing-fast Wi-Fi Using Light Rays

Starbucks coffee shops recently installed the fastest Wi-Fi we regular folks can enjoy. It's a blazing 9 megabits per second. But researchers in the Netherlands have some Wi-Fi that leaves that in the dust. VOA's Kevin Enochs reports.

Trans-Alaska Pipeline Celebrates 40 Years

Oil is the main revenue source in Alaska. This year, the trans-Alaska pipeline celebrated 40 years of service. From Alaska, VOA's Natasha Mozgovaya looks at the history of North America's largest oil field.

Themes From President Trump's Phoenix Rally

President Donald Trump talked about shared American values, the media, the events in Charlottesville, Virginia, and America's history, including the Confederacy.

New Chinese Activity in Disputed Sea Challenges Sino-Philippine Friendship

Reports that Chinese vessels came close to a major Philippine holding in the disputed South China Sea this month have touched off a tough debate in Manila that could disrupt a fragile, year-old friendship between the two sides. A vessel from China planted a 3-meter-high flag on Sandy Cay, which lies ...

US Navy Dismisses 7th Fleet Commander After Collision

The U.S. Navy has dismissed the commander of the 7th Fleet after several collisions involving warships, including one Monday that killed 10 U.S. sailors. Navy Pacific Fleet commander Admiral Scott Swift relieved Vice Admiral Joseph Aucoin Wednesday, citing a “loss of confidence in his ability ...

China May Resurrect Title of ‘Chairman,’ Unused Since Mao’s Death

There is but one chairman in China, and that is Chairman Mao Zedong. He served as chairman of the central committee of the Communist Party of China, a position so absolutely powerful that party leaders retired it within years of his death in 1976. But is the title truly retired? Maybe not, given ...

Verdict Expected Soon in Case of Thailand’s Former Prime Minister

A long-awaited verdict in the trial of former Thai prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra this week could inflame tension and would likely have far-reaching implications in the politically divided kingdom. The ruling military said more than 3,000 of Yingluck’s supporters could show up at court ...

Cosby Back in Court With New Legal Team for Sex Assault Trial

Bill Cosby was due back in court on Tuesday to seek a judge's approval to have a lawyer who successfully defended the late singer Michael Jackson against child molestation charges represent the comedian at his sex assault retrial. Cosby's first Pennsylvania trial on charges that he sexually ...

Hyundai Will Launch Pickup, More SUVs to Reverse US Sales Slide

Hyundai Motor plans to launch a pickup truck in the United States as part of a broader plan to catch up with a shift away from sedans in one of the Korean automaker's most important markets, a senior company executive told Reuters. Michael J. O’Brien, vice president of corporate and product ...

Filipino Officials: Chinese Navy Stalked Philippine Area

Two Filipino security officials say China has deployed its navy and coast guard ships in a cluster of uninhabited sandbars in the disputed South China Sea amid concerns that the Philippines may build structures on them in an emerging territorial issue that the government stated was quickly resolved. ...

UNICEF Reports Rise in Use of 'Human Bombs' by Boko Haram

The U.N. children’s fund reports an alarming increase in the use of so-called "human bombs" by Boko Haram insurgents in northeast Nigeria. UNICEF reports a four-fold increase over all of last year in the number of children, especially girls, being used as so-called "human bombs" by Boko Haram ...

Angola Prepares for Historic Election Without Longtime Leader in the Running

Angola prepares for a historic poll Wednesday as the president steps down after nearly four decades years in power. It's a contest between the longtime ruling party and their longtime opposition, and the nation's fragile, oil-based economy is the main issue. Anita Powell files from Luanda.

Japan Mulls Release of Fukushima Tritium-Contaminated Water Into Ocean

Authorities in Japan are trying to decide what to do with the hundreds of thousands of metric tons of contaminated water being stored at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, which went into meltdown following a 2011 earthquake and tsunami. It is estimated the huge water storage tanks ...

Trump Looks for Reset with Arizona Rally Tuesday

U.S. President Donald Trump holds a campaign-style rally Tuesday in Phoenix, Arizona, at time when he remains under fire for his controversial comments last week about a white nationalist rally that turned violent in Charlottesville, Virginia. Trump blamed the violence not just on the rally ...

Japan Considers Release of Fukushima Tritium-Contaminated Water into Pacific

Authorities in Japan are trying to decide what to do with the hundreds of thousands of metric tons of contaminated water being stored at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, which went into meltdown following a 2011 earthquake and tsunami. As Henry Ridgwell reports from Tokyo, plant ...

Angolan Voters See First Poll in Decades Without Longtime President

For two-thirds of Angola's population, President Jose Eduardo dos Santos is the only leader they have ever known. And the vast majority of eligible voters have never seen a ballot without his name on it. Now, as he steps down after 38 years, Anita Powell reports from Luanda on the Angolans, of all ...

Demand for Geothermal Heating Heats Up

Heat from deep within the earth is an underused source of renewable energy. The United States is the world's largest producer of geothermal energy, but it makes up less than 1 percent of the nation's power generation. By contrast, geothermal plants in the Philippines and Iceland contribute around 30 ...

Indonesia to Buy Russian Fighter Jets

Indonesia will buy 11 Sukhoi fighter jets worth $1.14 billion from Russia in exchange for cash and Indonesian commodities, two Cabinet ministers said Tuesday. The Southeast Asian country has pledged to ship up to $570 million worth of commodities in addition to cash to pay for the Sukhoi ...

Instant Muslim Divorce Unlawful, India’s Supreme Court Rules

India’s Supreme Court said Tuesday that the Muslim practice that allows men to instantly divorce their wives is unconstitutional and requested the government legislate an end to the practice. The bench, made up of five senior judges of different faiths, deliberated for three months before ...

US-S. Korea Begin Military Drills; North Makes Fiery Threat

North Korea’s military Tuesday greeted the start of annual U.S.-South Korean military drills with its standard fiery threats, vowing “merciless retaliation” for exercises Pyongyang claims are an invasion rehearsal. North Korea routinely issues such warlike rhetoric or conducts weapons ...

Trump: Continued US Presence in Afghanistan, Increased Pressure on Pakistan

After months of deliberation by the administration, President Donald Trump Monday evening unveiled his strategy for Afghanistan. VOA White House Bureau Chief Steve Herman reports Trump described a "condition-based approach" to defeating terrorism in the country and said the United States will no ...

Small Missouri Town Is a Big Draw for Solar Eclipse

There is a saying that “lightning never strikes twice” in any location. The same could be said for a total solar eclipse over the United States, a rare event ... except in a small patch of the United States that includes a small Missouri town, a place VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports is a ...

Train Crash Near Philadelphia Injures 33

Authorities say 33 people have been injured in a train crash at a station in suburban Philadelphia.   A spokeswoman for the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority says it happened around 12:15 a.m. Tuesday.    Heather Redfern says an inbound Norristown High Speed Line train crashed ...

New App Helps Relieve Stress Through Guided Meditation Exercise

A common complaint for busy, stressed out people is not being able to find the time and place to unwind. A new smartphone application promises to solve these problems by helping users practice an old Chinese form of healing meditation while on the go. VOA's Zlatica Hoke has more.

US Embassy in Russia Suspends Nonimmigrant Visas Because of Staff Cap

The United States is suspending the processing of nonimmigrant visas at its consulates in Russia after authorities there ordered its staff slashed by more than half in retaliation for U.S. sanctions against Russian in its election hacking. Russia's foreign minister said Moscow would consider how ...

Suspects in Spain Terror Attacks to Appear in Court

Four suspects arrested in connection with last week’s deadly van attack in Barcelona are scheduled to appear in court Tuesday, a day after police shot and killed the man they say was the van’s driver. Authorities say a 12-man terror cell was behind the attack, and that eight of the ...

America’s 16 Years in Afghanistan: From Success to Stalemate

Sixteen years of U.S. warfare in Afghanistan have left the insurgents as strong as ever and the nation’s future precarious. Facing a quagmire, President Donald Trump on Monday outlined his strategy for victory in a country that has historically snared great powers and defied easy solutions. ...

With Turmoil at Home, Venezuela Little Leaguers Get Big Lift

The players from Venezuela look as happy as any other team, dancing to “Shake Your Groove Thing” with the tournament mascot before a win over Mexico and raising the roof to “Taking Care of Business” before a loss to Canada. They go through all the baseball routines — ...

Guam Official Says Island is Calm Despite North Korea Threat

The lieutenant governor of Guam has reassured Japanese that the U.S. territory is calm amid the recent tension between the U.S. and North Korea. Lt. Gov. Ray Tenorio said in Tokyo on Monday that Guam remains in a "state of normalcy." Japan is a major source of tourists for the Pacific island. North ...

Hurricane Kenneth Reaches Category 4 Force in Pacific

Hurricane Kenneth has rapidly grown into a monster Category 4 storm, but it's centered far off Mexico's Pacific coast and posing no threat to land. The U.S. National Hurricane Center says Kenneth had winds of 130 mph early Monday and could strengthen further before weakening later in the day. The ...

German Foreign Ministry Pokes Fun at Breitbart Gaffe

Germany's Foreign Ministry is having some fun at the expense of a Breitbart News gaffe. The online news site's London operation on Friday used a photo of famous German soccer star Lukas Podolski riding on a jet-ski to illustrate a story headlined "Spanish Police Crack Gang Moving Migrants on ...

Venezuela's Maduro Warns of Action Against Price Gouging

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro says new measures will be rolled out this week to combat economic speculation in the crisis-ridden country.   In an interview distributed via state-run media Sunday, Maduro said he was working with a "special commission" of the new, pro-government Constituent ...

University of Texas Removes Confederate Statues

University of Texas President Greg Fenves ordered the immediate removal of statues of Robert E. Lee and other prominent Confederate figures from a main area of campus, saying such monuments have become “symbols of modern white supremacy and neo-Nazism.” Fenves announced the move late ...

Putin Names New Ambassador to US

Russian President Vladimir Putin has named deputy foreign minister Anatoly Antonov as the country's new ambassador to the United States. He will replace Sergei Kislyak, who served for as Moscow's envoy to Washington for more than nine years. U.S-Russian relations have fallen to their lowest point ...

Native American Tribes Eye Lucrative Marijuana Market

An increasing number of Native American tribes are looking to the marijuana business to break the poverty on reservations, but they are treading quietly over uncertainties in federal policy, which could shift under President Donald Trump.  Cannabis is big business in states that have legalized its ...

Americans Stake Out Prime Viewing Spots to See Sun Go Dark

Americans with telescopes, cameras and protective glasses staked out viewing spots along a narrow corridor from Oregon to South Carolina to watch the moon blot out the midday sun Monday in what promised to be the most observed and photographed eclipse in history. Eclipse-watchers everywhere — ...

Scholars: Refuse to Bow Down to China Censorship Pressure

Scholars are using an online petition to urge Cambridge University Press to restore more than 300 politically sensitive articles removed from its website in China after a request from authorities.   Cambridge University Press said Friday that it had complied with a request to block certain articles ...

Iraqi PM Warns Militants 'Leave or be Killed'

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has sent a message to Islamic State to either leave Tal Afar, a city about 50 kilometers east of Mosul, or remain to be killed. Abadi gave a televised speech Sunday, as Iraqi ground forces began advancing on the city still held by the militants. VOA's Zlatica ...

US, S. Korea Seem to Scale Back War Games

The U.S. and South Korea on Monday began 10 days of large-scale joint military exercises, but a reduced number of troops and assets will participate this year. VOA’s Brian Padden in Seoul reports that while the military stresses these defensive drills are needed to maintain operational ...