Voice of America : Asia (114)

Waddling into History: Huge Ancient Penguin Inhabited New Zealand

Scientists have unearthed in New Zealand fossil bones of what might be the heavyweight champion of the penguin world, a bird nearly 6 feet tall that thrived 55 to 60 million years ago, relatively soon after the demise of the dinosaurs. Researchers said on Tuesday the ancient penguin, called Kumimanu ...

EU Cuts Cambodia Election Funding

The European Union in Cambodia on Tuesday said it was suspending planned funding of Cambodia's national election body. The United States last month said it would suspend its funding of the National Election Committee and also imposed visa restrictions on officials over the dissolution of the ...

Venezuelan Migrants Pose Humanitarian Problem in Brazil

Last August, Victor Rivera, a 36-year-old unemployed baker, left his hometown in northern Venezuela and made the two-day journey by road to the remote Amazonian city of Boa Vista, Brazil. Although work is scarce in the city of 300,000 people, slim prospects in Boa Vista appeal more to Rivera than ...

Homelessness in Rio Skyrockets, Creating Tensions and Violence

One night about a year ago, Leandro Mota Generoso was sleeping on a street in downtown Rio de Janeiro when he felt something jagged strike his face. Somebody — he didn't see the person, but believes it was a resident in the neighborhood — had slashed his nose with broken glass from a Vodka ...

Extremist Groups Eye Yemen Conflict With Renewed Opportunities

As the killing of the deposed Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh broadens the political fracturing in Yemen and the humanitarian crisis worsens, experts warn the war-torn country could soon become a hotbed for jihadists affiliated with al-Qaida and the Islamic State terrorist groups. The unrest in ...

Vietnamese Truckers Stage Rare Public Protest Against Toll Road

It has not received a lot of attention outside of Vietnam, but almost every day for weeks, the topic on the front pages of newspapers has been truckers and other drivers who refused to pay a traffic toll in Vietnam and who, in doing so, became a nationwide symbol of much broader frustration with ...

Offshore Wind Debut Reflects Roadblocks in France’s Climate-Fighting Ambitions

The skies were threatening, but that didn’t dampen the speeches and celebrations at this gritty, Brittany port. “Floatgen, I wish you good wind and fair seas,” French sailor Catherine Chabaud announced to a crowd of dignitaries, before sending a champagne bottle smashing against a ...

Ukrainian Court Releases Saakashvili from Detention

A Ukrainian court has released from detention opposition figure Mikheil Saakashvili, who is accused by prosecutors of assisting a criminal organization. Ukrainian prosecutors had sought to place Saakashvili under house arrest, but a judge on December 11 turned down the request. Saakashvili told ...

Report: FSB Chief Warns Return of Defeated IS Fighters ‘Real Threat’ to Russia

Former militants from "bandit units" in Syria are now a real threat after the defeat of Islamic State, as many of them may be now planning to return to Russia, the RIA news agency cited the head of Russia's FSB security service as saying on Tuesday. The FSB head, Alexander Bortnikov, also told a ...

Freed Prisoner Witnessed Radicalization in Egyptian Jails

An Irish citizen recently acquitted after four years of being imprisoned in Egypt says he saw dozens of cellmates become radicalized and adopt views of the Islamic State group during his brutal captivity in overcrowded jails. Ibrahim Halawa, 21, was arrested after security forces broke up a 2013 ...

Oscar Pistorius Bruised in Jail Fight Over Telephone Use

Olympian Oscar Pistorius, in jail for murdering his girlfriend, was bruised in an altercation with another inmate over telephone use, a South African prison spokesman confirmed Tuesday.   Pistorius sustained a minor injury in an alleged assault at the Attridgevill Correctional Center last week, ...

UNICEF: 400,000 Congo Children Suffering Severe Malnutrition

The United Nations Children's Fund says at least 400,000 children under 5 in Congo's troubled Kasai region are severely malnourished.   UNICEF said Tuesday that more than a year and half of deadly violence, displacement and reduced agricultural production are contributing to the problem. It says ...

Militant Attack Near Afghan Border Kills 2 Pakistani Soldiers

Militants ambushed a Pakistan army convoy Tuesday in the remote North Waziristan region, killing at least two soldiers. A brief military statement said an officer of the rank of second lieutenant was among the dead. The fatalities occurred, it explained, when “terrorists fired on army vehicle ...

China Displays Clout at Internet Conference But Some Doubts Remain

China made an impressive display of its clout in the digital economy during a three-day internet conference in Beijing last week by pulling together the participation of U.N. agencies, the World Telecom Union and CEOs of major US based IT companies like Google, Apple and Cisco System. The conference ...

Food and Safety Concerns Fuel Rise in Refugee Rohingya Child Brides

Many Rohingya families who have fled to Bangladesh from Myanmar are marrying off their daughters early to ease the financial burden of looking after them. Girls as young as 12 years old from the refugee families are being married off so that their parents have fewer children to feed at home. Since ...

Food Crisis, Safety Concerns Force Rise in Rohingya Child Brides

Many Rohingya families who have fled to Bangladesh from Myanmar are marrying off their daughters early to ease the financial burden of looking after them. Girls as young as 12 years old from the refugee families are being married off so that their parents have fewer children to feed at home. Since ...

Young Girl Raped, Murdered in India

Indian officials say they are questioning several people in connection with the brutal rape and murder of a six-year-old girl in the northern state of Haryana. Her body was found Sunday. The French News Agency, AFP, reports amid mounting public pressure a special investigative team has been set up ...

Russia's Putin Lands in Egypt in Sign of Growing Ties

Russian President Vladimir Putin, making his second visit to Egypt in as many years, held talks Monday with his Egyptian counterpart on their countries' rapidly expanding ties.   Egypt's general-turned-president, Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, has visited Russia three times since the ouster of his Islamist ...

Putin Visits Syria, Announces Russian Troop Withdrawal

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Monday he has ordered his military to withdraw a "significant part" of Russia's forces from Syria. He made the announcement during a surprise visit to Russia's Hemeimeem airbase in Latakia province, where he also met with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. ...

American Diplomat: US Looks to Counter Iran in Post-war Iraq

As Iraq emerges from three years of war with the Islamic State group, the U.S. is looking to roll back the influence of neighboring Iran and help the central government resolve its dispute with the Kurdish region, the American envoy to the country told The Associated Press. U.S. Ambassador Douglas ...

Iraqi Shiite Cleric Urges Fighters to Disarm After IS Defeat

An influential Iraqi Shiite cleric is urging his fighters to hand state-issued weapons back to the government following the declaration of victory against the Islamic State group. Muqtada al-Sadr also called on his forces to hand some of the territory they control to other branches of Iraq's ...

US to Help Cambodia Preserve Khmer Rouge Victims' Belongings

The U.S government has provided more than $55,000 to Cambodia for the preserving of personal items belonging to prisoners at a Khmer Rouge prison and torture center in the 1970s. The project agreement was signed Monday by U.S. Ambassador to Cambodia William Heidt and Cambodian Secretary of State ...

Wavering US Olympic Commitment Worries South Korea

Mixed messages from the United States and concerns of a North Korean provocation could undermine South Korea’s plans to use the upcoming PyeongChang Winter Olympics to further peace and reconciliation efforts. On Sunday, Nikki Haley, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, said in an ...

California Wildfire One Of The Worst in State's History

Fire officials in the western U.S. state of California are focusing efforts on battling a wildfire northwest of Los Angeles that is already one of the largest and most destructive in the state's history. The Thomas Fire has burned 930 square kilometers and destroyed 800 buildings in Santa Barbara ...

France Orders International Recall of Lactalis Baby Formula

France has ordered banned the sale and ordered a recall of several baby formula milk and baby food products made by French dairy giant Lactalis after the discovery of salmonella bacteria, consumer protection agency DGCCRF said in a statement. The recall includes products for export, including to ...

Battle for Alabama Senate Seat Hits Final Day

Candidates in a special election to fill a vacancy in the U.S. Senate have a final chance Monday to convince voters that they are the best choice to represent the state of Alabama. "We know who we are, Alabama," Democratic candidate Doug Jones told supporters at a get out the vote rally late Sunday. ...

China Calmed Asian Maritime Dispute in 2017 without Ceding Sovereignty

China calmed Asia's biggest maritime sovereignty dispute in 2017 by offering aid, investment and the pledge of negotiations with weaker Southeast Asian countries as Beijing's chief nemesis, the United States, kept quiet. These shifts in the South China Sea sovereignty dispute involving six ...

EU to Netanyahu: Jerusalem Must be Capital of Two States

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday he believes most or all European countries will move their embassies to Jerusalem and recognize the city as Israel's capital, following a move to do so by U.S. President Donald Trump. Speaking in Brussels alongside European Union Foreign Policy ...

AP: Rape of Rohingya Women is 'Sweeping' and 'Methodical'

The rape of Rohingya women by Myanmar's security forces has been "sweeping" and "methodical," according to a report by the Associated Press. The news agency says a "sickening sameness" has emerged in 29 interviews with women and girls, ranging in age from 13 to 35, who fled to Bangladesh from ...

Venezuela's Ruling Party Wins Big in Mayoral Elections

Venezuela's ruling socialist party swept mayoral races in most of the state capitals and major cities in Sunday elections boycotted by several opposition parties, officials announced. The ruling party won in 41 of 42 cities where a winner was declared, according to early official results. The ...

Pioneering Black Journalist Simeon Booker Dies at 99

Simeon Booker, a trail-blazing journalist and the first full-time African-American reporter at The Washington Post, has died at the age of 99. Booker died Sunday in Solomons, Maryland, according to a Post obituary, citing his wife Carol. Booker served for decades as the Washington bureau chief for ...

Digital World Provides Benefits and Risks for Children

The U.N. Children’s Fund says the explosion of digital technology and growing internet access holds both benefits and risks for children.  UNICEF’s annual State of the World’s Children report explores ways to protect children from the potential harm of the expanding digital world.  ...

Honduras Partial Recount Finds 'Consistent' Result in Presidential Race

Honduras' electoral tribunal has finished the partial recount of votes from the disputed presidential election, declaring the results are "extremely consistent" with the original count. In the partial recount of 4,753 ballot boxes, President Juan Orlando Hernandez won 50.1 percent of the votes, ...

Spain Rescues 104 Migrants Crossing Mediterranean Sea

Spain's maritime rescue service says it has saved 104 migrants trying to make the perilous crossing of the Mediterranean Sea to Europe from North Africa. The service says its rescue craft Guardamar Concepcion Arenal intercepted two boats carrying 53 and 22 migrants each overnight and early Sunday in ...

Peace Laureate Urges World to 'See the Light' and Ban Nukes

A leading activist in the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, this year's Nobel Peace Prize winner, has likened her group's aim with her struggle to survive the atomic bombing of Hiroshima.   Setsuko Thurlow, who was 13 when the 1945 bombing devastated her Japanese city, spoke Sunday ...

Sources: Yemen's Saleh Buried in Sana'a

Yemen's Houthi group has buried the body of former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh in Sana'a, allowing only a handful of relatives to attend, sources from his General People's Congress party said on Sunday. Saleh, 75, was killed by the Iran-aligned Houthis on Monday, after he had called for a ...

Britain's Top Diplomat Raises Detainee's Case in Iran Talks

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson raised the case of a detained dual national on Sunday when he met with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani during a two-day trip to Tehran. The British Foreign Office says Johnson raised the case of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who is serving a five-year prison ...

Syrian Government Returns to Geneva Talks

The Syrian government's delegation returned to Geneva on Sunday for the resumption of talks with United Nations mediator Staffan de Mistura after more than a week's absence, but Western diplomats voiced skepticism about its willingness to engage. Bashar al-Ja'afari, Syria's ambassador to the U.N. ...

Mass Vaccinations of Rohingya Refugees to Prevent Diphtheria Begins

A mass vaccination campaign is getting underway to stop diphtheria from spreading among Rohingya refugees in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. Diphtheria, a disease that was eliminated from Bangladesh decades ago, is rapidly spreading among Rohingya refugees in Cox’s Bazar. The World Health ...

Protests Against Jerusalem Decision Turn Violent in Lebanon

Lebanese security forces outside the U.S. Embassy in Beirut Sunday used water cannons and tear gas to beat back Lebanese and Palestinian protesters demonstrating against U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The protesters in Beirut hurled ...

Iraq Celebrates Victory Over Islamic State With Parade

Iraq celebrated its victory over the Islamic State with a military parade Sunday in the capital, a day after Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced the successful ouster of the jihadist group from the country. The parade was not broadcast live and state media were the only ones allowed to attend. ...

Aboriginal Masterpiece in Australia to Raise Money For Kidney Patients

A rare painting by Albert Namatjira, one of Australia’s most iconic Aboriginal artists, is to be sold to raise money for kidney patients in remote parts of central Australia. Indigenous people suffer kidney disease at 15 times the national average. Albert Namatjira was a trailblazer. Born in ...

In Lebanon, Protest Met With Tear Gas, Water Canons

Lebanese security forces fired tear gas and water canons at protesters near the U.S. Embassy in Lebanon on Sunday during a demonstration against President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Protesters, some of them waving Palestinian flags, set fires in the ...

With Opposition Sitting Out, Venezuela’s Socialists Set to Gain Mayors

Venezuela’s ruling Socialist Party looked set to sweep Sunday’s nationwide mayoral polls, deepening opposition splits and consolidating President Nicolas Maduro’s position ahead of a likely 2018 re-election campaign. Major opposition parties were boycotting the elections for 335 ...

In Alabama, Democrat Fights History, Math in Senate Race

Renegade Republican Roy Moore may be plagued by scandal, but it will take more than that to convince the voters of 44th Place North to show up for Democrat Doug Jones on Tuesday. In a state where Democrats are used to losing, the malaise is easy to find in this African-American neighborhood in ...

Montana Tribe Wary of Monument Offer, Seek Land’s Ownership

Even as it clashes with American Indians over reductions to national monuments in the Southwest, the Trump administration is pursuing creation of a new monument on the border of a Montana reservation where tribal officials remain wary of the idea. The Blackfeet Indian Tribe has long fought oil and ...

Remarks By President Trump at Opening of Mississippi Civil Rights Museum

THE WHITE HOUSE   Office of the Press Secretary _______________________________________________________________ For Immediate Release                       December 9, 2017     REMARKS BY PRESIDENT TRUMP AT THE OPENING OF THE MISSISSIPPI CIVIL RIGHTS MUSEUM   Mississippi ...

Peru’s President Admits Working on Odebrecht Project

Peruvian President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski acknowledged Saturday that he worked as a financial adviser for an irrigation project owned by the Brazilian builder Odebrecht, contradicting his previous denials of having any links to the company. Odebrecht is at the center of Latin America’s biggest ...

Iraq's Prime Minister Announces Three-Year War Against Islamic State Has Ended

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced Saturday that the three-year war aimed at driving Islamic State out of Iraq was successful and has come to an end. "Our forces are in complete control of the Iraqi-Syrian border and I therefore announce the end of the war against Daesh ," Abadi said at ...

Trump Visit Prompts Boycott at Mississippi Civil Rights Museum

Civil rights icon and congressman John Lewis says he will not attend the opening Saturday of a civil rights museum in Mississippi because President Donald Trump will be there. The Mississippi Civil Rights Museum in Jackson will feature a stark look at the often bloody struggle for civil rights in ...