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Showing posts from October, 2019

Botswana Battles Declining Number of Women in Politics

Female under-representation in politics continues to be a problem in Botswana, where only three women won seats in the 57-member National Assembly during last week's general elections. Activists say the central African country has a bias against women both in its electoral system and its culture.  From Gaborone, Botswana, Mqondisi Dube has more.

by via Voice of America - English

Botswana Battles Declining Number of Women in Politics

Female under-representation in politics continues to be a problem in Botswana, where only three women won seats in the 57-member National Assembly during last week's general elections. Activists say the central African country has a bias against women both in its electoral system and its culture.  From Gaborone, Botswana, Mqondisi Dube has more.

by via Voice of America - English

Supporters Begin to Flock to New Islamic State Leader

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Some Islamic State supporters are starting to rally around the terror group’s new leader, using social media to pledge their allegiance to a man whose true identity may not be known for some time.IS announced the selection of Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurashi as its new leader Thursday in an audio message issued by its Amaq news agency and read by the group’s new spokesman.“He is a flag of the flags of jihad, and a scholar of its scholars, and an emir of the emirs of war,” the voice said, according to a translation by SITE Intelligence, which monitors jihadist communications.Qurashi “has attacked the protector of the Cross America, and made it taste bad,” the voice added.The announcement, which also confirmed the deaths of IS’s self-declared caliph, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, and his spokesman, Abu Hassan al-Muhajir, caused what some analysts described as a ripple of excitement on social media and online messaging boards frequented by IS supporters.Here it begins https://t.co/EHT3KhtSKopic…

DC Residents: Nationals' Win Temporarily Unites City Divided by Politics

The last 24 hours have been a roller coaster for residents of Washington, D.C. Washington's baseball team, the Nationals, won its first-ever World Series title, while up on Capitol Hill the impeachment inquiry entered in its next phase with a House vote. Saqib Ul Islam took to the Washington streets to find out what's on people's minds and how all of this news is affecting Washington and its residents.
by via Voice of America - English

US Extends Civil Nuclear Cooperation Waivers for Iran

The Trump administration is keeping alive one of the last remaining components of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal by extending sanctions waivers that allow foreign companies to work with Iran's civilian nuclear program without U.S. penalties.The waivers had been due to expire Tuesday but were extended by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for another 90 days. The extensions were not announced until Thursday.Pompeo has been a champion of President Donald Trump's maximum pressure campaign on Iran.State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said the move "will help preserve oversight of Iran's civil nuclear program, reduce proliferation risks, constrain Iran's ability to shorten its `breakout time' to a nuclear weapon, and prevent the regime from reconstituting sites for proliferation-sensitive purposes."Pompeo also announced new sanctions on Iran's construction sector, which he determines to be under the control of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps. The IRGC…

Supporters Begin to Flock to New Islamic State Leader

Image
Some Islamic State supporters are starting to rally around the terror group’s new leader, using social media to pledge their allegiance to a man whose true identity may not be known for some time.IS announced the selection of Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurashi as its new leader Thursday in an audio message issued by its Amaq news agency and read by the group’s new spokesman.“He is a flag of the flags of jihad, and a scholar of its scholars, and an emir of the emirs of war,” the voice said, according to a translation by SITE Intelligence, which monitors jihadist communications.Qurashi “has attacked the protector of the Cross America, and made it taste bad,” the voice added.The announcement, which also confirmed the deaths of IS’s self-declared caliph, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, and his spokesman, Abu Hassan al-Muhajir, caused what some analysts described as a ripple of excitement on social media and online messaging boards frequented by IS supporters.Here it begins https://t.co/EHT3KhtSKopic…

DC Residents: Nationals' Win Temporarily Unites City Divided by Politics

The last 24 hours have been a roller coaster for residents of Washington, D.C. Washington's baseball team, the Nationals, won its first-ever World Series title, while up on Capitol Hill the impeachment inquiry entered in its next phase with a House vote. Saqib Ul Islam took to the Washington streets to find out what's on people's minds and how all of this news is affecting Washington and its residents.
by via Voice of America - English

US Extends Civil Nuclear Cooperation Waivers for Iran

The Trump administration is keeping alive one of the last remaining components of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal by extending sanctions waivers that allow foreign companies to work with Iran's civilian nuclear program without U.S. penalties.The waivers had been due to expire Tuesday but were extended by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for another 90 days. The extensions were not announced until Thursday.Pompeo has been a champion of President Donald Trump's maximum pressure campaign on Iran.State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said the move "will help preserve oversight of Iran's civil nuclear program, reduce proliferation risks, constrain Iran's ability to shorten its `breakout time' to a nuclear weapon, and prevent the regime from reconstituting sites for proliferation-sensitive purposes."Pompeo also announced new sanctions on Iran's construction sector, which he determines to be under the control of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps. The IRGC…

Goats Help Save Reagan Library From Wildfires

The goats are part of an 800-head herd at 805 Goats, a Southern California company that offers a 'sustainable, ecologically friendly' way to reduce fire danger and manage lands

Goats Help Save Reagan Library From Wildfires

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As hot, dry Santa Ana winds whipped up wildfires in Southern California this week, 300 unlikely heroes were being credited with helping save the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley.Three hundred goats, that is.That's because in May, 300 goats were brought to the library to eat all the brush around the complex."We actually worked with the Ventura County Fire Department in May and they bring out hundreds of goats to our property," Melissa Giller, a spokeswoman for the library, told ABC. "The goats eat all of the brush around the entire property, creating a fire perimeter."The firefighters on the property said that the fire break really helped them, because as the fire was coming up that one hill, all the brush has been cleared, basically," she said. Goats graze on a hillside as part of fire prevention efforts, in South Pasadena, California, Sept. 26, 2019.The caprine contractors are part of an 800-head herd from 805 Goats, a Southern California …

Keystone Oil Pipeline Leaks 383,000 Gallons in North Dakota

TC Energy's Keystone pipeline has leaked an estimated 383,000 gallons (1.4 million liters) of oil in northeastern North Dakota, marking the second significant spill in two years along the line that carries Canadian tar sands oil through seven states, regulators said Thursday.Crews on Tuesday shut down the pipeline after the leak was discovered, said Karl Rockeman, North Dakota's water quality division director. It remained closed Thursday.The Calgary, Alberta-based company formerly known as TransCanada said in a statement that the leak affected about 22,500 square feet (2090 sq. meters) of land near Edinburg, in Walsh County.The company and regulators said the cause was being investigated."Our emergency response team contained the impacted area and oil has not migrated beyond the immediately affected area," the company said in a statement.TC Energy said the area affected by the spill is less than the size of a football field and that the amount of oil released — 9,12…

Goats Help Save Reagan Library From Wildfires

Image
As hot, dry Santa Ana winds whipped up wildfires in Southern California this week, 300 unlikely heroes were being credited with helping save the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley.Three hundred goats, that is.That's because in May, 300 goats were brought to the library to eat all the brush around the complex."We actually worked with the Ventura County Fire Department in May and they bring out hundreds of goats to our property," Melissa Giller, a spokeswoman for the library, told ABC. "The goats eat all of the brush around the entire property, creating a fire perimeter."The firefighters on the property said that the fire break really helped them, because as the fire was coming up that one hill, all the brush has been cleared, basically," she said. Goats graze on a hillside as part of fire prevention efforts, in South Pasadena, California, Sept. 26, 2019.The caprine contractors are part of an 800-head herd from 805 Goats, a Southern California …

Keystone Oil Pipeline Leaks 383,000 Gallons in North Dakota

TC Energy's Keystone pipeline has leaked an estimated 383,000 gallons (1.4 million liters) of oil in northeastern North Dakota, marking the second significant spill in two years along the line that carries Canadian tar sands oil through seven states, regulators said Thursday.Crews on Tuesday shut down the pipeline after the leak was discovered, said Karl Rockeman, North Dakota's water quality division director. It remained closed Thursday.The Calgary, Alberta-based company formerly known as TransCanada said in a statement that the leak affected about 22,500 square feet (2090 sq. meters) of land near Edinburg, in Walsh County.The company and regulators said the cause was being investigated."Our emergency response team contained the impacted area and oil has not migrated beyond the immediately affected area," the company said in a statement.TC Energy said the area affected by the spill is less than the size of a football field and that the amount of oil released — 9,12…

Scientists, Patients Hail New Cystic Fibrosis Treatment

On Aug. 25, 1989, an 8-year-old girl with cystic fibrosis wrote in her journal that it was "the most best day" because scientists had "found a Jean for Cistik fibrosis."  On Thursday, the current head of the National Institutes of Health — who was a member of one of the teams that found the gene — wrote in The New England Journal of Medicine that a triple-drug therapy has been found to be highly effective in treating the life-threatening disorder."We hoped that the gene discovery would someday lead to effective treatments for children and adults with cystic fibrosis," Francis Collins wrote. "Now, 30 years later, that time has come."The drug, called Trikafta, was approved by the Food and Drug Administration last week.Some 30,000 Americans have been diagnosed with cystic fibrosis, which causes thick mucus buildup in the patient's organs, affecting respiration and digestion. While other drugs have helped lengthen patients' lives, those born…

Scientists, Patients Hail New Cystic Fibrosis Treatment

On Aug. 25, 1989, an 8-year-old girl with cystic fibrosis wrote in her journal that it was "the most best day" because scientists had "found a Jean for Cistik fibrosis."  On Thursday, the current head of the National Institutes of Health — who was a member of one of the teams that found the gene — wrote in The New England Journal of Medicine that a triple-drug therapy has been found to be highly effective in treating the life-threatening disorder."We hoped that the gene discovery would someday lead to effective treatments for children and adults with cystic fibrosis," Francis Collins wrote. "Now, 30 years later, that time has come."The drug, called Trikafta, was approved by the Food and Drug Administration last week.Some 30,000 Americans have been diagnosed with cystic fibrosis, which causes thick mucus buildup in the patient's organs, affecting respiration and digestion. While other drugs have helped lengthen patients' lives, those born…

Britain’s Black Economy Draws Vietnamese Migrants

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The deaths of 39 migrants in the back of a refrigerated truck near London last week has focused a spotlight on the lives of those who risk everything to earn a better living in Britain.Many of the victims are believed to have traveled from Vietnam. Tamsin Barber, an expert on the Vietnamese diaspora in Britain at Oxford Brookes University, says many migrants are willing to take huge risks.“They’re doing that because they know that when they get to the UK, the likelihood is that they’re going to be able to find work in the cannabis industry, where they might be able to earn large amounts of money in a short period of time, paying back their debts, the debts to the smugglers, and then eventually being able to pay send remittances back to their family,” Barber said. Vietnamese residents light candles during a prayer for 39 people found dead in the back of a truck near London, in front of Hanoi Cathedral in Hanoi, Oct. 27, 2019.Cannabis and nail salonsAs well as the illegal cannabis indust…

Britain’s Black Economy Draws Vietnamese Migrants

Image
The deaths of 39 migrants in the back of a refrigerated truck near London last week has focused a spotlight on the lives of those who risk everything to earn a better living in Britain.Many of the victims are believed to have traveled from Vietnam. Tamsin Barber, an expert on the Vietnamese diaspora in Britain at Oxford Brookes University, says many migrants are willing to take huge risks.“They’re doing that because they know that when they get to the UK, the likelihood is that they’re going to be able to find work in the cannabis industry, where they might be able to earn large amounts of money in a short period of time, paying back their debts, the debts to the smugglers, and then eventually being able to pay send remittances back to their family,” Barber said. Vietnamese residents light candles during a prayer for 39 people found dead in the back of a truck near London, in front of Hanoi Cathedral in Hanoi, Oct. 27, 2019.Cannabis and nail salonsAs well as the illegal cannabis indust…

DC Residents: Nationals' Win Temporarily Unites City Divided by Politics

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The Nationals' World Series victory Wednesday night has brought together fans in a city deeply divided by the impeachment inquiry against U.S. President Donald Trump.The Washington Nationals defeated the Houston Astros 6-2 on Wednesday in the seventh game of Major League Baseball's World Series, earning the team's first championship win in franchise history.Politics have previously divided fans at D.C.'s Nationals Park, where the team plays its home games. Last Sunday, Trump, first lady Melania Trump and other prominent Republicans attended the fifth game of the series. The president's group was loudly booed by members of the audience, many jeering "lock him up."   Ballpark Boos a Rarity for Shielded US President Donald Trump showered with jeers, boos and chants when he attended a World Series game, a rare moment of in-your-face disapproval for a president whose White House takes extraordinary steps to shield him from protests But sporting events also provid…

US Looks to Block Nord Stream 2 as Denmark Permits Route for Pipeline

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The United States says it is still looking for ways to block a proposed natural gas pipeline connecting Russia and Germany, after the Danish government this week cleared away one of the last legal obstacles to the project, known as Nord Stream 2."The Department of Energy strongly believes that the Nord Stream 2 threatens the energy security and national security of U.S. allies in Europe [and] strengthens Russia's control over the region's energy supply," said a DOE spokesperson, speaking on background."The United States will continue to look into all tools at its disposal regarding this project," said the spokesperson. "All options are on the table."The Danish Energy Agency announced Wednesday that it would permit the proposed pipeline to pass through its exclusive economic zone, saying it was "obliged to allow the construction of transit pipelines" under the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea. FILE - Tubes are stored in Sassnitz, Germ…

Many Syrian Refugees in Turkey Want to Stay, Despite Erdogan Plan to Force Their Return

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's plan to return up to 2 million refugees to Syria is increasingly in question. With refugees carving out a new life for themselves in Turkey, many may be reluctant to return, while rights groups warn of forced deportations.Mandy restaurant in Istanbul's Aksaray district has been serving locals for more than six years. Isam Abdi escaped to Istanbul, leaving Syria behind and opened a restaurant. With his children at universities and a successful business he doesn't plan to return. (Dorian Jones/VOA)"We will not return to Syria," said Mandy owner Isam Abdi.Abdi left Syria at the start of the civil war. Arriving in Istanbul, speaking little Turkish and having no contacts, he managed to build a successful business. He now owns two restaurants, his children are in college, and he sees only Turkey offering him a future."Because of the war, (it's) not safe there," he said of his Syrian homeland. "They say in Damas…

DC Residents: Nationals' Win Temporarily Unites City Divided by Politics

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The Nationals' World Series victory Wednesday night has brought together fans in a city deeply divided by the impeachment inquiry against U.S. President Donald Trump.The Washington Nationals defeated the Houston Astros 6-2 on Wednesday in the seventh game of Major League Baseball's World Series, earning the team's first championship win in franchise history.Politics have previously divided fans at D.C.'s Nationals Park, where the team plays its home games. Last Sunday, Trump, first lady Melania Trump and other prominent Republicans attended the fifth game of the series. The president's group was loudly booed by members of the audience, many jeering "lock him up."   Ballpark Boos a Rarity for Shielded US President Donald Trump showered with jeers, boos and chants when he attended a World Series game, a rare moment of in-your-face disapproval for a president whose White House takes extraordinary steps to shield him from protests But sporting events also provid…

US Looks to Block Nord Stream 2 as Denmark Permits Route for Pipeline

Image
The United States says it is still looking for ways to block a proposed natural gas pipeline connecting Russia and Germany, after the Danish government this week cleared away one of the last legal obstacles to the project, known as Nord Stream 2."The Department of Energy strongly believes that the Nord Stream 2 threatens the energy security and national security of U.S. allies in Europe [and] strengthens Russia's control over the region's energy supply," said a DOE spokesperson, speaking on background."The United States will continue to look into all tools at its disposal regarding this project," said the spokesperson. "All options are on the table."The Danish Energy Agency announced Wednesday that it would permit the proposed pipeline to pass through its exclusive economic zone, saying it was "obliged to allow the construction of transit pipelines" under the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea. FILE - Tubes are stored in Sassnitz, Germ…

More Than 2,000 Cases Tied to Foreign Terrorist Organizations Under FBI Scrutiny

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The FBI says it is investigating more than 2,000 cases tied to groups designated by the United States as foreign terrorist organizations, a figure that reflects the persistent threat posed by outfits such as al-Qaida and Hezbollah.There are currently 68 individual groups on the U.S. State Department's list of foreign terrorist organizations, the vast majority jihadi outfits such as al-Qaida. The designation allows the U.S. to freeze the groups' and their members' assets and investigate their activities.  The FBI's renewed focus on foreign terrorist organizations and their members partly reflects the quiet resurgence in recent years of al-Qaida, said Seamus Hughes, deputy director of the Program on Extremism at George Washington University.  "While the primary focus was ISIS the last few years, al-Qaida used that time to bide their time and build up a network," Hughes said. "And so, these cases are still out there, and they're going to have to look at…

Many Syrian Refugees in Turkey Want to Stay, Despite Erdogan Plan to Force Their Return

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's plan to return up to 2 million refugees to Syria is increasingly in question. With refugees carving out a new life for themselves in Turkey, many may be reluctant to return, while rights groups warn of forced deportations.Mandy restaurant in Istanbul's Aksaray district has been serving locals for more than six years. Isam Abdi escaped to Istanbul, leaving Syria behind and opened a restaurant. With his children at universities and a successful business he doesn't plan to return. (Dorian Jones/VOA)"We will not return to Syria," said Mandy owner Isam Abdi.Abdi left Syria at the start of the civil war. Arriving in Istanbul, speaking little Turkish and having no contacts, he managed to build a successful business. He now owns two restaurants, his children are in college, and he sees only Turkey offering him a future."Because of the war, (it's) not safe there," he said of his Syrian homeland. "They say in Damas…