News / USA

Washington Week: Focus on Cuba, North Korea

The U.S. Capitol Dome, currently under restoration, and the Capitol Christmas Tree are seen illuminated during evening hours Dec. 11, 2014.

December 21, 2014 5:37 PM
President Obama, lawmakers out of town for holidays but many remain transfixed with US-Cuba thaw, Sony Pictures hack More

Video Washington Week: Focus on Cuba, North Korea

President Barack Obama and U.S. lawmakers have left Washington for the remainder of the year, but the city remains focused on historic and unprecedented developments on the world stage. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the coming week will bring continued scrutiny of a diplomatic opening between the United States and Cuba, as well as North Korea’s alleged role in hacking media giant Sony.

Boxing Great Muhammad Ali Hospitalized

Spokesman for three-time world heavyweight champion says Ali's illness was caught early and he is expected to make a full recovery

Obama: Putin Has Not Outmaneuvered West

US president says his Russian counterpart is currently facing 'the collapse of his currency, a major financial crisis, a huge economic contraction'

Kerry: US-Cuba Thaw Will Advance Interests for Both

Secretary of state says 11 million people of Cuba have waited far too long - more than half a century - to 'fulfill their democratic aspirations' and build closer ties with rest of world

Obama: I Will Do 'Everything I Can' to Close Guantanamo

US president says prison continues 'to inspire jihadists and extremists around the world'

Obama: US Might Put N. Korea on Terror List

President says he does not consider hack of Sony Pictures an act of war, but a 'very costly, very expensive' example of cyber-vandalism

Obama Condemns Killing of 2 NYC Policemen

Police officers were sitting in patrol car in Brooklyn neighborhood when 28-year-old Ismayyil Brinsley walked up to them and opened fire

Gunman Kills Two NYC Police Officers, Then Himself

Deaths follow weeks of protests across US after cases in which grand juries declined to charge white police officers involved in deaths of unarmed black men

Tourism, Farm Groups See Bigger Business With Cuba

'We are the closest major food producer that Cuba has,' an American Farm Bureau Federation spokesman notes

Castro Lauds US Outreach, Says Cuba to Remain Communist

In speech to lawmakers, Cuba's president says economic reforms will be accelerated, yet changes will be gradual

US Releases 4 Afghan Prisoners From Guantanamo

They were released at request of Afghanistan's President Ashraf Ghani, after a review of their cases, including security factors

Anti-Whaling Group Found in Contempt of Court

Radical environmentalists who threw acid and smoke bombs at Japanese whalers in the waters off Antarctica continue their campaign to disrupt Japan's annual whale hunt

US Issues General Travel Alert

Urges US citizens traveling abroad to be "extra cautious" concerning their personal security following recent deadly hostage incident in Australia

Obama: US Making 'Strides Where It Counts'

In weekly radio address president says previous steps taken helped make 2014 'the strongest year for job growth since the 1990s'

Obamas Begin Christmas Vacation in Hawaii

Annual trek includes golfing on Hawaii's lush courses, family time on the beach

Report: FBI Evidence Collection 'Beset' With Problems

The New York Times says it obtained a copy of the FBI report about ''highly critical internal investigation' that discovered errors with almost half of the 41,000 pieces of evidence reviewed

Video Sony Still Hopes to Release Film About Killing Kim Jong Un

N. Korea denies it hacked into Sony Pictures' computer network and posting embarrassing emails, but praises computer attack as 'righteous deed'

Putin: Sanctions Won't Stop Russia's Support of 'Compatriots'

As economic crisis deepens, he urges Russians to prepare for 'certain difficulties' in months ahead

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.

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US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
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Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
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Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
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Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
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Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
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Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
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Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
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Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
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Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
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Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

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