News

    Bush Presses Congress for Iraq War Funding

    President Bush is pressing Congress to approve his latest budget request for the war in Iraq, where he says leaders are beginning to make progress toward political reconciliation. VOA White House Correspondent Scott Stearns has the story.

    When Congress returns from its Thanksgiving break, President Bush wants quick action on more supplemental funding for the war in Iraq, without the preconditions of a troop withdrawal being pushed by Democrats.

    Members of the president's political party in the Senate last week blocked efforts by opposition Democrats to link $50 billion in war funding to the goal of withdrawing combat troops from Iraq by the end of next year.

    Approval of the funding failed when Democrats blocked a Republican bill that would have allocated $70 billion to the war without conditions.

    President Bush says some U.S. troops are coming home, and more will follow next year because of improved security that he says is partly the result of his decision to send reinforcements to Iraq earlier this year.

    Those U.S. troops were meant to give Iraqi leaders time to reach political compromises on sharing oil revenue and allowing members of Saddam Hussein's former political party to rejoin the government. Neither of those measures have passed parliament.

    In a Tuesday interview with ABC News, President Bush was asked about the pace of reconciliation and comments from an American army captain who said coalition troops cannot themselves reconcile Iraqi politicians.

    "Sunni sheiks are stepping up and beginning to take the lead at the local level," said President Bush. "The captain's remarks are true in this sense: the Iraqis are going to have to obviously take the lead politically, which they are beginning to do."

    Asked if he took some satisfaction that less than one year after the troop surge, levels of violence in Iraq appear to be declining in many areas, the president said: "absolutely."

    "The decision, while it was a tough decision, was really studied, and it was based upon the recommendations of wise military commanders," said Mr. Bush.

    Part of improving security in Iraq is dependent on neighboring Iran, which has political influence in the south and U.S. military commanders say has armed some militants.

    The U.S. military says it has agreed to a new round of talks with Iran about improving security in Iraq. In recent weeks, American commanders say Iran appears to be restricting the flow of weapons across the border.

    The United States and Iran have held three rounds of talks on Iraqi security this year, breaking a 27-year freeze in diplomatic ties. The meetings do not appear to have made much progress, with each side still blaming the other for Iraqi violence.

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora