News

    US Presses Israel to Expand Humanitarian Access to Gaza

    See the Gaza-Israel Conflict Timeline here  The United States said it is pressing Israel to expand the terms of its temporary cease-fires in Gaza to allow greater access for humanitarian aid to the besieged area.  Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is continuing to lead U.S. cease-fire diplomacy in New York.

    Officials are not joining United Nations and International Red Cross officials in criticizing Israel's handling of its so-called "humanitarian corridor" into Gaza.  But they said the United States is pressing Israel diplomatically to expand the timing and scope of what it said will be three-hour humanitarian cease-fires every other day.

    State Department Deputy Spokesman Robert Wood said the "dire" humanitarian situation in Gaza has been a key issue for Secretary Rice - along with cease-fire efforts -  in diplomacy this week on the sidelines of the U.N. Security Council in New York.

    "One of the other things the Secretary is working very hard on is to try to, with her counterparts, to build on that humanitarian corridor that the Israelis agreed to open. We think its needs to be opened further. We think the hours need to be increased. This is something we are working with the Israelis and others on. Again I remind you it is a conflict zone. It's a very difficult situation. We obviously believe the humanitarian situation to be a dire one," said Wood.

    Rice went to New York Tuesday for what were to have several hours of diplomatic consultations on the Gaza crisis but has remained there in intensive talks with Arab and European counterparts on what the United States hopes will be U.N. action for a durable and sustained cease-fire.

    Spokesman Wood said a successful outcome would not necessarily involve a formal Security Council resolution.

    "It could be that we are able to reach some kind of agreement on a resolution. I don't know. Could be a [Security Council] presidential statement. We are obviously supporting the Mubarak initiative. What I am saying to you is that it really doesn't matter what form it come in. What's important here is that we bring about an effective solution to ending this conflict," he said.

    U.S. officials have said any measure restoring a Gaza truce should end Hamas rocket firing into Israel, deal with weapons smuggling to Hamas through tunnels from Egypt, and reopen access to Gaza from Israel and Egypt to address humanitarian needs and revive the area's economy.

    Wood said in addition to her New York meetings, Rice has had at least 10 telephone conversations in the last 24 hours with Israeli officials including Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and had discussed, among other things, rocket firing early Thursday from Lebanon into northern Israel.

    Wood condemned the rocketing and said Israel, which reportedly responded with some mortar fire, had shown restraint thus far.

    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.
    London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunitiesi
    X
    VOA News
    July 25, 2016 5:09 PM
    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Four Brother Goats Arrive in Brooklyn on a Mission

    While it's unusual to see farm animals in cities, it's become familiar for residents of Brooklyn, New York, to see a little herd of goats. Unlike gas-powered mowing equipment, goats remove invasive weeds quietly and without adding more pollution to the air. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this is a pilot program and if it proves to be successful, the goat gardener program will be extended to other areas of New York. Faith Lapidus narrates.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora