World News

    China Skaters Golden on the Track; American Sweep in Slopestyle

    China took its spot on the medals board at the Sochi Olympics Thursday by winning two gold medals in speedskating.

    Short track speedskater Li Jianrou won the women's 500-meter race, beating Italy's Ariana Fontana and South Korea's Park Sueng-Hi. In the women's 1,000-meter speedskating event, China's Zhang Hong beat out two Dutch skaters for the top spot.

    In skiing, American freestylers dominated the first-ever Olympic slopestyle competition, sweeping the top three spots. Joss Christensen won the gold medal, with Gus Kenworthy taking silver and Nicholas Goepper earning bronze.

    Poland's Justyna Kowalczyk won gold in the women's 10-kilometer cross country skiing race.

    Elsewhere, Germany continued its dominance on the luge track in the new team relay competition, which involves one women's, one men's and one doubles run in succession.

    Natalie Geisenberger, Felix Loch and the pairing of Tobias Wendl and Tobias Arlt finished first in the relay, giving the Germans gold medals in all four of the luge events so far in Sochi.

    On the ice, the top men's hockey teams -- Russia, the United States and Canada -- faced off for the first time Thursday. Russia beat Slovenia and the U.S. topped Slovakia. Canada is playing Norway.



    In other news, Russian figure skater Evgeny Plushenko pulled out of the men's individual figure skating competition Thursday. Plushenko, who has won four Olympic medals, including two golds, was seen clutching his back during warmups before announcing his withdrawal from the event.

    Meanwhile, the head of the International Olympic Committee, Thomas Bach, said he is not worried about the unseasonably warm temperatures that have been melting snow and ice in and around Sochi.

    Temperatures in Sochi have been hitting 17 degrees Celsius for the past four days.

    In an interview with the Associated Press, Bach recalled even warmer conditions at the 1988 Winter Games in Calgary.



    "It's not as warm yet as it was in Calgary at the time, where I remembered going around the last days of the Games in a T-shirt. It was about 25 degrees Celsius, so the situation so far is under control. The organizing committee together with the international federations is working very, very hard. There is still storage of snow and so far it is going well."



    Bach also said the accident of an Olympic track worker struck by a bobsled was not related to other accidents caused by sloppy conditions created by the warm weather.

    The worker was on the track when he was hit by a forerunning sled, just before the start of Thursday's two-man bobsled training.

    Olympic officials said he broke both legs and may have a concussion.



    "That is different. It's a worker being in the braking zone of the bob and we do not know why he was there in this zone. This you cannot compare with any incident with an athlete."



    Through five of the six medal events Thursday, Norway leads in the overall medal count with 13, followed by the United States and the Netherlands with 12. Canada and Russia have 10. Germany has the most gold medals with six.

    There are 98 medal events at the Sochi Games, 12 more than in Vancouver in 2010.



    ###

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Baghdad Bikers Defy War with a Roari
    X
    June 28, 2016 10:33 AM
    Baghdad is a city of contradictions. War is a constant. Explosions and kidnappings are part of daily life. But the Iraqi capital remains a thriving city, even if a little beat up. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on how some in Baghdad are defying the stereotype of a nation at war by pursuing a lifestyle known for its iconic symbols of rebellion: motorbikes, leather jackets and roaring engines.
    Video

    Video Baghdad Bikers Defy War with a Roar

    Baghdad is a city of contradictions. War is a constant. Explosions and kidnappings are part of daily life. But the Iraqi capital remains a thriving city, even if a little beat up. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on how some in Baghdad are defying the stereotype of a nation at war by pursuing a lifestyle known for its iconic symbols of rebellion: motorbikes, leather jackets and roaring engines.
    Video

    Video Melting Pot of Immigrants Working to Restore US Capitol Dome

    The American Iron Works company is one of the firms working to renovate the iconic U.S. Capitol Dome. The company employs immigrants of many different cultural and national backgrounds. VOA’s Arman Tarjimanyan has more.
    Video

    Video Testing Bamboo as Building Material

    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Orphanage in Iraqi City Houses Kids Who Lost their Parents to Attacks by IS

    An orphanage in Iraqi Kurdistan has become home to scores of Yazidi children who lost their parents after Islamic State militants took over Sinjar in Iraq’s Nineveh Province in 2014. Iraqi Kurdish forces backed by the U.S. airstrikes have since recaptured Sinjar but the need for the care provided by the orphanage continues. VOA’s Kawa Omar filed this report narrated by Rob Raffaele.
    Video

    Video Re-Opening Old Wounds in a Bullet-Riddled Cultural Landmark

    A cultural landmark before Lebanon’s civil war transformed it into a nest of snipers, Beirut’s ‘Yellow House’ is once again set to play a crucial role in the city.  Built in a neo-Ottoman style in the 1920s, in September it is set to be re-opened as a ‘memory museum’ - its bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking the city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Brexit Resounds in US Presidential Contest

    Britain’s decision to leave the European Union is resounding in America’s presidential race. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump sees Britain’s move as an affirmation of his campaign’s core messages, while Democrat Hillary Clinton sees the episode as further evidence that Trump is unfit to be president.
    Video

    Video New York Pride March A Celebration of Life, Mourning of Loss

    At this year’s march in New York marking the end of pride week, a record-breaking crowd of LGBT activists and allies marched down Manhattan's Fifth Avenue, in what will be long remembered as a powerful display of solidarity and remembrance for the 49 victims killed two weeks ago in an Orlando gay nightclub.
    Video

    Video NASA Juno Spacecraft, Nearing Jupiter, to Shed Light on Gas Giant

    After a five-year journey, the spacecraft Juno is nearing its destination, the giant planet Jupiter, where it will enter orbit and start sending data back July 4th. As Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, the craft will pierce the veil of Jupiter's dense cloud cover to reveal its mysteries.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora