World News

    G8 Summit Opens in Northern Ireland

    Russian President Vladimir Putin says the U.S. and Russia differ on Syria, but do agree that the violence must stop and all parties must negotiate a settlement.

    Mr. Putin and U.S. President Barack Obama discussed Syria Monday on the sidelines of the G8 summit in Northern Ireland.

    Mr. Obama thanked the Russian President for what he called a useful conversation. He agreed that their opinions on Syria do not coincide, but that they agree on the need to hold talks and secure Syria's chemical weapons.

    Neither mentioned whether they discussed U.S. plans to send arms to the Syrian rebels in their fight against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

    Mr. Putin has staunchly opposed the U.S. intervention in the two-year Syrian conflict. It has been a year since the Russian and American leaders have met face to face, but they talked Monday as the two-day G8 summit opened at a golf resort in Northern Ireland.

    Heads of state at the G8 discussed world economic issues, but the conference is likely to be dominated by talks on the U.S. decision to arm Syrian rebels.

    Earlier, Mr. Obama spoke in Belfast to a young audience, calling peace in Northern Ireland a "blueprint" for those living in conflict zones around the world.



    Mr. Obama said, "The terms of peace may be negotiated by leaders, but the fate of peace is up to you."

    The summit at the Lough Erne resort is being hosted by British Prime Minister David Cameron, and also includes the leaders of France, Germany, Italy, Canada and Japan.

    The G8 countries account for 50 percent of the world's economic output. But to varying degrees, they have struggled to emerge from the depths of the global recession of 2008 and 2009.

    White House officials said last week that President Obama intends to brief the other seven leaders at the summit about the U.S. plan to arm the Syrian rebels. The U.S. has declared it has evidence that Mr. Assad's forces have used chemical weapons.

    ###




    ((OPT SOUNDBITES IN ENGLISH:

    1.) U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama --
    "..And standing here with all of you today, I have never felt more optimistic, let me tell you. Because time and again, I have seen young people like all of you choosing to work together, choosing to lift each other up, choosing to leave behind the conflicts and prejudices of the past and create a bright future for us all."

    2.) U.S. President Barack Obama --
    "Beyond these shores - right now, in scattered corners of the world, there are people living in the grip of conflict, ethnic conflict, religious conflict, tribal conflicts - and they know something better is out there. And they are groping to find a way to discover how to move beyond the heavy hand of history. Put aside the violence. They are studying what you're doing, and wondering, perhaps if Northern Ireland can achieve peace we can too. So you are their blueprint to follow. You are their proof of what is possible. Because hope is contagious. They are watching to see what you do next."

    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