World News

    Kerry: Progress in Mideast Peace Talks

    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says he is making progress on the Middle East peace process, but more work is still needed.

    Kerry spoke after meeting Saturday with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas for the second time in two days in the West Bank city of Ramallah. He hopes Israeli and Palestinian leaders can soon agree on a framework peace deal.

    Kerry said the peace negotiators are beginning to "flesh out the toughest hurdles yet to be overcome." Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said failure is not an option for Palestinians.

    Several hundred protesters had marched through the streets Friday to denounce the peace talks as a delay tactic.

    Kerry has also met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman during his visit to the region. He told the leaders a framework deal would narrow differences between Israeli and Palestinian negotiators and provide guidelines for permanent agreements.



    The Secretary of State said a framework agreement would be a "significant breakthrough," though it would be less ambitious than his initial goal of reaching a comprehensive peace deal by April.

    Kerry is scheduled to travel back to Jerusalem later for more talks with the Israeli prime minister.

    His visit - the 10th since March - comes as the Israelis and Palestinians accuse each other of sabotaging efforts to reach a two-state solution to their decades-old conflict.

    Kerry met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday. Mr. Netanyahu questioned whether Palestinians are "committed to peace," accusing them of failing to recognize Israel as a Jewish state and "embracing terrorists as heroes."

    He was referring to the strong welcome that Palestinian prisoners received in the West Bank this week after being released from Israeli prisons as part of the peace process.

    Mr. Abbas has complained about ongoing Israeli settlement construction in the West Bank, saying Israel is trying to take land that would be part of a future Palestinian state. The U.S. has also criticized Israel's settlement construction as illegitimate and unhelpful.

    There is disagreement over U.S. proposals for security arrangements in the Jordan Valley, where the West Bank borders Jordan.

    Israel wants to keep troops there, saying this is essential for security reasons. Palestinians say this would violate the sovereignty of their future state.

    Other key issues to be resolved include the remaining borders between the two states, the future of Jerusalem, and the right of return for Palestinian refugees.

    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