World News

    Norwegian Skier Wins Fifth Olympic Gold

    Norwegian cross country superstar Marit Bjoergen won the fifth Olympic gold medal of her career on Wednesday at the Sochi Games.

    She and teammate Ingvild Flugstad Oestberg finished first in the women's relay race, where teams of two women each perform three alternate sprints. Finland won silver and Sweden bronze.

    Bjoergen had already won the skiathlon in Sochi to go with her three golds from Vancouver in 2010.

    In the men's team cross country sprint, Finland took advantage of a fall by Germany on the final descent to take gold. The Finnish duo of Sami Jauhojaervi and Iivo Niskanen posted the winning time. Russia won silver and Sweden bronze.

    Also Wednesday, American skier Ted Ligety won gold in the men's giant slalom. His two-run time edged out France's Steve Missillier, who took the silver, and another Frenchman, Alexis Pinturault, who won bronze.

    Switzerland's Patrizia Kummer won the first-ever women's parallel giant slalom snowboarding event, and Russia's Vic Wild won the men's competition.

    In women's 5,000-meter speedskating, Martina Sablikova of the Czech Republic defended her Olympic title with a record time of six minutes, 51.54 seconds. The Dutch won silver and bronze.



    Athletes are also competing for medals Wednesday in women's bobsled and the mixed biathlon relay.

    Women's figure skating begins with the short program, as South Korea's Yuna Kim tries to become the first back-to-back champion in the event since 1988. Her competition includes 2010 silver medalist Mao Asada from Japan, and 15-year-old Julia Lipnitskaia of Russia, who emerged as a star last week helping host Russia win gold in the first-ever team competition

    At the futuristic Bolshoi Ice Dome, Finland eliminated Russia from the men's hockey tournament with a 3-1 win in the quarterfinals, putting a stunning end to the Russians' hopes of winning gold on their turf. Finland's Teemu Selanne and Mikael Granlund each had a goal and an assist, and teammate Tuukka Rask made 37 saves.

    Russian teams have won eight gold medals in hockey but none since 1992.

    In the semifinals Friday, Finland will face top-seeded Sweden, which crushed Slovenia, 5-0.

    In women's curling, Canada and Sweden will play for the gold medal for the second straight Olympic Games after winning semifinals that each went to the final shot on Wednesday. Britain will play Switzerland for the bronze medal. The men's semifinals are also on Wednesday.

    Russia and the Netherlands lead in the overall medal count with 22 apiece. The United States has 21, Norway 19, Canada 17 and Germany 15. In gold medals, Germany and Norway are tied with eight each.

    In other news, Cossack paramilitaries attacked members of the Russian punk rock group Pussy Riot as the band tried to perform in Sochi under a sign promoting the 2014 Games.

    Footage shot by A-P Television shows Cossacks using horsewhips and spray against band members and violently pulling ski masks from their heads.

    Police arrived and questioned witnesses, but there were no arrests.

    Two members of the group, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina, were detained by police in Sochi Tuesday. They were later released after being questioned about an alleged theft from a hotel.

    Both women are outspoken critics of Russia's government. At least six other people arrested with them Tuesday were allowed to go free.
    ###

    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