World News

    Obama Names New Chief of Staff

    President Barack Obama shakes hands with current Deputy National Security Adviser Denis McDonough after he announced he will name McDonough as his next chief of staff, in the East Room of the White House in Washington, January 25, 2013. (AP)President Barack Obama shakes hands with current Deputy National Security Adviser Denis McDonough after he announced he will name McDonough as his next chief of staff, in the East Room of the White House in Washington, January 25, 2013. (AP)
    x
    President Barack Obama shakes hands with current Deputy National Security Adviser Denis McDonough after he announced he will name McDonough as his next chief of staff, in the East Room of the White House in Washington, January 25, 2013. (AP)
    President Barack Obama shakes hands with current Deputy National Security Adviser Denis McDonough after he announced he will name McDonough as his next chief of staff, in the East Room of the White House in Washington, January 25, 2013. (AP)
    VOA News
    U.S. President Barack Obama is turning to a long-time aide to fill one of the most influential positions in Washington.

    Obama named key adviser Denis McDonough on Friday as his fifth chief of staff.

    McDonough previously served as a White House foreign policy advisor. He was one of the aides photographed with Obama as the president watched the U.S. special forces raid that killed al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden in May 2011.

    Obama called McDonough indispensable, saying he is "a great friend to me and everybody who works here at the White House."

    "He's been one of my closest and most trusted advisers on my presidential campaign, on my transition team, he has been an indispensable member of my national security team, as well, said the president," said the president. "Denis has played a key role in every major national security decision of my presidency, from ending the war in Iraq, to winding down the war in Afghanistan, from our response to natural disasters around the world, like Haiti and the tsunami in Japan, to the repeal of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell,' to countless crises in between, day and night."

    McDonough takes over for Jack Lew, who has been nominated to be secretary of the Treasury.

    The White House also announced several other staff changes Friday.

    Separately, a federal appeals court ruled Friday that three of the president's appointments to a federal board were unconstitutional.

    Obama made the appointments to the National Labor Relations Board a year ago while the Senate was not in session.

    A White House spokesman called the ruling "novel and unprecedented." Jay Carney said it contradicts 150 years of practice by both Democratic and Republican administrations.

    In the past, U.S. presidents have used so-called "recess appointments" to bypass the Senate, as the chamber will sometimes try to block a president's nominees.

    In this case, the appeals court ruled the recess appointments were not valid because, although the Senate was not meeting, lawmakers were still available to act on the nominations.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolatei
    X
    July 29, 2016 4:02 PM
    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolate

    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Tesla Opens Battery-Producing Gigafactory

    Two years after starting to produce electric cars, U.S. car maker Tesla Motors has opened the first part of its huge battery manufacturing plant, which will eventually cover more than a square kilometer. Situated close to Reno, Nevada, the so-called Gigafactory will eventually produce more lithium-ion batteries than were made worldwide in 2013. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Polio-affected Afghan Student Fulfilling Her Dreams in America

    Afghanistan is one of only two countries in the world where children still get infected by polio. The other is Pakistan. Mahbooba Akhtarzada who is from Afghanistan, was disabled by polio, but has managed to overcome the obstacles caused by this crippling disease. VOA's Zheela Nasari caught up with Akhtarzada and brings us this report narrated by Bronwyn Benito.
    Video

    Video Hillary Clinton Promises to Build a 'Better Tomorrow'

    Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton urged voters Thursday not to give in to the politics of fear. She vowed to unite the country and move it forward if elected in November. Clinton formally accepted the Democratic Party's nomination at its national convention in Philadelphia. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more.
    Video

    Video Trump Tones Down Praise for Russia

    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is toning down his compliments for Russia and Vladimir Putin as such rhetoric got him in trouble recently. After calling on Russia to find 30.000 missing emails from rival Hillary Clinton, Trump told reporters he doesn't know Putin and never called him a great leader, just one who's better than President Barack Obama. Putin has welcomed Trump's overtures, but, as Zlatica Hoke reports, ordinary Russians say they are not putting much faith in Trump.
    Video

    Video Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Bus

    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Silicon Valley: More Than A Place, It's a Culture

    Silicon Valley is a technology powerhouse and a place that companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple call home. It is a region in northern California that stretches from San Francisco to San Jose. But, more than that, it's known for its startup culture. VOA's Elizabeth Lee went inside one company to find out what it's like to work in a startup.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    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.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora