News / USA

Washington Week: Focus Turns to US-Pacific Ties

Washington Week: Focus Turns to US-Pacific Tiesi
X
February 17, 2013 8:47 PM
U.S.-Pacific ties take center stage in Washington this week, as Japan’s prime minister visits the White House on Friday. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports.
Washington Week: Focus Turns to US-Pacific Ties
Michael Bowman

U.S.-Pacific ties take center stage in Washington this week, as Japan’s prime minister visits the White House on Friday.
 

North Korea’s latest nuclear test will be a prime topic of discussion between President Barack Obama and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.


"The actions taken by North Korea cannot be permitted or condoned by the international community, and I believe it is essential that Japan and the United States work together to adopt a new U.N. Security Council resolution that includes additional sanction measures," Abe said.


Last week, the Security Council condemned the nuclear test and began work on what was termed "appropriate measures" in response. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon conferred with Secretary of State John Kerry, who said North Korea must face consequences.


"This week's test was an enormously provocative act that warrants a strong, a swift, and a credible response from the global community," Kerry said.


While sharing concern over North Korea’s nuclear ambitions, the United States and Japan are also struggling to surmount persistent economic weakness. Both nations recorded negative economic growth at the end of last year, and are hoping for a turnaround in the year ahead.


A looming threat for the U.S. economy: across-the-board federal spending cuts slated to go into effect March 1. Prospects for accord on an alternative way to reduce the deficit are dimming. Late last week, lawmakers left Washington for a week-long recess still deadlocked on a way forward.


Democrats want a mix of spending cuts and additional revenues to replace the so-called "sequester." House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi:


"Democrats stand with the president’s call for a balanced approach to create jobs, strengthen the middle class, grow the economy, and responsibly reduce the deficit," Pelosi said.


Republicans reject any solution that includes new tax revenue. House Speaker John Boehner:


"The sequester will be in effect until there are cuts and reforms that put us on a path to balance the budget over the next 10 years. Period," Boehner said.


With Congress inactive, Senate confirmation of two Obama Cabinet nominees remain in limbo: former senator Chuck Hagel for defense secretary and counter-terrorism advisor John Brennan for CIA director.

You May Like

Myanmar Fighting Poses Dilemma for China

To gain some insight into conflict, VOA’s Steve Herman spoke with Min Zaw Oo, director of ceasefire negotiation and implementation at Myanmar Peace Center More

Australia Concerned Over Islamic State 'Brides'

Canberra believes there are between 30 and 40 Australian women who have taken part in terror attacks or are supporting the Islamic State terror network More

Recreational Marijuana Use Now Legal in Washington, DC

Law allows adults 21 and over to privately possess and smoke 0.05 kilogram of pot, and to grow small amounts of the plant More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More