World News

    Report: 3,600 Syrians Treated for 'Neurotoxin' Exposure

    The international medical humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders says three Syrian hospitals have received about 3,600 patients displaying symptoms of exposure to neurotoxic agents. The news comes just days after allegations that more than 1,000 people were killed in a chemical weapons attack allegedly carried out by the Syrian government.

    Doctors Without Borders said it has learned that large numbers of patients arrived in the three Damascus hospitals with symptoms including convulsions, excess saliva and blurred vision, and that nearly 10 percent of those patients have died. Some of the medical and first-aid workers treatuing the people brought in for treatment also found themselves contaminated.

    Doctors Without Borders the situation overall strongly indicates the local population suffered "mass exposure to a neurotoxic agent," and it added: "This would constitute a violation of international humanitarian law, which absolutely prohibits the use of chemicdal and biological weapons."

    Syria has denied all allegations that government forces used chemical weapons. State-controlled media have claimed rebel forces carried out nerve-gas attacks this week, and the state news agency SANA reported that soldiers found evidence of this while searching tunnels in the capital city used by "armed terrorists."

    In Washington, a White House official said the U.S. has a "range of options" if it decides to act against Syria's alleged use of chemical weapons. President Barack Obama met with his top national security advisers Saturday to discuss the Syrian situation.

    Mr. Obama has previously expressed reluctance to intervene in Syria. However, U.S. defense officials have recently said Washington is strengthening naval forces in the region.



    Pentagon chief Chuck Hagel told reporters that Mr. Obama has asked the Defense Department for a range of options available if U.S. forces are ordered to take action against the Damascus government.

    The U.S. and other world powers have been pushing for a United Nations-led investigation of the chemical-weapons allegations, and a top U.N. official arrived in Damascus Saturday to push for access to the site where rockets loaded with poison gas were launched.

    Russia has spoken out in defense of the Assad regime, but the Syrian ally joined China, the U.S., France, Britain and others in calling for a thorough investigation of the recent events in Syria.

    Syrian opposition leaders and activists have released video of large numbers of bodies - many of them young children - that bear no signs of physical violence of blood. Those pictures, and separate scenes from hospitals showing patients writhing in agony without apparent wounds - are said to be persuasive indications that they were victims of a attack that used nerve gas or some other deadly chemical agent.

    Iran's new president, Hassan Rouhani condemned the use of chemical weapons in Syria. State-controlled media in Tehran report he did not assess blame against either side in his comments on Saturday. Iran is Syria's ally, and its foreign ministry has previously said evidence indicates that Syrian rebels launched the attack.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora