World News

    Residents: Boko Haram Kidnaps 8 More Girls

    Residents of a northern Nigerian village say Boko Haram Islamist militants have kidnapped eight more girls.

    The residents of Warabe say gunmen stormed their village Sunday and kidnapped the girls. They say the men also stole food and livestock.

    Boko Haram has claimed responsibility for grabbing more than 300 schoolgirls last month from the town of Chibok. Some managed to escape but 276 are still missing.

    Boko Haram leader Abubaker Shekau released a video in which he appears to be taunting the girls' parents. He smiled as he said "I abducted your girls," and then added that the group intends to sell them.



    Unconfirmed reports say some of the girls have been "married" to their captors, while others may have been sent across the border into Cameroon and Chad.

    Boko Haram means "Western civilization is a sin" in the Hausa language. The group has killed thousands trying to set up a conservative Islamic state in northern Nigeria.

    U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States has sent a team to Nigeria, including intelligence and law enforcement experts.

    In an interview with ABC television, the president said this may be the event that mobilizes the world to do something against what he calls a "horrendous organization."

    At the State Department In Washington Tuesday, European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said the girls are the future of Nigeria, and she called what happened to them "devastating."

    British Foreign Secretary William Hague said his government is offering "practical help" to Nigeria.

    President Jonathan said he ordered his top security officials to do all they could to secure the girls' release.

    Some Nigerians are accusing the government of not doing enough to free the girls. But ruling People's Democratic Party spokesman Abdullahi Jalo tells VOA that Mr. Jonathan is doing everything possible.

    A spokesman for U.N. rights chief Navi Pillay says the kidnappers could face charges of crimes against humanity if they carry out the threat to sell the kidnapped girls. The spokesman calls it "one of the most serious crimes" that exist.

    ( OPTIONAL SOUNDBITES )

    Jay Carney, White House spokesman:

    "Our counterterrorism assistance to Nigeria focuses on information sharing, on improving Nigeria's forensics and investigative capacity. It also stresses the importance of protecting civilians and ensuring that human rights are protected and respected. We are working with the Nigerian government to strengthen its criminal justice system and increase confidence in the government by supporting its efforts to hold those responsible for violence accountable."

    William Hague, British Foreign Secretary:

    "What has happened here with the actions of Boko Haram in using girls as the spoils of war, the spoils of terrorism is disgusting, it is immoral, it should show everybody across the world that they should not give any support to such a vile organization."

    Abdullahi Jalo, spokesman, Nigerian People's Democratic Party:

    "He reaffirmed to people that no matter what, the government will spend its last blood, its last effort to see that these people, these girls, are returned to their loved ones."

    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