World News

    US Troops Wounded in South Sudan

    The U.S. military says unidentified gunmen have opened fire on U.S. aircraft flying in to a rebel-held area of South Sudan to evacuate American citizens. Four U.S. service personnel were reported wounded.

    The incident took place Saturday as U.S. forces were trying to rescue Americans from the heavily-contested town of Bor, north of the capital, Juba. The mission was aborted and all three planes were diverted to neighboring Uganda.

    U.S. President Barack Obama sent 45 U.S. service personnel to the region Thursday on a mission he said is aimed at protecting U.S. personnel and the U.S. embassy.

    In a White House statement Saturday, Mr. Obama stressed the importance of the U.S. evacuation mission and said South Sudan's leaders have a responsibility to assist the U.S. efforts.

    South Sudan's government says rebels have overrun Bor - the scene of some of the country's worst fighting over the past week.

    U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called on the South Sudan leaders Sunday to find a "political means" to address the conflict. He said the continued violence poses a "dangerous threat" to the future of the young country.



    The violence erupted after President Salva Kiir, a member of the Dinka tribe, accused former vice president Riek Machar, a Nuer, of attempting a coup. The Juba government says more than 500 people have been killed, and the unrest has forced tens of thousands of people to flee from their homes.

    VOA's Hanna McNeish describes the scene in Juba.



    "There is still a 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew in place and there are military tanks and 'technicals' [armored vehicles] and a lot of men with guns sitting on every street corner. But it is nothing compared to the situation outside the capital. We've got fighting in Jonglei state, where rebels have taken over the state capital, Bor. We've also got heavy fighting, apparently, in Unity state, where the oil fields and rebels are battling government forces for control of these."



    McNeish says many people that she has spoken to fear that what started as a political power struggle is turning into a deeply ethnic conflict. She says one of the most stunning scenes in Juba is the capital's crowded airport.



    "Seeing hundreds of people trying to leave by charter flight or by any means possible, even with a single bag, because they are so worried that this violence has just spiraled out of control already and they don't trust that the government of South Sudan can protect them any longer."



    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says he is sending a special envoy to South Sudan to encourage talks between opposing factions. Ambassador Donald Booth is heading to the region soon.

    The U.N. Security Council president said Friday that South Sudan's President Kiir and former vice president Machar have agreed to "unconditional dialogue" despite their recent history of bitter recriminations. Mediators from East African countries met with Mr. Kiir Friday in what they called productive talks, but what form the Kiir-Machar "dialogue" will take is not clear.

    On Friday, the U.N. said at least 11 civilians and two peacekeepers had been killed in an attack a day earlier on a U.N. base in the town of Akobo.

    The U.N. Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) says the peacekeepers and civilians were shot after about 2,000 armed youth, believed to be ethnic Nuers, surrounded the base and opened fire on members of the Dinka ethnic group taking shelter at the U.N. compound.

    About 35,000 civilians are believed to have fled to U.N. compounds since the latest unrest began.

    South Sudan is is the world's newest country, gaining its independence from Sudan in 2011.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibiti
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 05, 2016 4:30 PM
    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video Former Drug CEO Martin Shkreli Angers US Lawmakers

    A former U.S. pharmaceutical business executive has angered lawmakers by refusing to explain why he raised the price of a life-saving pill by 5,000 percent. Martin Shkreli was removed from a congressional hearing on Thursday after citing his Fifth Amendment right to stay silent. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Super Bowl TV Commercials are Super Business for Advertisers

    The Super Bowl, the championship clash between the two top teams in American Football, is the most-watched sporting event of the year, and advertisers are lining up and paying big bucks to get their commercials on the air. In fact, the TV commercials during the Super Bowl have become one of the most anticipated and popular features of the event. VOA's Brian Allen has a sneak peek of what you can expect to see when the big game goes to commercial break, and the real entertainment begins.
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Solar Innovation Provides Cheap, Clean Energy to Kenya Residents

    In Kenya, a company called M-Kopa Solar is providing clean energy to more than 300,000 homes across East Africa by allowing customers to "pay-as-you-go" via their cell phones. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Kangemi, customers pay a small deposit for a solar unit and then pay less than a dollar a day to get clean energy to light up their homes or businesses.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Apprenticeships Put Americans on Path Back to Work

    Trying to get more people into the U.S. workforce, the Obama administration last year announced $175 million in grants towards apprenticeship programs. VOA White House correspondent Aru Pande went inside one training center outside of Washington that has gained national recognition for helping put people on the path to employment.
    Video

    Video New Material May Reduce Concussion Effects

    As the 2016 National Football League season reaches its summit at the Super Bowl this coming Sunday (2/7), scientists are trying to learn how to more effectively protect football players from dangerous and damaging concussions. Researchers at Cardiff and Cambridge Universities say their origami-based material may solve the problem. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Saudi Arabian Women's Sports Chip Away at Stereotypes

    Saudi Arabian female athletes say that sports are on the front line of busting traditions that quash women’s voices, both locally and internationally. In their hometown of Jeddah, a group of basketball players say that by connecting sports to health issues, they are encouraging women and girls to get out of their homes and participate in public life. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
    Video

    Video A Year Later, Fortunes Mixed for Syrians Forging New Lives in Berlin

    In April of last year, VOA followed the progress of six young Syrian refugees -- four brothers and their two friends -- as they made their way from Libya to Italy by boat, and eventually to Germany. Reporter Henry Ridgwell caught up with the refugees again in Berlin, as they struggle to forge new lives amid the turmoil of Europe's refugee crisis.
    Video

    Video Zika Virus May be Hard to Stop

    With the Zika virus spreading rapidly, the World Health Organization Monday declared Zika a global health emergency. As Alberto Pimienta reports, for many governments and experts, the worst is yet to come.