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WATCH: Samantha Power, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, says genocide deniers 'not dealing with reality'

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Obama Not First US President to Try to Normalize Ties with Cubai
Jerome Socolovsky
July 01, 2015 5:25 PM
After the U.S. military’s failed Bay of Pigs invasion in 1961 and the Cuban missile crisis the following year, President John F. Kennedy chose a different tack on U.S.-Cuban relations by engaging in back channel negotiations with Prime Minister Fidel Castro. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky has more.

Video Obama Not First US President to Try to Normalize Ties with Cuba

After the U.S. military’s failed Bay of Pigs invasion in 1961 and the Cuban missile crisis the following year, President John F. Kennedy chose a different tack on U.S.-Cuban relations by engaging in back channel negotiations with Prime Minister Fidel Castro. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky has more.

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.

Video New Jersey Governor Christie Enters 2016 Presidential Race

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie officially joined the 2016 presidential race Tuesday, becoming the 14th Republican candidate in what promises to be a long and hard fought campaign for the party nomination next year. VOA National correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.

Video Syrians Flee IS Advance in Hasaka

The Syrian government said Monday it has taken back one of several districts in Hasaka overrun by Islamic State militants. But continued fighting elsewhere in the northern city has forced thousands of civilians from their homes. In this report narrated by Bill Rodgers, VOA Kurdish Service reporter Zana Omer describes the scene in Amouda, where some of the displaced are taking refuge.

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.

Video US Gay Marriage Ruling Yields Real-life Impact

Friday’s landmark Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage throughout the United States is an outcome few thought possible just years ago, and shows a nation that increasingly tolerates and even celebrates the hopes and aspirations of gay people. VOA’s Michael Bowman spoke to a same-sex couple that will benefit from the high court ruling, and to a Christian scholar who is apprehensive about its potential consequences for America’s faith community.

Video NY Transit Authority Seeks to Bar Ads for Muslim-Themed Film

The New York City transit system is being challenged in court by two Muslim comedians who want to advertise their new film on subways. The Metropolitan Transit Authority says the film contains disputed, pro-Muslim content, and it wants to block the ads, but the plaintiffs say that's a violation of their free-speech rights. VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports.


FILE - A woman fills out an application at the Fort Lauderdale Career Fair, in Dania Beach, Florida.

US Unemployment Rate Drops

June sees net gain of 223,000 jobs, and jobless rate drops two-tenths of one percentage point, to 5.3 percent More


Afghanistan Lodges Complaint About Clashes on Pakistan Border

Incidents could imperil recent thaw in bilateral relations, although Islamabad has downplayed it and vowed to help sustain Kabul’s peace and reconciliation efforts More


FILE - An unidentified policeman provides security inside the compound of a wealthy Nigerian man, with cars parked ready to provide armed convoys,  and the compound protected by high walls and barbed wire in Port Harcourt, Nigeria, July 27, 2007.

For Nigeria's Criminals, Kidnapping Remains Lucrative Trade

Experts say practice is now common across much of the country and kidnappers are becoming less discerning about their targets More

Middle East

This image taken from a militant website associated with Islamic State extremists, posted Saturday, June 27, 2015, purports to show Tunisian gunman Seifeddine Rezgui who killed dozens of people in the Tunisian beach resort of Sousse on June 26, 2015.

Officials: Tunisian Resort Gunman Trained in Libya

Student who killed dozens of seaside tourists last week is said to have received weapon training at same camp as shooter in March attack on Tunis museum More


FILE - Pedestrians walk at San Francisco square where an image of Pope Francis is displayed in La Paz, Bolivia, June 30, 2015.

Pope to Tour 3 South American Countries

Grueling, week-long trip will showcase Francis at his unpredictable best: speaking his native Spanish on his home turf about issues closest to his heart More

Arts & Entertainment

FILE - Exhibitors dressed as "The Hatter" (L) and "Alice in Wonderland" (R) drink tea whilst sheltering from the rain under an umbrella on the David Harbor stand at the 2015 Chelsea Flower Show in London, May 18, 2015.

After 150 Years, 'Alice in Wonderland' Still Feeds Heads

Lewis Carroll's 'Alice's Adventures in Wonderland' continues to delight generations of children since its publication in 1865, with its portrayal of how the grown-up world might appear to a child More


Migrants, mostly from Syria, headed for EU member Hungary, rest at the central bus station in Kanjiza, northern Serbia, near the Hungarian border, June 25, 2015.

Serbia Says 3 EU States to Help It Tackle Illegal Migrant Tide

Police chiefs from Germany, Austria and Hungary reportedly agreed to help Belgrade curb wave of migrants transiting its territory for EU More


A screen grab shows six citizen responders were nearby when PulsePoint was activated after a person collapsed at a shelter in Spokane, Washington, in June. (Courtesy of Spokane Fire Department)

Smartphone App Alerts Trained Bystanders to Cardiac Emergencies

Idea behind PulsePoint is to get trained individuals to start potentially life-saving CPR procedure while medics are still on the way More

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Vietnam, Cambodia Border Brawl Sparks Recriminations

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