Hopes for a peace plan in Afghanistan have been waning in recent weeks after top U.S. officials walked back reports the outlines for an agreement were in place. Still, U.S. officials and the Taliban continue to meet, with both at least paying lip-service to the idea that all is not lost. VOA National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin reports that the top American negotiator believes there's a chance something can be done before Afghanistan's next election, just five months away.
The United Nations is highlighting zero tolerance for female genital mutilation, or FGM. In a statement this week, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called it an "abhorrent human rights violation affecting women and girls around the world." FGM has sparked a global clash between those who define it as a cultural tradition and those who say it is a dangerous ritual that should end. Hayde Adams Fitzpatrick has more. But first a warning: Some may find the content of this report disturbing.
India's southern state of Kerala was one of the country's top tourist attractions until the worst rains in a century caused widespread devastation last year and scared away visitors. The region of charming coastal plains and low lying mountains is racing to rebuild a tourism sector that contributes nearly 10 percent to its economy. But environmentalists are urging more sustainable development. Anjana Pasricha reports from Kerala.