AiBLE Portfolio & PD USPD News Feeds

Examples of AiBLE work; Art iNSPIRED By Literature and Excellence.

Below is work from Lance Foss’es AiBLE portfolio:

Section I


Section II

  • LWF completed AiBLE songwriting projects – click here
  • LWF completed AiBLE animations, music visualizations and computer graphics projects I – click here
  • LWF completed AiBLE animations, music visualizations and computer graphics projects II – click here
  • LWF completed AiBLE dance projects I – click here
  • LWF completed AiBLE dance projects II – click here
  • LWF completed  AiBLE developmental or just-for-fun projects I – click here
  • LWF completed  AiBLE developmental or just-for-fun projects II – click here

Section III


Section IV

If you choose, after purchase of AiBLE prompts, programs and materials, send links to your completed work to customerservice@USPublicDomain.org 


PD USPD News and Events from:

 Voice of America, VOA – USA, Voice of America, VOA – Economics

  • Mexico Argues Texas Immigration Law Will Harm Relations
    A Texas law banning sanctuary cities would harm diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Mexico, Mexico argues in a brief submitted to the appeals court reviewing the law. The brief, filed Thursday with the Fifth District Court of Appeals in New Orleans, says whenever state or local officials act improperly in upholding the sanctuary law, the U.S. federal government would be unable to resolve the problem or prevent similar ones. Thus it runs the risk "that actions of a state or its officials regarding immigration enforcement could irreparably damage U.S. foreign policy interests with respect to a particular country." Texas' sanctuary law, known as SB 4, may be the toughest in the country. In addition to banning sanctuary cities — jurisdictions that choose not to ... read more
    Source: News Feed – Voice of America (PD USPD) – USAPublished on Friday, October 20, 2017
  • Report: Scores of Afghan Military Trainees Go AWOL During Training in US
    Scores of Afghan troops have failed to show up while undergoing military training in the United States due to death threats, other potential violent acts and uncertain job prospects, according to a report issued Friday. Of the 320 foreign military trainees who left U.S. military bases without permission since 2005, about half were Afghan nationals, according to the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR), a monitoring agency that oversees reconstruction projects and other activities in Afghanistan. The report said 152 Afghans went AWOL, or absent without leave. Seventy were relocated to other countries, 39 were granted asylum or some other legal status, and 27 were either arrested, deported or awaited processing for deportation. About 6 percent of Afghans went AWOL, the report said, while ... read more
    Source: News Feed – Voice of America (PD USPD) – USAPublished on Friday, October 20, 2017
  • US: Two More American Victims Confirmed in Cuba Attacks
    The United States says two more government workers are confirmed victims in the unexplained Cuba attacks. The State Department is increasing the official tally from 22 to 24. But State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert says the new victims "do not reflect new attacks." She says the additional victims were confirmed following medical evaluations of workers attacked earlier in the year. Nauert says the most recent attack is still believed to have been near the end of August. A U.S. official told The Associated Press previously that attack occurred Aug. 21. The official wasn't authorized to disclose the exact date and requested anonymity. The State Department says it can't rule out "additional new cases." The attacks started last year and affected American diplomats, intelligence officials and ... read more
    Source: News Feed – Voice of America (PD USPD) – USAPublished on Friday, October 20, 2017
  • What Puerto Rico Is Doing to Get Power Back After Storm
    Electrical linemen descend from helicopters, balancing on steel girders 90 feet high on transmission towers in the mountains of central Puerto Rico, far from any road. At the same time, crews fan out across the battered island, erecting light poles and power lines in a block by block slog. A month after Hurricane Maria rolled across the center of Puerto Rico, the power is still out for the vast majority of people on the island as the work to restore hundreds of miles of transmission lines and thousands of miles of distribution lines grinds on for crews toiling under a blazing tropical sun. And it won't get done soon without more workers, more equipment and more money, according to everyone involved in the effort. "It's ... read more
    Source: News Feed – Voice of America (PD USPD) – USAPublished on Friday, October 20, 2017
  • Trump: UN Has ‘Tremendous Potential’ Under New Leadership
     President Donald Trump says the United Nations has "tremendous potential" but that it "hasn't been used over the years nearly as it should be." Trump spoke during a meeting at the White House with U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres, who leads the 193-member world organization.   Guterres says "we live in a messy world'" but we need strong reforms at the U.N. and a "strong United States engaged based on its traditional values."   Trump also praised Guterres' leadership in their first extended meeting.   Guterres and Trump met briefly at the White House in April and also held talks on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly's annual ministerial meeting last month.     ... read more
    Source: News Feed – Voice of America (PD USPD) – USAPublished on Friday, October 20, 2017
  • Philippines Faces More Transit Strikes Ahead of Year-end Reform Deadline
    A mass transit strike in the Philippines this week risks more disruptive collective action unless drivers and the government settle differences over costly upgrades to an aging yet iconic vehicle fleet, analysts say. Thousands of drivers and operators of "jeepneys" went on strike Monday and Tuesday. The government called for two days off work and school to minimize disruption for commuters. Jeepneys are distinctly Philippine vehicles that are about the size of small buses and provide most urban mass transit. President Rodrigo Duterte wants the aging fleet replaced by January 1 to combat air pollution. But operators may lack the money for vehicle replacements. Experts say a new strike could erupt without compromise by officials, disrupting already difficult commutes in major cities such as the ... read more
    Source: News Feed – Voice of America (PD USPD) – EconomicsPublished on Friday, October 20, 2017
  • Medical Students in Limbo as Young Immigrant Program Ends
    Medical student Alejandra Duran Arreola dreams of becoming an OB-GYN in her home state of Georgia, where there’s a shortage of doctors and one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the U.S. But the 26-year-old Mexican immigrant’s goal is now trapped in the debate over a program protecting hundreds of thousands of immigrants like her from deportation. Whether she becomes a doctor depends on whether Congress finds an alternative to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program that President Donald Trump phased out last month. Arreola, who was brought to the U.S. illegally at age 14, is among about 100 medical students nationwide who are enrolled in DACA, and many have become a powerful voice in the immigration debate. Their stories have resonated with ... read more
    Source: News Feed – Voice of America (PD USPD) – USAPublished on Friday, October 20, 2017
  • Political Uncertainty Slows Down Kenya’s Economic Growth
    Kenya’s economy is expected to grow next year by 5 percent, down from a projected 6 percent, according to the International Monetary Fund. The slowdown is largely blamed on the political uncertainties related to the re-run presidential election scheduled for October 26. Mohammed Yusuf reports from Kisumu, an opposition stronghold in western Kenya. ... read more
    Source: News Feed – Voice of America (PD USPD) – EconomicsPublished on Friday, October 20, 2017
  • TV Academy Votes to Consider Expelling Harvey Weinstein
    The Television Academy says it has voted to begin disciplinary proceedings against disgraced film mogul Harvey Weinstein. The academy's board of governors issued a statement Friday declaring that "sexual harassment in any form is abhorrent and totally unacceptable." The academy, which bestows the Emmy awards, said a hearing has been set for November to consider "action up to and including termination of academy membership." Weinstein has recently been accused of multiple acts of sexual harassment and assault spanning decades. He has been fired from The Weinstein Co., a TV and movie film production company he co-founded with his brother Bob. He already has been expelled from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the Producers Guild and the British Academy of Film and Television ... read more
    Source: News Feed – Voice of America (PD USPD) – USAPublished on Friday, October 20, 2017
  • India Looking Forward to Visit by US Secretary of State
    India on Friday said it is looking forward to a visit by U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson next week to further strengthen a partnership based on a shared commitment to a rule-based international order. Indian External Affairs Ministry spokesman Raveesh Kumar welcomed a recent statement by Tillerson calling for an expansion of strategic ties. "We appreciate his positive evaluation of the relationship and share his optimism about its future directions," Kumar said. In an address at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington think tank, Tillerson on Wednesday said the world needs the U.S. and India to have a strong partnership as he pointedly criticized China, which he accused of challenging international norms needed for global stability. He said the United States ... read more
    Source: News Feed – Voice of America (PD USPD) – USAPublished on Friday, October 20, 2017

 Voice of America, VOA – Americas

  • Trump’s Border Wall Models Take Shape in San Diego
    The last two of eight prototypes for President Donald Trump's proposed border wall took shape Thursday at a construction site in San Diego. The prototypes form a tightly packed row of imposing concrete and metal panels, including one with sharp metal edges on top. Another has a surface resembling an expensive brick driveway. Companies have until Oct. 26 to finish the models but Border Patrol spokesman Theron Francisco said the last two came into profile, with crews installing a corrugated metal surface on the eighth model on a dirt lot just a few steps from homes in Tijuana, Mexico. As the crews worked, three men and two women, one carrying a large red purse, jumped a short rusted fence from Tijuana into the construction site ... read more
    Source: News Feed – Voice of America (PD USPD) – AmericasPublished on Friday, October 20, 2017
  • 5 Venezuelan Judges Given Refuge in Chile
    Four opposition-appointed Venezuelan judges have found refuge in Chile to avoid possible prison time. “All I can say today is that we were forced to abandon our beloved home of Venezuela, but that another nation has embraced us and will protect our freedom,” judge Beatriz Ruiz told reporters at the Santiago airport Thursday. Another judge who has been granted asylum in Chile is reportedly on the way. 33 opposition judges They are among 33 judges appointed by the opposition-led Venezuelan National Assembly in July to challenge the supreme court. The opposition says the court is stacked in favor of what they call President Nicolas Maduro's socialist dictatorship. Both the Maduro government and Venezuela’s top court called the judicial appointments illegal and unconstitutional and threatened all ... read more
    Source: News Feed – Voice of America (PD USPD) – AmericasPublished on Thursday, October 19, 2017
  • Canada: NAFTA’s Proposed Changes ‘Troubling’
    Canada's foreign minister says there are "unconventional" and "troubling" proposals on the table as Canada, the United States and Mexico seek to update the North American Free Trade Agreement. The fourth round of talks on revising the 23-year-old NAFTA deal wrapped up Tuesday, with more talks set for Mexico next month and additional discussions early next year. Canada's Chrystia Freeland said proposals created "challenges," and "turn back the clock" on NAFTA. Failure could threaten jobs across North America, she said. In addition, ending NAFTA could hurt the North American teamwork that produces cars efficiently and makes them competitive with products from other regions, she added. Mexico's Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo said it was clear from the beginning that the talks would be tough and "we ... read more
    Source: News Feed – Voice of America (PD USPD) – AmericasPublished on Tuesday, October 17, 2017
  • Border Gunbattles Leave 11 Dead in Northern Mexico
    A running series of gunbattles caused at least 11 deaths in the northern Mexico border state of Tamauilpas, authorities said Monday. Officials said the shootouts in the border city of Reynosa and the nearby town of Rio Bravo started late Sunday. Gunmen hijacked vehicles and used them to block streets, and spread bent nails to puncture tires to facilitate their getaways. Authorities called in a helicopter to support ground patrols moving to break up the roadblocks. One group of four gunmen was killed near a gas station after they opened fire on a military patrol, officials said. Three other bodies were discovered at other points around Rio Bravo. Police found 13 improvised armored vehicles, which are usually light trucks with welded steel plating. Such vehicles ... read more
    Source: News Feed – Voice of America (PD USPD) – AmericasPublished on Tuesday, October 17, 2017
  • Trump Blames Cuba for Strange Attacks that Sickened Americans in Havana
    President Donald Trump blamed Cuba on Monday for the mysterious attacks that injured 22 U.S. diplomats and other Americans, but gave no details. "I do believe Cuba is responsible. I do believe that. And it's a very unusual attack, as you know," Trump said in a White House Rose Garden news conference. But the president did not say exactly who he thinks was behind the attacks, including Raul Castro's government. U.S. investigators believe America diplomats and others in Havana may have been bombarded with a sonic device earlier this year that gave them hearing loss, dizziness, headaches and tiredness. The devices were placed outside their homes. So far, the investigators have no clues who was responsible or exactly what caused the sounds. The United States ... read more
    Source: News Feed – Voice of America (PD USPD) – AmericasPublished on Monday, October 16, 2017
  • Venezuela Opposition Hoping for Big Wins in Regional Polls
    Venezuela's opposition is hoping Sunday's regional elections will wrest a majority of state governorships from President Nicolas Maduro's ruling Socialist Party, and give the opposition some momentum ahead of next year's presidential election. Polls projected opposition Democratic Union Roundtable coalition candidates were likely to win over half the contests. Many polling places stayed open past the official 6:00 pm closing time to allow voters already in line cast their ballots. Agence France Presse quoted an electoral commission source as estimating turnout at around 60 percent. Results are not expected until late Sunday or early Monday. Even if opposition politicians win a majority of state governorships, they still may not be able to effectively wield power. Maduro has said incoming governors will have to take an ... read more
    Source: News Feed – Voice of America (PD USPD) – AmericasPublished on Sunday, October 15, 2017
  • Reality of NAFTA Talks Sets in After Tough US Demands
    Negotiators from Canada and Mexico grappled Saturday with U.S. demands to drastically alter the North American Free Trade Agreement, as talks over renewal of the pact vilified by President Donald Trump ran through a fourth straight day. Some downcast participants said the demands, unveiled this week in line with Trump's "America First" agenda, have increased the odds of NAFTA's demise. At the very least, they could make it impossible to reach a deal renewing the treaty before a year-end deadline. "The atmosphere is complicated," one trade official told reporters, adding that his fears about some "pretty harsh, pretty horrible" demands from the U.S. side of the negotiating table were coming true. Speaking on condition of anonymity because the talks were confidential, the official added the ... read more
    Source: News Feed – Voice of America (PD USPD) – AmericasPublished on Saturday, October 14, 2017
  • Venezuelans Cast Ballots Sunday in Regional Elections Viewed as Test for Maduro, Opposition
    Venezuelans cast ballots Sunday in regional elections that are widely seen as a vital test for both President Nicolas Maduro and the opposition. Voters will elect governors in all 23 states and the opposition Democratic Union Roundtable coalition is calling for a large turnout that some experts say could propel them to victory in most regions. Many polling experts say the opposition coalition could win 20 of the state elections, a feat that would mark the first time since 2000 the Maduro's socialist party would be forced to rule a country with so many opposition governors. Even if opposition politicians win 20 states, there are no guarantees they would be able to effectively wield power. Manduro has emphasized that incoming governors would have to take ... read more
    Source: News Feed – Voice of America (PD USPD) – AmericasPublished on Saturday, October 14, 2017
  • US-Canadian Family Returns to Canada After 5 Years as Captives in Afghanistan 
    A kidnapped American-Canadian couple and their three children have returned to Canada, after enduring five years as captives of the Taliban-linked Haqqani network in Afghanistan. The family landed in Toronto late Friday aboard an Air Canada flight from London. Caitlan Coleman, a U.S. citizen, and her Canadian husband, Joshua Boyle, were kidnapped while backpacking in Afghanistan in 2012. Coleman was pregnant at the time. She gave birth to four children while in captivity. Their release has prompted expressions of relief from U.S. and Canadian officials. In a statement, the Canadian government said it was “rejoicing over the long-awaited return” of the family. ​‘Resilience and determination’ But details are now emerging of the ordeal the family faced while held captive by members of the Haqqani network. ... read more
    Source: News Feed – Voice of America (PD USPD) – AmericasPublished on Saturday, October 14, 2017
  • Are NAFTA’s Days Numbered?
    Recent comments by U.S. President Donald Trump have raised fears that NAFTA, the 2-decades-old trade pact between Canada, the U.S. and Mexico, may be on its last legs. Proponents of NAFTA warn that scrapping the three-nation deal could cause economic shocks around the globe. But others say that's just a case of corporate fear mongering. Mil Arcega has more. ... read more
    Source: News Feed – Voice of America (PD USPD) – AmericasPublished on Friday, October 13, 2017

 Voice of America, VOA – Europe

  • Slovenia: Instagram-loving Incumbent Leads Presidential Race
    Slovenia, the Alpine home country of Melania Trump, is holding a presidential election Sunday that incumbent President Borut Pahor — a former fashion model, like the U.S. first lady — is favored to win. Eight other candidates are vying for the largely ceremonial, but still influential head of state post. Opinion polls show Pahor, a veteran politician who gave up modeling long ago, could win a majority of votes and avoid a runoff election two weeks later. Below is some background on the race being decided in nature-loving Slovenia:   A president who is king of Instagram The 53-year-old Pahor started his political career when Slovenia was part of the former Yugoslavia. He served as parliament speaker, a member of the European Parliament, prime minister ... read more
    Source: News Feed – Voice of America (PD USPD) – EuropePublished on Friday, October 20, 2017
  • Russia Hands Over MiG-29 Fighter Jets to Serbia
    Russia formally handed over six MiG-29 fighter jets to Serbia Friday, part of an arms delivery that has the potential to accentuate tensions in the war-weary Balkans. The ceremony at a military airport close to the Serbian capital, Belgrade was attended by Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic. "Thank you for these beautiful gifts," Vucic told Shoigu at the ceremony, which was accompanied by an air show and attended by tens of thousands of visitors. "These planes are not a threat to anyone, but show that no one can attack Serbia unpunished," he said. Moscow is handing over the MiGs for free, but it is estimated that the overhaul of the second-hand aircraft will cost Serbia about 200 million euros ($235 ... read more
    Source: News Feed – Voice of America (PD USPD) – EuropePublished on Friday, October 20, 2017
  • Pope Sends Rare Condolence After Malta Journalist Is Slain
    Pope Francis on Friday joined the chorus of shock over the car bomb slaying of Maltese investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, sending a note expressing his condolences Friday to the overwhelmingly Catholic island nation. Popes often send telegrams of condolences after deadly natural disasters or the deaths of prominent world leaders. Rarely does the death of a private citizen elicit a formal letter of condolence signed by the Vatican secretary of state in the pope's name. In the telegram sent Friday, Francis said he was "saddened by the tragic death" of Caruana Galizia and was praying for her family, the Maltese people and the nation as a whole "at this difficult moment." It was addressed to Valletta Archbishop Charles Scicluna, a longtime Vatican official before ... read more
    Source: News Feed – Voice of America (PD USPD) – EuropePublished on Friday, October 20, 2017
  • Putin Threatens Restrictions on US Media if Washington Pressures Russian Media
    President Vladimir Putin has threatened U.S. media operating in Russia, saying Moscow would retaliate if U.S. officials put restrictions on Russian media in the United States. The comments from Putin came October 19 during an appearance at a meeting of Russian and international foreign policy experts known as the Valdai Discussion Club, held in the Black Sea resort of Sochi. Officials with Russian state-funded media, including the RT TV channel formerly known as Russia Today and the news website Sputnik, say those organizations' American units have been ordered to register under a decades-old law known as the Foreign Agents Registration Act. The law was passed in the 1930s aimed at limiting the spread of Nazi propaganda in the United States. Since a U.S. intelligence report ... read more
    Source: News Feed – Voice of America (PD USPD) – EuropePublished on Friday, October 20, 2017
  • Romanian Border Police Take 28 Migrants Into Custody
    Romanian border police have taken into custody 28 migrants who are suspected of trying to cross into Hungary illegally. The border police agency said in a statement that the group of nine women, eight men and 11 children was spotted close to the Hungarian border early Friday and couldn't explain why they were in the area.   The agency says they originally were from Afghanistan, India, Iran and Iraq and had been living in refugee centers around Romania after registering as asylum-seekers.   Border agents took the group into custody for investigation. The travelers told police they wanted to reach Western Europe.   Hungary is a member of the Schengen visa-free travel area, but Romania isn't.          ... read more
    Source: News Feed – Voice of America (PD USPD) – EuropePublished on Friday, October 20, 2017
  • Russia Accuses US Govt of Pushing for its Olympic Exclusion
    The Kremlin accused the U.S. government on Friday of pushing for Russia's exclusion from the Olympics. A day after Russian President Vladimir Putin said the IOC was coming under pressure from the U.S., his spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Putin meant "state (structures), including through social and non-government organizations." Putin said the effort aimed to ensure Russia was either barred from next year's Winter Olympics entirely or forced to compete under a neutral flag. In televised comments on Thursday, Putin said the IOC depended on sponsorship income "and in turn clear signals are being given to these sponsors by certain American bodies. We aren't simply guessing about this, we know about it." Missing the Olympics or competing as neutrals would be "degrading" for Russia, Putin added, ... read more
    Source: News Feed – Voice of America (PD USPD) – EuropePublished on Friday, October 20, 2017
  • Kurz Tasked with Forming New Austrian Government
    Austria's president has formally tasked conservative leader Sebastian Kurz with forming a new government after his party finished first in last weekend's election. Kurz said after meeting President Alexander Van der Bellen on Friday that he wants to put together a government "that has the courage and determination to bring about real change in Austria."   Kurz said he plans to hold talks with all the parties in the new parliament.   The 31-year-old Kurz, who is foreign minister in the outgoing government, is on track to become Europe's youngest leader.   The likeliest coalition partner for his Austrian People's Party is the right-wing, anti-immigration Freedom Party. But he could also try to renew its alliance with the center-left Social Democrats, who led the increasingly ... read more
    Source: News Feed – Voice of America (PD USPD) – EuropePublished on Friday, October 20, 2017
  • Poland: Man Sets Self on Fire, has Note Blaming Ruling Party
    Warsaw police are questioning witnesses and reviewing street surveillance videos after a man set himself on fire in the city's center. Police spokesman Robert Koniuszy said Friday the 54-year-old man was in serious condition at a hospital. He says the man was from outside Warsaw. Koniuszy says police are gathering evidence to determine his motives. Polish news portal Wyborcza.pl reports that the man distributed leaflets protesting policies of the country's conservative government before he set himself on fire Thursday. The portal says he listed the government's hostility to migrants and efforts to control the judicial system. It also says the man had a letter saying the ruling Law and Justice party would be responsible for his death. RMF FM radio in Poland says he had ... read more
    Source: News Feed – Voice of America (PD USPD) – EuropePublished on Friday, October 20, 2017
  • Spain’s Main Parties Agree New Catalan Election Needed
    Spain's government and the main opposition party agreed Friday to hold a new election in Catalonia in January as part of special measures to try to resolve the country's deepest political crisis in decades. The move is likely to further inflame tensions between Spain and Catalan pro-independence activists. Catalonia's government says it has the mandate to secede from Spain after an illegal referendum was held on Oct. 1, and it doesn't want a new regional election. The central government will hold a special Cabinet session on Saturday to begin the activation of Article 155 of Spain's 1978 Constitution, which allows for central authorities to take over all or some of the powers of any of the country's 17 autonomous regions. The measure, which has never ... read more
    Source: News Feed – Voice of America (PD USPD) – EuropePublished on Friday, October 20, 2017
  • Europeans Talk Tough to Cambodia
    The vice-chair of the European Union Subcommittee on Human Rights says her union needs to react “very soon” with concrete actions in response to what she characterized as the Cambodian government’s moves to dissolve the country’s main opposition party. The comments by EU parliamentarian Barbara Lochbihler come as Sweden said Thursday it would rethink its engagement with Cambodia if the government proceeds with its steps to dissolve the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP). ​Trade sanctions an option Targeted sanctions or even suspension of preferential access to Cambodia’s biggest export market are among the options the union must consider now, Lochbihler told VOA. “In Cambodia they could say ‘yes, well we have the support of the Chinese government, why do we care about the EU?’” ... read more
    Source: News Feed – Voice of America (PD USPD) – EuropePublished on Friday, October 20, 2017

 Voice of America, VOA – Asia

  • India Looking Forward to Visit by US Secretary of State
    India on Friday said it is looking forward to a visit by U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson next week to further strengthen a partnership based on a shared commitment to a rule-based international order. Indian External Affairs Ministry spokesman Raveesh Kumar welcomed a recent statement by Tillerson calling for an expansion of strategic ties. "We appreciate his positive evaluation of the relationship and share his optimism about its future directions," Kumar said. In an address at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington think tank, Tillerson on Wednesday said the world needs the U.S. and India to have a strong partnership as he pointedly criticized China, which he accused of challenging international norms needed for global stability. He said the United States ... read more
    Source: News Feed – Voice of America (PD USPD) – AsiaPublished on Friday, October 20, 2017
  • North Korean Official Says US Must ‘Put Up” with Pyongyang’s Nuclear Weapons
    A senior North Korean official said in Moscow Friday that Pyongyang does not plan to discuss its nuclear program with the U.S., insisting Washington would have "have to put up" with the reality it possesses nuclear weapons. "This is a matter of life and death for us," North Korean Foreign Ministry official Choe Son-hui told a non-proliferation conference in Moscow. Chon maintained that North Korea's nuclear weapons are needed to respond to any potential attacks. "We will respond to fire with fire," Choe said. No negotiations North Korea has said many times its nuclear weapons program is not subject to negotiation, and has rejected U.S. calls for its denuclearization. The North is likely just months away from being capable of striking the United States with ... read more
    Source: News Feed – Voice of America (PD USPD) – AsiaPublished on Friday, October 20, 2017
  • Europeans Talk Tough to Cambodia
    The vice-chair of the European Union Subcommittee on Human Rights says her union needs to react “very soon” with concrete actions in response to what she characterized as the Cambodian government’s moves to dissolve the country’s main opposition party. The comments by EU parliamentarian Barbara Lochbihler come as Sweden said Thursday it would rethink its engagement with Cambodia if the government proceeds with its steps to dissolve the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP). ​Trade sanctions an option Targeted sanctions or even suspension of preferential access to Cambodia’s biggest export market are among the options the union must consider now, Lochbihler told VOA. “In Cambodia they could say ‘yes, well we have the support of the Chinese government, why do we care about the EU?’” ... read more
    Source: News Feed – Voice of America (PD USPD) – AsiaPublished on Friday, October 20, 2017
  • New Zealand to Have Youngest Prime Minister Since 1856
    New Zealand will have a center-left coalition government led by the nation’s youngest prime minister in more than 150 years.  When New Zealanders voted in a general election almost a month ago, neither of the two major parties, the center-right National party, which had been in power for nearly a decade and won more seats than its rivals, and the left-of-center Labour party, managed to win an outright majority in parliament.  Both had been attempting to form a coalition government following the September vote. Peters chooses For weeks they have been negotiating with Winston Peters, the maverick leader of the nationalist New Zealand First party that won nine seats, and wants to curb immigration and foreign ownership of property. Peters said he was faced with ... read more
    Source: News Feed – Voice of America (PD USPD) – AsiaPublished on Friday, October 20, 2017
  • Australia’s Victoria State Legalizes Euthanasia
    The parliament of Australia’s second largest state passed legislation Friday to allow terminally ill patients to seek medical help to end their lives, a bill that is expected to act as a catalyst for the rest of the country to adopt similar laws. Any resident of Victoria state older than 18, with a terminal illness and with less than 12 months to live can request a lethal dose of medication, the bill permits. Anyone that is too ill to administer the dosage can ask for a doctor to help. Many countries have legalized euthanasia or physician-assisted deaths, including Canada, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and some states in the United States. Federal government opposed But Australia’s federal government has opposed legalizing euthanasia even though the remote Northern ... read more
    Source: News Feed – Voice of America (PD USPD) – AsiaPublished on Friday, October 20, 2017
  • Russians Give Philippines Shiploads of Weapons, Trucks
    Three Russian warships, including two anti-submarine vessels, docked in Manila on Friday to unload what navy officials said was weaponry and military vehicles donated to the Philippines as part of a new defense relationship. It was the third port visit this year by Russian warships as part of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s moves to engage closely with Moscow, an arch-rival of Manila’s former colonial master and closest defense ally, the United States. The load included 5,000 assault rifles, a million rounds of ammunition and 20 army trucks, Russian and Filipino navy officials said. “We would do our best to make this port call a significant contribution indicating friendly ties and relations between two nations in the interest of security and stability in this region,” said ... read more
    Source: News Feed – Voice of America (PD USPD) – AsiaPublished on Friday, October 20, 2017
  • India’s Air Pollution 18 Times the Healthy Limit
    Air pollution in New Delhi hit 18 times the healthy limit Friday under a thick, toxic haze after a night of fireworks to celebrate the Hindu festival of Diwali, despite a court-ordered ban on their sales. Residents of the sprawling Indian capital, which ranks among the world’s most polluted cities, complained of eyes watering and aggravated coughs as levels of PM 2.5, tiny particulate matter that reaches deep into the lungs, rose alarmingly. Air quality usually worsens in New Delhi ahead of Diwali, the festival of lights, and the Supreme Court temporarily banned the sale of firecrackers, aiming to lessen the risk to health. ​But many still lit fireworks across the capital late into the night, either using old stocks or buying them from neighboring ... read more
    Source: News Feed – Voice of America (PD USPD) – AsiaPublished on Friday, October 20, 2017
  • Last Holden Rolls Off Factory Line in Australia
    The last mass-produced car designed and built in Australia rolled off General Motors Co.’s production line in the industrial city of Adelaide on Friday as the nation reluctantly bid farewell to its auto manufacturing industry. GM Holden Ltd., an Australian subsidiary of the U.S. automotive giant, built its last car almost 70 years after it created Australia’s first, the FX Holden, in 1948. Since then, an array of carmakers including Ford, Toyota, Nissan, Mitsubishi, Chrysler and Leyland have built and closed manufacturing plants in Australia. Clocking out for last time After the last gleaming red Holden VF Commodore, a six-cylinder rear-wheel drive sedan, left the plant in the Adelaide suburb of Elizabeth that had grown over decades to provide its workforce, 955 factory workers will ... read more
    Source: News Feed – Voice of America (PD USPD) – AsiaPublished on Friday, October 20, 2017
  • Mini Aquatic Robot Dives Into Nuclear Disaster Areas
    An aquatic robot, small and nimble enough to fit inside the smallest of openings, is being tested in Japan ahead of being deployed into the damaged core of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. Faith Lapidus reports. ... read more
    Source: News Feed – Voice of America (PD USPD) – AsiaPublished on Friday, October 20, 2017
  • UN: Rohingya Children Cast Out of Their Land Face a Bleak Future
    The U.N. Children’s Fund warns that more than 320,000 Rohingya refugee children are living in desperate conditions in squalid makeshift settlements in Bangladesh, putting them at risk of disease and vulnerable to exploitation by traffickers. UNICEF reports that up to 12,000 children a week are fleeing to Bangladesh to escape violence and persecution in Myanmar. In what is the world’s fastest growing refugee crisis, nearly 600,000 Rohingyas have arrived in Cox’s Bazar since the end of August. Almost 60 percent are children. Heart-breaking report The UNICEF report graphically describes the fearful existence of these many children. It says they arrive in Bangladesh — painfully thin, malnourished and hungry. After having escaped a near-death experience, the report says the children find themselves living in flimsy shelters. ... read more
    Source: News Feed – Voice of America (PD USPD) – AsiaPublished on Thursday, October 19, 2017

 Voice of America, VOA – Middle East

  • Lebanese Court Issues Death Sentence Over 1982 Gemayel Assassination
    Lebanon's top court on Friday sentenced Habib Shartouni to death for the 1982 assassination of president-elect Bashir Gemayel, an event that was a turningpoint in Lebanon's 15-year civil war. Shartouni, a member of the Syrian Socialist Nationalist Party (SSNP), admitted his part in the bombing in the 1980s and was tried in absentia after escaping from prison in 1990 following eight years in detention. He was quoted in an interview in Lebanon's al-Akhbar newspaper on Thursday saying the timing of the trial was political and that he had lived in Syria between 1994 and 2004. He did not reveal his present location. Gemayel was killed less than a month after he was elected president and soon after he agreed to start discussing diplomatic ties with ... read more
    Source: News Feed – Voice of America (PD USPD) – Middle EastPublished on Friday, October 20, 2017
  • US-backed Syrian Force Declare Victory Over IS in Raqqa
    A U.S.-backed Syrian force declared victory over the Islamic State group in its former "capital" of Raqqa on Friday, declaring the northern Syrian city free of any extremist presence. At a press conference held inside the city Friday, the Kurdish-led force known as the Syrian Democratic Forces formally handed over administration of the devastated northern city to a council made up of local officials and tribal leaders. In a highly symbolic move, the press conference was held inside the city's sports stadium which Islamic State militants had turned into an arms depot and a huge prison where they incarcerated and tortured their opponents. "Our victory is one against terrorism, and the liberation of Raqqa marks the latest chapter in the fight against terrorists in Syria," ... read more
    Source: News Feed – Voice of America (PD USPD) – Middle EastPublished on Friday, October 20, 2017
  • Russia to Control Iraq Kurdistan’s Main Oil Pipeline
    Russian energy major Rosneft has agreed to take control of the main oil pipeline in Iraq’s Kurdistan, further boosting its role as the main international investor in the semi-autonomous region. The move is an apparent part of a broader strategy by President Vladimir Putin to ratchet up Moscow’s political and economic influence in the Middle East. It came amid the crisis in Kurdistan’s relations with the central government in Baghdad, which erupted after the region held an independence referendum last month. Rosneft said its share in the project may total as much as 60 percent, while the current pipeline operator KAR Group will retain 40 percent. Sources familiar with the deal said Rosneft’s investment in the project was seen totaling about $1.8 billion. The deal ... read more
    Source: News Feed – Voice of America (PD USPD) – Middle EastPublished on Friday, October 20, 2017
  • Senate Republicans Plan Iran Nuclear Deal Strategy
    Senate Republicans plan to introduce legislation that would add new conditions to the legislation that gives them review authority over the Iran nuclear deal, a longtime lawmaker says. Senator Lindsey Graham, a Republican from South Carolina, told VOA the current Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) is "a lousy deal" and explained President Donald Trump refused to re-certify it because "the benefits to Iran are [not] worth what we’re getting." In an interview with VOA contributor Greta Van Susteren, Graham said he will work with Armed Services Committee member Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas and Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee, both fellow Republicans, to craft legislation regarding Iran. WATCH: Graham: Senate Republicans Plan Iran Nuclear Deal Strategy He said the legislation ... read more
    Source: News Feed – Voice of America (PD USPD) – Middle EastPublished on Thursday, October 19, 2017
  • Graham: Senate Republicans Plan Iran Nuclear Deal Strategy
    Senate Republicans plan to introduce legislation that would add new conditions to the legislation that gives them review authority over the Iran nuclear deal, a longtime lawmaker says. Senator Lindsey Graham, a Republican from South Carolina, told VOA the current Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) is “a lousy deal” and explained President Donald Trump refused to recertify it because “the benefits to Iran are (not) worth what we’re getting.” ... read more
    Source: News Feed – Voice of America (PD USPD) – Middle EastPublished on Thursday, October 19, 2017
  • Tillerson to Attend First Meeting Between Saudi Arabia, Iraq
    U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is heading to the Middle East on Friday, attending the first meeting between the governments of Saudi Arabia and Iraq, and exploring ways of improving relations between the two countries.  The inaugural Coordination Council meeting comes amid a warming of relations between Riyadh and Baghdad. The gathering is seen as part of U.S. efforts to reduce Iran's increasing influence in Iraq by encouraging Baghdad to align more closely with Riyadh. "Iran is always a huge concern of ours, not just in Iraq, but throughout the region," said State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert during a briefing Thursday. She added that the U.S. welcomes the improvement of relations between Iraq and Saudi Arabia, citing an example of how the reopening of ... read more
    Source: News Feed – Voice of America (PD USPD) – Middle EastPublished on Thursday, October 19, 2017
  • Rival Parties Trade Blame Over Kirkuk Amid Fears of Kurdish Split
    Iraqi Kurdistan’s two main political families and their supporters traded accusations of blame Wednesday for the Iraqi army’s easy takeover this week of the city of Kirkuk and other disputed areas in northern Iraq, which the Kurds seized from the Islamic State terror group three years ago. Some Kurdish leaders expressed fears that Kurdistan could split into two, if recriminations worsen, taking the region back to when it was divided during a three-year-long civil war between Iraqi Kurds in the 1990s that left more than 10,000 dead. A senior official of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), the minority partner in the Kurdish government, warned of the risk of Kurdish infighting and reigniting of an old feud between the storied Talabani and Barzani families. Mala ... read more
    Source: News Feed – Voice of America (PD USPD) – Middle EastPublished on Thursday, October 19, 2017
  • Turkey Seeks Nigeria’s Support Against US-Based Cleric
    Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan pledged cooperation with Nigeria in its fight against Boko Haram but said he expected the African nation's support against a movement led by U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen whom Ankara accuses of orchestrating last year's failed coup. Speaking at a joint news conference Thursday with Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari, Erdogan reiterated Turkish assertions that schools run by Gulen's movement in Africa were being used to raise “militants.”  Buhari was in the Turkish capital for a meeting of “Developing-8” countries, which also includes Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia and Pakistan. Erdogan also said Turkish customs authorities were engaged in talks with their Nigerian counterparts over how hundreds of rifles allegedly made their way to Nigeria from Turkey. Gulen denies involvement in the ... read more
    Source: News Feed – Voice of America (PD USPD) – Middle EastPublished on Thursday, October 19, 2017
  • At UN, US Envoy Cites ‘Laundry List’ of Iranian Bad Behavior
    U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley lashed out Wednesday at Iran for what she called a “laundry list” of bad behavior, and she criticized the U.N. Security Council for not holding Tehran accountable. “Every six months the Security Council is presented with a laundry list of bad news but only somehow manages to only hear the good news,” Haley said, referring to the twice-annual report the U.N. secretary-general sends to the council on implementation of the 2015 nuclear deal. Haley spoke at a monthly council meeting that primarily reviews the Israeli-Palestinian situation. Since arriving at the U.N. in January as President Donald Trump’s envoy, she has sought to highlight Iranian behavior and that of its regional proxies Hezbollah and Hamas, during the monthly session. Last week, Trump ... read more
    Source: News Feed – Voice of America (PD USPD) – Middle EastPublished on Wednesday, October 18, 2017
  • A Saudi Arabian First: Spokeswoman at Kingdom’s US Embassy
    Saudi Arabia is trying to portray itself as ready to join the ranks of modern, tolerant societies. And to help make that case in Washington, the kingdom is relying on the first woman to serve as the Saudi Embassy's official spokeswoman. Saudi-born Fatimah Baeshen has spent years living, working and studying in the United States. She tells The Associated Press that she's "a byproduct of the longstanding Saudi-U.S. relationship." On her first day on the job, the kingdom's rulers issued a decree to let women drive, starting next summer. That's a step toward erasing what much of the world sees as Saudi Arabia's lagging record on women's rights. Activists are pushing for greater rights and political freedoms. ... read more
    Source: News Feed – Voice of America (PD USPD) – Middle EastPublished on Wednesday, October 18, 2017

 Voice of America, VOA – Africa

  • Namibia Tells Airbnb Hosts to Register or Face Jail
    Namibia Tells Airbnb Hosts to Register or Face Jail Namibia said on Friday that local home owners listed with U.S. short-term rental service Airbnb Inc risk imprisonment if they fail to register with the tourism regulatory body before the end of this year. The southern African nation is a long-haul destination for European, American and Asian tourists and the sector contributes around 15 percent to its gross domestic product. Under Namibian laws, any accommodation establishment with two or more bedrooms is required to register with the tourism board, or face a fine, a two-year jail term or both. “We need to guarantee the health and safety of guests, but we cannot do that if the accommodation is not registered or regulated,” Namibia Tourism Board Chief ... read more
    Source: News Feed – Voice of America (PD USPD) – AfricaPublished on Friday, October 20, 2017
  • UN: At Least 46 Attacks in Niger Region Where US Troops Were Killed
    ​A part of southwestern Niger where four U.S. Green Berets were killed during a mission the U.S. military had considered low-risk has seen at least 46 attacks by armed groups since early last year, a U.N. agency said on Friday. The deaths of the four U.S. soldiers and ensuing confusion over what happened during the October 4 ambush have thrown a spotlight on the U.S. counter-terrorism mission in the West African nation, where about 800 U.S. troops are deployed. Four Nigerien soldiers were also killed. U.S. forces do not have a direct combat role in Niger and instead provide assistance to its army, including intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance support. Several Islamist militant groups are known to operate in the area near the border with Mali ... read more
    Source: News Feed – Voice of America (PD USPD) – AfricaPublished on Friday, October 20, 2017
  • Malaria Outbreak Kills 4 at Kenyan Refugee Camp
    A malaria outbreak has killed at least four people at a refugee camp in northwestern Kenya, according to local residents and health officials. Hundreds of people have come down with the infectious disease at the Kalobeyei refugee complex in Kenya's Turkana County. "Already four to six people have died due to malaria," Galama Guyo, a health care professional at Kalobeyei, told VOA's Horn of Africa service. "Weekly, we report more than 200 malaria cases, especially people with low body resistance [immunity]." Health care providers do not have enough drugs to treat patients, and there is no major hospital in the area, so some patients have to travel to up to 30 kilometers for treatment, he said. The type of malaria hitting the camps is plasmodium ... read more
    Source: News Feed – Voice of America (PD USPD) – AfricaPublished on Friday, October 20, 2017
  • Political Uncertainty Slows Down Kenya’s Economic Growth
    Kenya’s economy is expected to grow next year by 5 percent, down from a projected 6 percent, according to the International Monetary Fund. The slowdown is largely blamed on the political uncertainties related to the re-run presidential election scheduled for October 26. Mohammed Yusuf reports from Kisumu, an opposition stronghold in western Kenya. ... read more
    Source: News Feed – Voice of America (PD USPD) – AfricaPublished on Friday, October 20, 2017
  • Pneumonic Plague Continues to Spread Rapidly in Madagascar
    The World Health Organization reports pneumonic plague is continuing to spread at an alarming rate in urban areas of Madagascar and greater effort is needed to bring this deadly disease under control. Latest figures put the number of suspected cases at 1,153, including 94 deaths. Health agencies are worried at how quickly this disease is spreading so early in Madagascar’s plague season, which runs from September to April.  The disease usually infects some 400 people a year. But this year, with six more months to go, the number of suspected cases is nearly three times higher than normal.  WHO Regional Emergency Director for Africa, Ibrahima Soce Fall, says the spread of the disease is faster because pneumonic plague, which is transmitted from person to person, ... read more
    Source: News Feed – Voice of America (PD USPD) – AfricaPublished on Friday, October 20, 2017
  • Pentagon Faces Demands on Deadly Niger Attack
    Members of Congress are demanding answers two weeks after an ambush in the African nation of Niger killed four U.S. soldiers, with one top lawmaker even threatening subpoenas. The White House defended the slow pace of information, saying an investigation would eventually offer clarity about a tragedy that has morphed into a political dispute in the United States. Among the unresolved inquiries: Why were the Americans apparently caught by surprise? Why did it take two additional days to recover one of the four bodies after the shooting stopped? Was the Islamic State responsible?   The confusion over what happened in a remote corner of Niger, where few Americans travel, has increasingly dogged President Donald Trump, who was silent about the deaths for more than a ... read more
    Source: News Feed – Voice of America (PD USPD) – AfricaPublished on Friday, October 20, 2017
  • Dialogue on Cameroon Anglophone Crisis Makes Little Headway
    A week of talks in Cameroon’s two English-speaking zones wrapped up Friday. The government organized the dialogue in a bid to end a push for independence in the regions.  However, the talks appear to have made little headway.     Hundreds of protesters in Lebialem, an area in the English-speaking southwest region, jeered and chased away delegates sent by President Paul Biya to hold talks Tuesday with local leaders.  The protesters set ablaze the residence of Bernard Foju, a lawmaker from the locality.   The protesters then sang this song they call the anthem of their newly-created state of Ambazonia and left, promising never to listen to Biya’s emissaries.   One of those emissaries, Senator Mbella Moki, said the government will not give up.   ... read more
    Source: News Feed – Voice of America (PD USPD) – AfricaPublished on Friday, October 20, 2017
  • Kenyan Election Chief Takes Leave
    The chief executive of Kenya’s election board, who the opposition has demanded must be fired before a repeat presidential election scheduled for Oct. 26, said Friday he was taking three weeks of leave. Ezra Chiloba said he had taken a personal decision to take leave in light of the opposition’s demands, without giving more details. He said all arrangements were in place for the election, as ordered by the Supreme Court. “This is the first time I’m taking leave since my son was born. He turns two years (old) in two weeks’ time,” he told Reuters. The court annulled the first election, held in August and in which incumbent Uhuru Kenyatta was declared winner, over procedural irregularities. The opposition, led by Raila Odinga, has said ... read more
    Source: News Feed – Voice of America (PD USPD) – AfricaPublished on Friday, October 20, 2017
  • EU Pledges More Money to Help Italy Stem Flow of Migrants From Libya
    European Union leaders pledged more money Thursday to help Italy work with Libya to stem the flow of migrants from North Africa trying to get to Europe. "We have a real chance of closing the central Mediterranean route," European Council President Donald Tusk told reporters at a Brussels summit. Tusk was referring to the extremely dangerous sea crossing between Libya and Italy’s Lampedusa island — the first EU territory the migrants encounter. Thousands have died trying to cross the Mediterranean on unsafe boats or after being left on their own by human smugglers. Italian officials say the number of migrants leaving Libyan shores has dropped 20 percent in 2017, since Italy began working with Libya to stop the flow. This includes Italy providing more training ... read more
    Source: News Feed – Voice of America (PD USPD) – AfricaPublished on Thursday, October 19, 2017
  • US Military Investigating Deaths of Soldiers in Niger Ambush
    U.S. Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis said Thursday the military is investigating the deaths of four American soldiers in Niger earlier this month at the hands of Islamic jihadists. Mattis told reporters "a full investigation is underway" into the incident, as is the case any time a U.S. service member is killed, and the military would release any new information it receives in a timely fashion. "We, in the Department of Defense, like to know what we’re talking about before we talk," Mattis said. "We do not have all the accurate information yet. We will release it as rapidly as we get it." The Islamic State militants ambushed U.S. and Nigerien forces during an Oct. 4 firefight that also killed four of Niger's security personnel. ... read more
    Source: News Feed – Voice of America (PD USPD) – AfricaPublished on Thursday, October 19, 2017

  More PD USPD News and Events…. – click here