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

  • Mattis Tight-Lipped on New Afghan Strategy
    U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis says he is satisfied with the process the Trump administration went through to formulate its new strategy for Afghanistan, but he declined to provide details. Speaking in Amman, Mattis said he will not talk about the policy until it is officially disclosed by the White House. Trump said Saturday his administration has decided how to deal with the 16-year war in Afghanistan. One day after meeting at the Camp David presidential retreat with his national security team, Trump tweeted, “Important day spent at Camp David with our very talented generals and military leaders. Many decisions made, including on Afghanistan,” without providing details. Trump Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Friday a new strategy would “protect America’s interests” in the South ... read more
    Source: News Feed – Voice of America (PD USPD) – USAPublished on Sunday, August 20, 2017
  • What to Know About the Solar Eclipse
    A total solar eclipse will march across the United States on Monday, casting a shadow from Oregon's Pacific Coast, across the U.S. heartland, all the way to South Carolina's Atlantic Coast.   Why is this eclipse so anticipated?   This will be the first time in 38 years that the mainland United States will experience a total eclipse, and it will be the first time in 99 years that a total eclipse will pass from the U.S. Pacific Coast to the U.S. Atlantic Coast. The last time that happened was in 1918, traveling from Washington state to Florida. Hawaii experienced a total solar eclipse in 1991.   Total eclipses happen every one to three years somewhere in the world, however, they are most likely to ... read more
    Source: News Feed – Voice of America (PD USPD) – USAPublished on Sunday, August 20, 2017
  • Differences on North Korea Could Test US-South Korea Relationship
    Questions have arisen about the future of the U.S.-South Korea security alliance as the nations take different approaches to North Korea, despite the fact the decades-long relationship remains robust right now, experts say. “The U.S. and South Korea are aligned for now because North Korea is not playing ball, it’s not accepting South Korean requests for dialogue,” Sue Mi Terry, a former CIA analyst and director for Korea, Japan and Oceanic Affairs at the U.S. National Security Council, told VOA’s Korean Service. “But that could change of course.”  Questions about the strength and resilience of the Washington-Seoul relationship loomed large after South Korean President Moon Jae-in declared August 15 in a televised speech that there will be no military action on the Korean peninsula without ... read more
    Source: News Feed – Voice of America (PD USPD) – USAPublished on Sunday, August 20, 2017
  • Electric Guitar Manufacturer Stays Plugged-In to Maryland
    Sometimes, it just doesn’t pay to manufacture in the United States. Labor and land are expensive. It is why most consumer products sold here come from overseas. But a multinational electric guitar manufacturer still produces one-third of its instruments near where it started decades ago. Arash Arabasadi names that tune from Maryland. ... read more
    Source: News Feed – Voice of America (PD USPD) – USAPublished on Sunday, August 20, 2017
  • Electric Guitar Manufacturer Stays Plugged-In to Maryland
    Sometimes, it just doesn’t pay to manufacture in the United States. Labor and land are expensive. It is why most consumer products sold here come from overseas. But a multinational electric guitar manufacturer still produces one-third of its instruments near where it started decades ago. Arash Arabasadi names that tune from Maryland. ... read more
    Source: News Feed – Voice of America (PD USPD) – EconomicsPublished on Sunday, August 20, 2017
  • Fashion Entrepreneur Drives Her Boutique
    Danelle Johnson started designing her own clothes when she was a teenager. Not just because sewing was her hobby. She wanted to stand out among her classmates with a personal, distinctive look. Johnson’s vision of fashion motivated her to start her own design company ... on wheels. As Faiza Elmasry reports, the fashion entrepreneur attracts customers who prefer her rolling retail boutique to big malls and online shopping. Faith Lapidus narrates. ... read more
    Source: News Feed – Voice of America (PD USPD) – EconomicsPublished on Sunday, August 20, 2017
  • Boston Still on Edge Even With Nonviolent Protest
    As many as 40,000 people took to the streets in Boston Saturday to protest a “free speech” rally that featured right-wing, conservative speakers. As VOA’s Carolyn Presutti reports, Boston police warned both sides that they would not tolerate violence. Here’s what happened. ... read more
    Source: News Feed – Voice of America (PD USPD) – USAPublished on Sunday, August 20, 2017
  • Researchers Find Wreckage of WWII-era USS Indianapolis
    Civilian researchers say they have located the wreck of the USS Indianapolis, the World War II heavy cruiser that played a critical role in the atomic bombing of Hiroshima before being struck by Japanese torpedoes. The sinking of the Indianapolis remains the Navy’s single worst loss at sea. The fate of its crew — nearly 900 were killed, many by sharks, and just 316 survived — was one of the Pacific war’s more horrible and fascinating tales. The expedition crew of Research Vessel Petrel, which is owned by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, says it located the wreckage of the Indianapolis on the floor of the North Pacific Ocean, more than 18,000 feet (5,500 meters) below the surface, the U.S. Navy said in a news release ... read more
    Source: News Feed – Voice of America (PD USPD) – USAPublished on Sunday, August 20, 2017
  • Comedian, Civil Rights Activist Dick Gregory Dies
    Dick Gregory, who broke racial barriers in the 1960s and used his humor to spread messages of social justice and nutritional health, has died. He was 84. Gregory’s son, Christian, told The Associated Press his father died late Saturday in Washington, D.C. after being hospitalized for about a week. He had suffered a severe bacterial infection. Gregory was one of the first black comedians to find mainstream success with white audiences in the early 1960s. He rose from an impoverished childhood in St. Louis to become a celebrated satirist who deftly commented upon racial divisions at the dawn of the civil rights movement. He also ran for president in 1968 as the Peace and Freedom party candidate. ... read more
    Source: News Feed – Voice of America (PD USPD) – USAPublished on Saturday, August 19, 2017
  • Religious Leader, Digital Economy Advisers Sever Ties With Trump
    The head of New York City's largest evangelical church has resigned from President Donald Trump's unofficial panel of evangelical advisers, one of the latest resignations in a string of high-profile withdrawals from advisory boards serving the president. A.R. Bernard, head of the 37,000-member Christian Cultural Center, announced this week he submitted a formal letter to Trump on Tuesday announcing his withdrawal. Tuesday was the day Trump gave a press conference from Trump Tower in New York City, in which he doubled down on his assertions that "many sides" were to blame for the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, last weekend when a counterprotester was killed at a white supremacist rally Bernard was one of a few dozen leaders, reports The Washington Post, who gave advice to ... read more
    Source: News Feed – Voice of America (PD USPD) – USAPublished on Saturday, August 19, 2017

 Voice of America, VOA – Americas

  • Venezuelan Congress Rejects Constituent Assembly’s Power Seizure
    Venezuela's opposition-controlled National Assembly met Saturday to reject the pro-government constituent assembly's proclamation of lawmaking authority a day earlier. Outspoken opposition spokesman Freddy Guevara, the vice president of the National Assembly, on Saturday condemned the constituent assembly's power grab, and the body itself, as "null." He accused the pro-government assembly of acting to approve contracts and secure international financing in the midst of a national economic crisis, and he warned that congress wouldn't back agreements that violated the Constitution. The National Assembly made its declaration of resistance in the presence of foreign diplomats from the United States, Britain, Mexico and Spain. The United States has rejected the authority of the constituent assembly and President Donald Trump, in a surprise move, last week even talked about ... read more
    Source: News Feed – Voice of America (PD USPD) – AmericasPublished on Saturday, August 19, 2017
  • Ousted Venezuelan Chief Prosecutor Flees to Colombia
    Venezuela’s ousted chief prosecutor and her husband — two of President Nicolas Maduro’s most outspoken critics — fled the country and landed Friday afternoon in Colombia.   Luisa Ortega Diaz and German Ferrer arrived in Bogota aboard a private plane traveling from Aruba, Colombian migration authorities said in a statement. The couple didn’t request asylum, according to a senior Colombian official speaking on condition of anonymity because he’s not authorized to discuss the politically sensitive case.    Ortega and Ferrer have long been aligned with Venezuela’s ruling socialist party but recently broke with Maduro, publicly denouncing his push to convene a constitutional assembly that was installed in early August and is now going about the task of upending Venezuela’s institutions. Politically motivated accusations   One ... read more
    Source: News Feed – Voice of America (PD USPD) – AmericasPublished on Friday, August 18, 2017
  • Entrepreneurs Hope Pence’s Latin America Trip Sparks Ideas
    More public backing for innovation, more idea exchanges to nurture global trade and more stability. That’s what two transnational entrepreneurs hope will result from U.S. Vice President Mike Pence’s travels this week to Latin America, where he has promoted prosperity, security and democracy for the Americas. Liliana "Lili" Gil Valletta, a Colombia native and naturalized U.S. citizen, described Pence’s trip to her homeland, Argentina, Chile and Panama as "a good thing" that highlights bilateral trade. Valletta co-founded and runs CIEN+, a marketing and analytics firm based in New York and Medellin, Colombia. "We’re doing our mini-version of trade, giving jobs on both sides," she joked. Nathan Lustig, an American entrepreneur, said he hopes Pence’s visit reinforces the benefits of trade and competition — for the ... read more
    Source: News Feed – Voice of America (PD USPD) – AmericasPublished on Friday, August 18, 2017
  • Venezuela’s Pro-government Assembly Seizes Power From Congress
    Venezuela's pro-government constitutional assembly has given itself the power to pass laws, seizing legislative power from the opposition-led congress. The assembly unanimously passed a decree Friday enabling it “to legislate on matters directly aimed at ensuring the preservation of peace, security, sovereignty, the socioeconomic financial system, the purposes of state and the preeminence of Venezuela's human rights.” While the decree did not explicitly dissolve congress, it stripped away the already diminished powers of the body. Also Friday, Venezuela's ousted chief prosecutor and her husband — two of President Nicolas Maduro's most outspoken critics — fled the country and landed in Colombia, authorities said. Luisa Ortega Diaz and German Ferrer arrived in Bogota aboard a private plane traveling from Aruba, Colombian Migration authorities said. No immediate ... read more
    Source: News Feed – Voice of America (PD USPD) – AmericasPublished on Friday, August 18, 2017
  • Peru Warns of New Drug Hot Spot at Brazil-Colombia Border
    A new cocaine-producing hot spot is taking root in Peru near its border with Colombia and Brazil, and local authorities worry that dissident FARC guerillas may join forces with drug traffickers there, Peru's defense minister said Thursday. Coca growing and cocaine production is expanding in the triple border region mainly because Peru stepped up efforts to crack down on drug-traffickers in the Vraem, a bundle of jungle valleys where more than half of Peruvian cocaine is now made, said Defense Minister Jorge Nieto. "If we're successful in one place, they go elsewhere," Nieto told a news conference with foreign media, lamenting what he called the "cockroach effect." Peru and Colombia are the world's top two cocaine producers and coca growing in the Colombia-Brazil border region ... read more
    Source: News Feed – Voice of America (PD USPD) – AmericasPublished on Thursday, August 17, 2017
  • Canada Sees ‘Unsustainable’ Spike in Asylum Seekers at US Border
    The number of asylum seekers who illegally crossed the U.S. border into Canada more than tripled last month, according to Canadian government data released Thursday, as migrants worried about the U.S. administration's immigration crackdown head north. More than 3,100 people walked across the border illegally in July to file refugee claims and were arrested, up from 884 in June, the federal government said. Ninety-six percent of them went to Quebec, where an influx of asylum seekers, primarily Haitians, is sparking a backlash from opposition politicians and anti-immigrant groups in the primarily French-speaking province. In the first 15 days of August, an additional 3,800 asylum seekers were arrested crossing the U.S. border into Quebec, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police said. More than 1,000 people are living ... read more
    Source: News Feed – Voice of America (PD USPD) – AmericasPublished on Thursday, August 17, 2017
  • US VP Pence: US Wants Increased Trade with Latin America
    U.S. Vice President Mike Pence said on Thursday that Washington wants more trade and investment with Latin America, pushing back against perceptions in the region that the Trump administration has an isolationist agenda. Speaking during a visit to the Panama Canal at the end of a Latin American tour, Pence said the United States was seeking to keep the spirit of the original North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in the pact now being renegotiated in Washington. Pence said he wanted a NAFTA deal that was a "win, win, win" for the United States, Mexico and Canada, taking a more conciliatory tone than U.S. negotiators who have warned the deal needed a major overhaul to favor U.S. workers. Pence later reiterated the United States' concerns ... read more
    Source: News Feed – Voice of America (PD USPD) – AmericasPublished on Thursday, August 17, 2017
  • Venezuela Supreme Court Orders Dissident Lawmaker’s Arrest
    Venezuela's high court issued an arrest order for the ousted chief prosecutor's husband Thursday after authorities accused him of running a $6 million extortion ring, a ruling promptly denounced by government critics as a move aimed at silencing opponents of President Nicolas Maduro.   The government-stacked Supreme Court also announced it was referring German Ferrer's case to the new, all-powerful constitutional assembly. The assembly was installed in early August at Maduro's behest following a widely criticized vote, and it is expected to proceed with lifting Ferrer's immunity from prosecution that comes with legislative office. Ferrer is a lawmaker formerly aligned with Maduro's administration who has stood by his wife, Luisa Ortega Diaz, in denouncing the assembly's creation. Ferrer denies signing papers In a written statement ... read more
    Source: News Feed – Voice of America (PD USPD) – AmericasPublished on Thursday, August 17, 2017
  • Families Await Remains of 37 Dead in Venezuela Prison Clash
    Officials in Venezuela are pointing fingers at each other over who bears responsibility for clashes between inmates and security forces at a prison that left 37 people dead. Interior Minister Nestor Reverol says authorities were forced to take action after the state governor failed to resolve a crisis at the small prison in the southern city of Puerto Ayacucho. Amazonas Gov. Liborio Guarulla replies that the ruling socialist party has begun its campaign for the governorship with a "massacre." He tweeted a gruesome photo Thursday of bloodied bodies piled on top of each other. Families of the prisoners are still waiting for the dead to be identified. It's the deadliest prison violence in Venezuela since a 2013 riot killed 61. Many of Venezuela's jails are ... read more
    Source: News Feed – Voice of America (PD USPD) – AmericasPublished on Thursday, August 17, 2017
  • Venezuela ‘Truth Commission’ to Investigate Opposition
    Opposition candidates running in Venezuela’s October gubernatorial elections will be investigated to make sure none were involved in violent political protests this year, the head of a new pro-government truth commission said Wednesday. The panel was set up earlier in the day by the constituent assembly elected last month at the behest of socialist President Nicolas Maduro. Government critics say the commission is designed to sideline the opposition and bolster the ruling party’s flagging support ahead of the October vote. Also before the assembly is a bill that would punish those who express “hate or intolerance” with up 25 years in jail. The opposition fears such a law would be used to silence criticism of a government that, according to local rights group Penal Forum ... read more
    Source: News Feed – Voice of America (PD USPD) – AmericasPublished on Wednesday, August 16, 2017

 Voice of America, VOA – Europe

  • Barcelona Investigators Focusing Increasingly on North African Links
    A year ago, analysts were expressing confidence during a major conference in London that southern Europe would avoid the kind of large-scale Islamic terror attacks seen in northern European cities like Paris and Brussels. At a conference at King's College, London, to explore the jihadist threat to Europe, analysts drawn from across the continent highlighted the fact that neither Spain — nor Italy, for that matter, which has also been on the receiving end of vocal Islamic State threats — had seen many volunteers join IS to fight in Syria or Iraq. They noted neither southern European country has large populations of second-generation Muslim migrants, the most common recruitment pool for IS and rival al-Qaida. And they expressed confidence in the Spanish intelligence services skills, ... read more
    Source: News Feed – Voice of America (PD USPD) – EuropePublished on Saturday, August 19, 2017
  • ‘Recruiting for Jihad’ Examines Islamic Extremist Groups in Europe
    Recruiting for Jihad is a Norwegian expose on the practices extremist Jihadists follow to recruit young men to fight for ISIS. During filming, Adel Khan Farooq, one of the two filmmakers, had unprecedented access to a radicalized network of Islamists in Europe. He met them through Norwegian-born Ubaydullah Hussain, a notorious recruiter, currently serving a nine-year sentence in a Norwegian prison.   "In the beginning, he was very charming," Farooq told VOA, describing Hussain. "He was easy to talk with, and I never felt like he was a threat directly against me or anybody else for that matter, but when the attacks against Charlie Hebdo in France occurred and he was praising ISIS and then praising the attacks on Copenhagen, I certainly felt like that ... read more
    Source: News Feed – Voice of America (PD USPD) – EuropePublished on Saturday, August 19, 2017
  • Migrant Stabbing Attack in Finland a ‘Likely Terrorist Act’
    A stabbing attack carried out Friday by an 18-year-old Moroccan migrant in Finland is being investigated by Finnish authorities as “a likely terrorist act,” officials said. Speaking Saturday with reporters, Pekka Hiltunen, a spokeswoman for the Finnish Security Intelligence Service, told reporters the agency was investigating the suspect’s ties to the Islamic State group, as IS “has previously encouraged this kind of behavior.” Police have not released the name of the suspect in the stabbing attack. On Friday, the asylum-seeker stabbed nine people in the small city of Turku, leaving two of the victims dead. He apparently was targeting women, in particular. "We think that the attacker especially targeted women, and the men were wounded after coming to the defense of the women," Finland's National ... read more
    Source: News Feed – Voice of America (PD USPD) – EuropePublished on Saturday, August 19, 2017
  • ‘Recruiting for Jihad,’ an Expose on Islamic Extremist Groups in Europe
    'Recruiting for Jihad' is a Norwegian expose on the practices extremist Jihadists follow to recruit young men to fight for ISIS.  During filming, Adel Khan Farook, one of the two filmmakers, had unprecedented access to a radicalized network of Islamists in Europe. Farrook and his partner Ulrick Rolfsen spoke to VOA’S Penelope Poulou on the growth of Islamist organizations in Europe. ... read more
    Source: News Feed – Voice of America (PD USPD) – EuropePublished on Saturday, August 19, 2017
  • 8 Stabbed in Siberian City
    Russian authorities say "A man was moving along the main streets stabbing people" in the Siberian city of Surgut. Officials say eight people were injured in the attack Saturday. The Russian law enforcement committee said in a statement that "the attacker has been killed," without providing additional details. Russia's Tass new agency reports the man likely had a psychiatric disorder.     ... read more
    Source: News Feed – Voice of America (PD USPD) – EuropePublished on Saturday, August 19, 2017
  • Police Still Searching for Ring Leader in Barcelona Terror Attack
    Police in Spain and France continued their search Saturday for a 22-year-old Moroccan national whom they believe is at the center of Thursday’s terror attack in Barcelona. Police believe Younes Abouyaaqoub to be the leader of a 12-person jihadist terror cell responsible for the van ramming attack that killed 13 people and left more than 130 others injured. Though Abouyaaqoub is still on the run, Spanish Interior Minister Juan Ignacio Zoido called the terror cell “broken,” with five of its members killed by police, four more in police custody and at least two more killed earlier in the week in an accidental explosion. The four jihadists arrested by police are between the ages of 21 and 34, and all but one of them are Moroccan. ... read more
    Source: News Feed – Voice of America (PD USPD) – EuropePublished on Saturday, August 19, 2017
  • Russia Bans Jehovah’s Witnesses’ Translation Of Bible
    A Russian court has banned the Jehovah's Witnesses' translation of the Bible following a drawn-out legal battle, another blow to followers of the pacifist Christian sect who have been branded extremists and driven to practicing their faith underground, as in Soviet times. The Jehovah's Witnesses' parent organization in Russia and 395 regional branches were formally placed on the Justice Ministry's list of extremist groups Aug. 17, a procedural move following the Supreme Court's decision to ban the group's activities and seize its property earlier this year. In a separate case that same day, a court in the northwestern border town of Vyborg banned the New World Translation of The Holy Scriptures, the group's version of the Bible. Several other publications by the Jehovah's Witnesses, including a brochure, The ... read more
    Source: News Feed – Voice of America (PD USPD) – EuropePublished on Saturday, August 19, 2017
  • Libyan Coast Guard Threatens NGO Rescue Ships in Mediterranean
    With no safe, legal passage to Europe, more than 100,000 migrants and refugees have nevertheless crossed the Mediterranean Sea this year, many setting off from Libya, which has become a trafficking hub. In recent months, the Libyan coast guard has expanded its operations beyond its territorial waters, threatening rescue ships and making it more difficult for humanitarians to assist those fleeing. From the United Nations, VOA's Margaret Besheer has more. ... read more
    Source: News Feed – Voice of America (PD USPD) – EuropePublished on Saturday, August 19, 2017
  • IS Member Behind Paris, Brussels Attacks Added to US Terrorist List
    Ahmad Alkhald, a Syrian national from Aleppo who played a key role in the Islamic State (IS) terrorist attacks in Paris and Brussels, has been identified as a specially designated global terrorist by the United States, the U.S. State Department said. The designation Thursday — which also included an Iraqi national who has provided close protection to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the IS leader in Iraq and Syria — imposed “strict sanctions” on the individuals and prohibited any dealings with them. Alkhald is an IS bomb maker and the terror group's explosives chief who helped carry out the November 2015 attacks in Paris and the March 2016 attacks in Brussels, the State Department statement said. The series of the deadly terrorist attacks on several public places ... read more
    Source: News Feed – Voice of America (PD USPD) – EuropePublished on Friday, August 18, 2017
  • Fitch Upgrades Greece’s Credit Rating
    Fitch Ratings has upgraded Greece's credit rating from CCC to B-, a one-notch improvement that still leaves the bonds issued by the crisis-battered country well below investment grade. The ratings agency said Friday that the outlook of the Greek economy was positive and that it expected talks with the country's international creditors to be concluded "without creating instability." A Fitch statement added that other European countries using the euro currency were expected to grant Greece substantial debt relief next year. It said that would boost market confidence and help Greece finance itself directly by issuing bonds after its current bailout program ends in a year. Fitch said Greece's political situation had become more stable and that there was "limited" risk of a future government reversing ... read more
    Source: News Feed – Voice of America (PD USPD) – EuropePublished on Friday, August 18, 2017

 Voice of America, VOA – Asia

  • Women Leaders Wangle Water Taps, Security in India’s Slums
    Hansaben Rasid knows what it is like to live without a water tap or a toilet of her own, constantly fearful of being evicted by city officials keen on tearing down illegal settlements like hers in the western Indian city of Ahmedabad. The fear and lack of amenities are but a memory today, after she became a community leader in the Jadibanagar slum and pushed residents to apply for a program that gave them facilities and a guarantee of no evictions for 10 years. "We didn't even have a water tap here — we had to fetch water from the colony near by, and so much time went in just doing that. People kept falling sick because there was just one toilet," she said. "Now ... read more
    Source: News Feed – Voice of America (PD USPD) – AsiaPublished on Saturday, August 19, 2017
  • Derailment in Northern India Kills at Least 23
    At least 23 people were killed and scores of others injured when a passenger train derailed Saturday in northern India, officials said. At least six coaches of the Kalinga-Utkal Express derailed and hit each other in Uttar Pradesh state, said Arvind Kumar, a top state official. Railway spokesman Neeraj Sharma said the cause of the accident was not known. Local volunteers helped police free passengers trapped in the wreckage. The injured were taken to a local hospital, where doctors said their conditions were stable. The Kalinga-Utkal Express connects the northern Hindu holy city of Haridwar with the temple town of Puri in eastern India. ... read more
    Source: News Feed – Voice of America (PD USPD) – AsiaPublished on Saturday, August 19, 2017
  • Top US General Visits Pakistan’s Waziristan Region
    U.S. Central Command chief Gen. Joseph Votel has concluded two days of talks with civilian and military leaders in Pakistan, underscoring the need for the two countries to work together to ensure “greater regional security ad stability.” “Military cooperation, and even stronger cooperation with Pakistan, is very important, and we deeply appreciate the hospitality and willingness to continue an honest and open relationship,” a U.S. Embassy statement issued Saturday quoted the general as saying. “We are extraordinarily pleased to continue these enduring relationships,” Votel said. Pakistan’s army also flew Votel’s delegation to North Waziristan, a remote mountainous tribal district near the Afghan border that until recently had been condemned as an epicenter of international terrorism. The Pakistan military says sustained counterterrorism operations have cleared most ... read more
    Source: News Feed – Voice of America (PD USPD) – AsiaPublished on Saturday, August 19, 2017
  • At Least 10 People Killed in Indian Train Derailment
    At least 10 people were killed on Saturday and 150 injured when a train came off the tracks in India's northern state of Uttar Pradesh, the chief medical officer in Muzaffarnagar, where the crash happened, told Reuters. A police official earlier said 20 people had been injured but did not mention any people killed. ... read more
    Source: News Feed – Voice of America (PD USPD) – AsiaPublished on Saturday, August 19, 2017
  • Trump Says Decisions Made on War in Afghanistan
    U.S. President Donald Trump said Saturday that his administration has made decisions on how to deal with the 16-year war in Afghanistan. One day after meeting at the Camp David presidential retreat with his national security team to consider strategic options, Trump tweeted, “Important day spent at Camp David with our very talented generals and military leaders. Many decisions made, including on Afghanistan,” he wrote, without providing details. White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Friday that a new strategy would “protect America’s interests” in the South Asian region and that details would be forthcoming. “The president is studying and considering his options and will make an announcement to the American people, to our allies and partners, and to the world at the appropriate ... read more
    Source: News Feed – Voice of America (PD USPD) – AsiaPublished on Saturday, August 19, 2017
  • UN: Stop Deliberate Targeting of Civilians, Aid Workers Around Globe
    On World Humanitarian Day, Saturday, the United Nations called for a stop to the deliberate targeting of civilians and humanitarians who risk their lives to help desperate men, women and children caught in war.   To mark this year’s observance, the U.N. is focusing on violence against health care workers and facilities, and its implications for the population.   In kicking off the day’s event, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said “The health of humanitarian workers who set out to aid, heal and protect these people are themselves deliberately targeted for attack. ”Staff are killed, wounded and detained,” he said. “Aid and medical supplies are looted and obstructed; health clinics and hospitals are damaged and destroyed.” The United Nations reports there were 302 attacks on health ... read more
    Source: News Feed – Voice of America (PD USPD) – AsiaPublished on Saturday, August 19, 2017
  • On Japan’s Coast, Residents Practice Duck and Cover
    Residents of a town on the Japanese coast held evacuation drills Saturday to prepare for any launch of North Korean missiles toward the U.S. Pacific territory of Guam that would fly over their homes. As sirens blared from speakers in the town of Kotoura, children playing soccer outside ran to take shelter in a school, along with their parents and their team coach. “I’ve been concerned every day that something might fall or a missile could fall in an unexpected place due to North Korea’s missile capabilities,” said the coach, Akira Hamakawa, 38. North Korea’s rapid progress in developing nuclear weapons and missiles has raised tensions across the region. U.S. President Donald Trump warned North Korea this month it would face “fire and fury” if ... read more
    Source: News Feed – Voice of America (PD USPD) – AsiaPublished on Saturday, August 19, 2017
  • Top US General Commits to Work With Tokyo to Strengthen Missile Defense
    The top U.S. general and his Japanese counterpart have agreed to work together to strengthen missile defenses for Japan, as Tokyo announced that they will introduce the land-based Aegis Ashore system for additional protection against the North Korean missile threat. General Joe Dunford, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told a small group of reporters in Tokyo that his meetings with Admiral Katsutoshi Kawano and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe reaffirmed the "extraordinarily healthy military-to-military relationship" between Japan and the United States. Watch: Top US General Commits to Work With Tokyo to Strengthen Missile Defense "I think this is probably about as important a place that I could be … in the wake of recent activity by Kim Jong Un, making sure our ... read more
    Source: News Feed – Voice of America (PD USPD) – AsiaPublished on Friday, August 18, 2017
  • Pakistan’s Khan Calls for ‘Open Borders’ With Afghanistan
    Pakistan’s populist opposition leader, Imran Khan, says the future of long-term relations with landlocked Afghanistan lies in the two countries having “open borders” and “free trade.” Pakistan is unilaterally fencing the nearly 2,600-kilometer, largely porous Afghan border. Authorities defend the recently initiated project, saying it will help stop criminal and terrorist infiltration, as well as boost counterterrorism efforts on both sides. The Afghan government opposes the border fortification plan because Kabul traditionally has disputed the demarcation drawn during the former British rule of the Indian subcontinent. Islamabad dismisses the objections and maintains it inherited the boundary as an international frontier. “The long term relationship between Pakistan and Afghanistan is open borders. Rather than building fences, I think it should have open, free trade, it should ... read more
    Source: News Feed – Voice of America (PD USPD) – AsiaPublished on Friday, August 18, 2017
  • Amid Protests, China Enforces Tougher Sanctions Against North Korea
    Seafood importers in northeastern China took to the streets as they watched frozen product melt in trucks blocked from crossing the country’s border with North Korea, after Beijing began enforcing a new round of economic sanctions. In spite of the public outcry at home, calls from abroad are urging China to play a bigger role in sanctioning Pyongyang amid escalating tensions on the Korean peninsula. But analysts say Beijing does not want to become a target of retaliation and lacks influence in North Korea - despite its longstanding ties with the isolated country. Outcry from seafood importers China issued a notice Tuesday evening to stop imports of iron, lead, coal and seafood from Pyongyang, effective the next day. That caught seafood importers in Jilin province ... read more
    Source: News Feed – Voice of America (PD USPD) – AsiaPublished on Friday, August 18, 2017

 Voice of America, VOA – Middle East

  • Iraq Starts Offensive to Take Back Tal Afar From Islamic State
    Iraqi security forces launched on Sunday an offensive to take back the city of Tal Afar, their next objective in the U.S.-backed campaign to defeat Islamic State militants, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said. "You either surrender, or die," Abadi said in a televised speech announcing the offensive, addressing the militants. A longtime stronghold of hardline Sunni insurgents, Tal Afar, 50 miles (80 km) west of Mosul, was cut off from the rest of the Islamic State-held territory in June. The city is surrounded by Iraqi government troops and Shi'ite volunteers in the south, and Kurdish Peshmerga fighters in the north. About 2,000 battle-hardened militants remain in the city, according to U.S. and Iraqi military commanders. They are expected to put up a tough fight, even ... read more
    Source: News Feed – Voice of America (PD USPD) – Middle EastPublished on Saturday, August 19, 2017
  • ‘Recruiting for Jihad’ Examines Islamic Extremist Groups in Europe
    Recruiting for Jihad is a Norwegian expose on the practices extremist Jihadists follow to recruit young men to fight for ISIS. During filming, Adel Khan Farooq, one of the two filmmakers, had unprecedented access to a radicalized network of Islamists in Europe. He met them through Norwegian-born Ubaydullah Hussain, a notorious recruiter, currently serving a nine-year sentence in a Norwegian prison.   "In the beginning, he was very charming," Farooq told VOA, describing Hussain. "He was easy to talk with, and I never felt like he was a threat directly against me or anybody else for that matter, but when the attacks against Charlie Hebdo in France occurred and he was praising ISIS and then praising the attacks on Copenhagen, I certainly felt like that ... read more
    Source: News Feed – Voice of America (PD USPD) – Middle EastPublished on Saturday, August 19, 2017
  • ‘Recruiting for Jihad,’ an Expose on Islamic Extremist Groups in Europe
    'Recruiting for Jihad' is a Norwegian expose on the practices extremist Jihadists follow to recruit young men to fight for ISIS.  During filming, Adel Khan Farook, one of the two filmmakers, had unprecedented access to a radicalized network of Islamists in Europe. Farrook and his partner Ulrick Rolfsen spoke to VOA’S Penelope Poulou on the growth of Islamist organizations in Europe. ... read more
    Source: News Feed – Voice of America (PD USPD) – Middle EastPublished on Saturday, August 19, 2017
  • UN: Stop Deliberate Targeting of Civilians, Aid Workers Around Globe
    On World Humanitarian Day, Saturday, the United Nations called for a stop to the deliberate targeting of civilians and humanitarians who risk their lives to help desperate men, women and children caught in war.   To mark this year’s observance, the U.N. is focusing on violence against health care workers and facilities, and its implications for the population.   In kicking off the day’s event, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said “The health of humanitarian workers who set out to aid, heal and protect these people are themselves deliberately targeted for attack. ”Staff are killed, wounded and detained,” he said. “Aid and medical supplies are looted and obstructed; health clinics and hospitals are damaged and destroyed.” The United Nations reports there were 302 attacks on health ... read more
    Source: News Feed – Voice of America (PD USPD) – Middle EastPublished on Saturday, August 19, 2017
  • US: Iraqi Forces Ready for Next Battle Against IS
    Senior U.S. military leaders said Friday that Iraqi forces are largely set for their next major campaign against Islamic State extremists after closing out the wrenching nine-month battle to retake the city of Mosul.   Lt. Gen. Stephen Townsend, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, said he sees the Iraqi assault on the IS-held area of Tal Afar “unfolding relatively soon.” The upcoming fight follows weeks of Iraq regrouping troops and repairing equipment and weapons after recapturing Mosul in July.   “I can’t say that we replaced every single damaged or broken vehicle or rifle or machine gun,” said Townsend, whose forces are aiding the Iraqi military. But, he insisted: “They’ll be ready enough.” ​On to Tal Afar   Tal Afar and the surrounding area ... read more
    Source: News Feed – Voice of America (PD USPD) – Middle EastPublished on Saturday, August 19, 2017
  • Hezbollah, Syria, Lebanon Hit IS Along Border
    Lebanon’s Shi’ite Hezbollah group Saturday started a joint military operation with the Syrian army against an Islamic State pocket on Syria’s border with Lebanon, the Hezbollah-affiliated al-Manar television station reported. The Hezbollah and Syrian army assault is taking place inside Syria, in the western Qalamoun mountain range. The Lebanese army also announced early Saturday that it has begun an attack on Islamic State inside Lebanese territory. The Lebanese army has said it is not coordinating with the Syrian army in its military operations. ... read more
    Source: News Feed – Voice of America (PD USPD) – Middle EastPublished on Friday, August 18, 2017
  • Researchers Blame Saudi-Led Coalition for ‘Worst Cholera Outbreak in the World’ in Yemen
    The majority of deaths from Yemen's cholera outbreak have occurred in rebel-controlled areas cut off from supplies due to airstrikes and blockades by a Saudi-led military coalition, according to research published on Friday. The study by London's Queen Mary University found eight out of 10 cholera deaths took place in regions controlled by Iran-backed Houthi rebels who have fought a two-year war against Saudi-aligned forces backing Yemen's government. Yemen is battling against the "world's worst cholera outbreak", according to the World Health Organization (WHO). More than half a million people have been infected with cholera since the epidemic began four months ago and almost 2,000 people have died, the WHO said on Monday. "Saudi-led airstrikes have destroyed vital infrastructure, including hospitals and public water systems, ... read more
    Source: News Feed – Voice of America (PD USPD) – Middle EastPublished on Friday, August 18, 2017
  • US Defense Chief to Visit Jordan, Turkey, Ukraine
    U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis will travel to Jordan, Turkey and Ukraine next week for talks with the leaders of all three nations. Pentagon officials said Friday that Mattis aims to reaffirm Washington's commitments to each of the countries. Mattis will begin his trip by meeting with Jordan's King Abdullah as well as top defense officials. Jordan has been a key partner in the U.S.-led coalition against the Islamic State terror group. From Jordan, Mattis will head to Turkey for meetings with top officials, including President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. "Secretary Mattis will emphasize the steadfast commitment of the United States to Turkey as a NATO ally and strategic partner, seek to collaborate on efforts to advance regional stability, and look for ways to help Turkey ... read more
    Source: News Feed – Voice of America (PD USPD) – Middle EastPublished on Friday, August 18, 2017
  • East Libyan Forces Report Arrest of Commander Sought by ICC
    Security forces in eastern Libya said Thursday that they had arrested the commander of an elite forces unit who was being sought by the International Criminal Court for allegedly executing dozens of prisoners. The general command of the Libyan National Army (LNA), the force that controls most of eastern Libya, said the commander, Mahmoud al-Werfalli, was being investigated by a military prosecutor. "We inform you that the defendant in your judicial case, Mahmoud al-Werfalli, is under investigation for the cases against him by the general military prosecutor and is now under arrest," the LNA said in a statement. Werfalli is wanted for allegedly executing dozens of prisoners in the spring and summer of this year, toward the end of a three-year LNA campaign against Islamists ... read more
    Source: News Feed – Voice of America (PD USPD) – Middle EastPublished on Thursday, August 17, 2017
  • US Helping Clear ‘Historic’ Amount of Explosives in Mosul
    The wires protruding from the small, misshapen stuffed animal revealed the deadly booby trap tucked inside. For the people of Mosul, the sophisticated bomb was a reminder of how difficult it will be to return to homes littered with explosives hidden by Islamic State militants and dotted with the remnants of undetonated bombs dropped by the U.S.-led coalition that still could blow up. Washington at least is trying to ease a bit of the massive cleanup burden. On Thursday, the top U.S. commander in Iraq said for the first time that the American military will help contractors and other officials locate unexploded bombs dropped by the coalition. U.S. Embassy officials have asked the coalition to declassify grid coordinates for bombs dropped in Iraq to help ... read more
    Source: News Feed – Voice of America (PD USPD) – Middle EastPublished on Thursday, August 17, 2017

 Voice of America, VOA – Africa

  • Barcelona Investigators Focusing Increasingly on North African Links
    A year ago, analysts were expressing confidence during a major conference in London that southern Europe would avoid the kind of large-scale Islamic terror attacks seen in northern European cities like Paris and Brussels. At a conference at King's College, London, to explore the jihadist threat to Europe, analysts drawn from across the continent highlighted the fact that neither Spain — nor Italy, for that matter, which has also been on the receiving end of vocal Islamic State threats — had seen many volunteers join IS to fight in Syria or Iraq. They noted neither southern European country has large populations of second-generation Muslim migrants, the most common recruitment pool for IS and rival al-Qaida. And they expressed confidence in the Spanish intelligence services skills, ... read more
    Source: News Feed – Voice of America (PD USPD) – AfricaPublished on Saturday, August 19, 2017
  • Somalia Forces Capture Key al-Shabab Town of Bariire
    African Union and Somali government forces have captured the town of Bariire, a strategic militant base in the south of the country, officials and witnesses said Saturday. Commanders said the Islamist al-Shabab group fled following heavy fighting outside the town in which the joint troops approached from three directions. Bariire was one of al-Shabab's strongholds in the south and only 45 kilometers (27 miles) from Mogadishu, the country's capital. "The joint troops attacked the town from three directions, forced the militants to flee and secured its control," Abdinasir Alim Ibrahim, a district commissioner in nearby Afgoye, told VOA's Somali service. "Hopefully, the next target will be Toratorow, and then we will proceed to other towns and cities controlled by the militants." Seven civilians were reportedly ... read more
    Source: News Feed – Voice of America (PD USPD) – AfricaPublished on Saturday, August 19, 2017
  • Kenya Opposition Files Petition on Presidential Election Outcome
    Kenya’s opposition coalition has filed a petition at the Supreme Court challenging the re-election of incumbent Uhuru Kenyatta. The petition was filed 90 minutes before the deadline and includes more than 25,000 pages in an affidavit. Speaking after filing the petition the lead lawyer and opposition politician James Orengo described the just concluded election as a sham and said he has evidence to prove it. “This petition has been prepared meticulously, and the major consideration which constitutes the theme of this petition that this election is sham and a sham because the evidence that we presented before this court, the court is going to consider is from all over the country," he said. "Nearly every indiscretion and malpractice that was carried out in this election ... read more
    Source: News Feed – Voice of America (PD USPD) – AfricaPublished on Saturday, August 19, 2017
  • UN: Stop Deliberate Targeting of Civilians, Aid Workers Around Globe
    On World Humanitarian Day, Saturday, the United Nations called for a stop to the deliberate targeting of civilians and humanitarians who risk their lives to help desperate men, women and children caught in war.   To mark this year’s observance, the U.N. is focusing on violence against health care workers and facilities, and its implications for the population.   In kicking off the day’s event, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said “The health of humanitarian workers who set out to aid, heal and protect these people are themselves deliberately targeted for attack. ”Staff are killed, wounded and detained,” he said. “Aid and medical supplies are looted and obstructed; health clinics and hospitals are damaged and destroyed.” The United Nations reports there were 302 attacks on health ... read more
    Source: News Feed – Voice of America (PD USPD) – AfricaPublished on Saturday, August 19, 2017
  • Nigeria’s President Buhari Returns Following Extended Medical Leave
    Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has returned to the Nigerian capital of Abuja following an extended stay in London to treat an undisclosed illness. He's been away since May 7, and some Nigerians were beginning to demand Buhari return to work or step down from office. His supporters lined up to greet him along the road leading away from the airport, and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, who has been acting president, was on hand at the airport for Buhari's return. Buhari first left Nigeria in January to receive treatment in Britain, staying nearly two months before returning in March, only to leave again in early May. During both absences Buhari temporarily passed executive power to his vice president, Yemi Osinbajo. Earlier this week, protesters held rallies ... read more
    Source: News Feed – Voice of America (PD USPD) – AfricaPublished on Saturday, August 19, 2017
  • DRC Landslide Death Toll Seen Topping 200
    A landslide in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo most likely killed more than 200 people, based on estimates from the number of households submerged, the vice governor of affected Ituri province said Friday. The landslide struck the village of Tora, on the shores of Lake Albert, a seismically active zone in the western Rift Valley, on Thursday. "There are many people submerged whom we were unable to save," Pacifique Keta, the vice governor of Ituri province, told Reuters by telephone. "The rescue is very complicated because there are mountains everywhere, which makes it very difficult to have access." Many parts of west and central Africa are vulnerable to landslides, because land is heavily deforested and communities crowd into steep hillsides. On Friday, Sierra Leone ... read more
    Source: News Feed – Voice of America (PD USPD) – AfricaPublished on Friday, August 18, 2017
  • Kenyan Opposition Files Court Challenge of Election Results
    Kenya's opposition coalition went to the Supreme Court late on Friday to challenge the results of a presidential election that it said was  rigged Election authorities have said President Uhuru Kenyatta won the August 8 election by 1.4 million votes, but opposition leader Raila Odinga said the results were false. He has not yet presented evidence of fraud. Kenyans who remember the violence that followed the disputed 2007 election, when about 1,200 people were killed, were relieved when Odinga announced this week he would turn back to the courts, rather than the streets, to make his case. Odinga also went to court to challenge the 2013 election result, and his decision to turn to the judiciary helped quell violence then. Lawyers for Odinga's National Super ... read more
    Source: News Feed – Voice of America (PD USPD) – AfricaPublished on Friday, August 18, 2017
  • South African Marks Year in Detention in South Sudan
    The family of a retired South African colonel arrested for unclear reasons in South Sudan one year ago is calling for his release. Authorities took retired Colonel William Endley into custody in Juba, the capital, on August 18, 2016. According to his daughter, Gwyneth Endley, he is now jailed at a national security facility in Juba but has yet to be charged with any crime. "We just want him home," said Gweneth Endley in an interview Friday with VOA's South Sudan in Focus. She said her family had tried to win Endley's release but had been unsuccessful. She said they had not been able to learn much about the case against the retired colonel. Mawien Makol, spokesman for South Sudan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said ... read more
    Source: News Feed – Voice of America (PD USPD) – AfricaPublished on Friday, August 18, 2017
  • Zimbabwe Declares Mugabe’s Birthday National Holiday
    Zimbabwe's government has announced that President Robert Mugabe's birthday will now be a public holiday. The announcement is the latest in a series of efforts to secure the longtime leader’s legacy. Most cities and towns in Zimbabwe have a road named after President Robert Mugabe. In Harare, the public square that most political parties use for rallies also bears his name. Earlier this month, Zimbabwe’s cash-strapped government announced that it is setting aside $1 billion to establish the Robert Gabriel Mugabe University. It seems that is not all. Home Affairs Minister Ignatious Chombo announced Friday that every February 21st, the birthday of Mugabe, will now be a public holiday.   “President Mugabe has exhibited the following values that any fair-minded Zimbabwean would want their youths ... read more
    Source: News Feed – Voice of America (PD USPD) – AfricaPublished on Friday, August 18, 2017
  • Ruling Party Consolidates Power in Kenyan Elections
    Nairobi roads have returned to their usual pre-election bustle and Kenyans have gone back to work. But the elections are not quite over, as opposition leader Raila Odinga insists the presidential poll was "stolen" and has announced plans to challenge the outcome at the Supreme Court. Official results show President Uhuru Kenyatta defeated Odinga, 54 percent to 45 percent. University of Warwick professor of comparative politics, Gabrielle Lynch, says most people expected a tighter presidential race, although she notes the final result is still in dispute. Lynch also notes the ruling Jubilee party succeeded in gaining parliamentary seats and winning 28 of 47 governorships. She says a projected wave of independent winners failed to materialize. "Due to alleged problems with party nominations, both in the ... read more
    Source: News Feed – Voice of America (PD USPD) – AfricaPublished on Friday, August 18, 2017

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