May 26, 2017

From Washington, this is VOA news. I'm Steve Miller reporting.

U.S. President Donald Trump lectured NATO leaders Thursday. Mr. Trump said that NATO should be more focused on terrorism and spend accordingly.

"... with Secretary Stoltenberg and members of the alliance in saying that NATO members must finally contribute their fair share and meet their financial obligations."

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg says members nations have agreed to submit by December action plans on how they aim to meet the military alliance's defense spending goal by 2024.

The plans would also detail the types of military equipment the countries want to purchase and how they intend to contribute to NATO operations.

British police investigations have led to eight men being held in custody in the wake of Monday's suicide bombing in Manchester, England, at an Ariana Grande concert. This includes two men. They were taken into custody Thursday. However, police have given no information about how the detained men may be connected to the bombing.

Greater Manchester Police Constable Ian Hopkins says that the past few days have been intense for the officers and staff of the department but they continue to make progress in the investigation.

British police have said they have also resumed sharing information with U.S. agencies after receiving "fresh assurances." There had been a suspension in the wake of leaks to U.S. media about the Manchester suicide bombing.

Earlier on Thursday, British Prime Minister Theresa May spoke to U.S. President Donald Trump to say intelligence shared between the two countries had to remain secure.

For updates to these stories and more, visit voanews.com. This is VOA.

Pakistan has started a crackdown against social media activists who are critical of its powerful military, but a major opposition party says the ruling party is using the military as a cover to suppress criticism. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the capital, Islamabad.

Taha Siddiqui was relaxing in his living room with his son when he received a telephone call. On the other end of the line was a man claiming to be with the counterterrorism department. He told Siddiqui to immediately report to his office. His concern was Siddiqui's work, particularly his social media activity.

"It was actually a call where he was talking from a point of authority, and sort of intimidation. The tone was intimidating."

Siddiqui was the only journalist approached by the government. Others, mostly political activists and opposition figures, had been called in for questioning solely based on their social media activity.

Pakistan's interior minister has made it clear that the government will continue to take action against certain social media activity, particularly comments demeaning the country's armed forces, judiciary or blaspheming Islam.

Opposition leader Imran Khan says the effort is directed against his party.

Ayesha Tanzeem, VOA news, Islamabad.

A federal appeals court in Richmond, Virginia, has declined to reinstate President Donald Trump's executive order limiting travel from six predominantly Muslim countries for three months. VOA's Robert Raffaele reports.

The court said in its 205-page ruling the order did amount to a Muslim ban. "Laid bare, this executive order is no more than what the president promised before and after his election: naked invidious discrimination against Muslims."

The panel of 13 judges ruling in the case cited Trump's tweets, television interviews and statements posted on his campaign website as evidence of his intent.

The administration's next recourse is to take the case to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Republican and Democratic U.S. congressmen introduced a bill on Thursday that would ban Americans from traveling to North Korea as tourists and require them to obtain special permission for other types of visits.

The North Korea Travel Control Act followed the detention of at least 17 Americans in North Korea in the past decade.

North Korea has a record of using detained Americans to extract high-profile visits from the United States, for which it has no formal diplomatic relations.

Four Americans are being held in North Korea as diplomatic tensions with Washington have heightened. Two of them, detained in the past month, are affiliated with a private university in the North Korean capital.

A congressional source said the bill would ban tourist travel by Americans outright.

In Washington, I'm Steve Miller.

That's the latest world news from VOA.