VOA NEWS

July 1, 2017

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



A doctor forced from a New York hospital because of sexual harassment accusations returned Friday with an assault rifle hidden under his lab coat and shot seven people, killing one woman in an attack that left several doctors fighting for their lives.

The gunman (who) has been identified as Dr. Henry Bello fatally shot himself after trying to set himself on fire at Bronx Lebanon Hospital. He staggered, bleeding, into a hallway where he collapsed and died with the rifle by his side.

New York mayor Bill de Blasio: "Thank God, this was not an act of terrorism. It was an isolated incident, appears to be a workplace-related matter, but that makes it no less tragic or no less horrible."

Witnesses described a chaotic scene as gunfire erupted spreading terror throughout the medical facilities as employees locked themselves inside rooms and patients feared for their lives.



President Donald Trump's modified travel ban has been implemented, requiring visa applicants from six majority-Muslim nations to have a "bona fide" relationship with a family member or business in the U.S. to be admitted into the country.

???, advocacy manager for Care Los Angeles, said his organization was disappointed at what he called arbitrary relationship statuses in the order.

"We are looking forward cases so potentially filed on law suits and make sure that all Muslim Americans and all individuals impacted by the Muslim ban have the right protected and can travel freely."

Anyone in transit to the United States with travel scheduled before July 6 will be allowed to enter. Those with travel booked after that date will be addressed at a later time.



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It's the 20th anniversary of Hong Kong's return to China from British rule this weekend. From Hong Kong, Bill Ide reports.

Just days before the anniversary and swearing-in of Hong Kong's new Beijing-approved chief executive, activists perched themselves on a statue outside the convention center where the ceremony will take place, calling for direct elections and the unconditional release of Liu Xiaobo.

"In my opinion, he is illegally arrested because (of) what he has been saying for all these years and can never be legal in the ordinary society."

Hong Kong's mini-constitution or basic law guarantees universal suffrage and activists have called for direct elections for the territory's chief executive, but China ruled that out in 2012.

Many see this as crucial for Hong Kong's future development.

Chinese President Xi Jinping says he will meet with people from all walks of life during his three-day visit to the city. But heightened security is likely to keep further protests and calls for political reform as well as the unconditional release of Liu out of view.

Bill Ide, VOA news, Hong Kong.



U.S. President Donald Trump and South Korean President Moon Jae-in met at the White House Friday.

On trade, Trump said the existing U.S.-South Korea trade agreement has been rough for the U.S. and that he is working to create a fair and reciprocal economic relationship with South Korea.

White House deputy press secretary Sarah Sanders said Trump's actions were consistent with his campaign promises.

"At the direction of the president, Ambassador Lighthizer is calling a special joint committee meeting to start the process of renegotiating and amending the deal, and as always and as we've said many times before, the president's committed to making sure he gets the best deal and a better deal if possible."

Since the current trade deal went into effect in 2012, the U.S. trade deficit with Seoul has doubled.

But the bulk of the two leaders' comments on Friday dealt with North Korea but the two leaders presented a unified front.



The international chemical weapons watchdog has confirmed that sarin nerve gas was used in a deadly attack in Syria.

The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, the OPCW, said in a statement Friday its fact-finding mission has found that sarin was used earlier this year in a deadly attack on a Khan Sheikhoun area in Idlib province in the Syrian Arab Republic.

OPCW Director-General Ahmet Uzumcu said in a statement that he strongly condemned the atrocity, which wholly contradicts the norms enshrined in the Chemical Weapons Convention. "The perpetrators of this horrific attack must be held accountable for their crimes."



From Washington DC, I'm Steve Miller.

That's the latest world news from VOA.