VOA NEWS

July 5, 2017

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



The U.N. Security Council could hold an emergency closed-door meeting Wednesday on the latest North Korean missile launch at the request of the United States.

U.S. military analysts suspect the North fired an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of reaching Alaska.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in said the provocations would cause economic difficulties and that he would not tolerate any threats from Pyongyang.

The U.N. has imposed sanctions after sanction on Pyongyang, which have apparently done [none] little to convince the North to give up its nuclear ambitions.



U.S.-backed forces have breached the wall around the Old City section of Raqqa, Syria, as they advance a month-old offensive to oust Islamic State from its de facto capital.

A statement from the U.S.-led coalition Monday said the Syrian Democratic Forces overcame "heavy ISIS resistance" and that the coalition aircraft used in the airstrikes created two 25-meter holes in the Rafiqa Wall away from other points where the militants had planted mines and car bombs.

Coalition spokesman Colonel Ryan Dillon said "the forces are making a great effort to protect civilians."



Brazilian lawmakers have picked a colleague who distanced himself from embattled President Michel Temer to launch a congressional proceeding that could lead to his suspension from office.

Deputy Sergio Zveiter will prepare a report for consideration by the 66-member commission in the next few week, and if two-thirds of the full lower house votes against Temer, he would be suspended pending a trial.



This is VOA news.



U.S. President Donald Trump and German Chancellor Angela Merkel are set to meet as the Group of 20 leading world economies assemble Friday in Hamburg, Germany. VOA's Luis Ramirez reports.

As police step up patrols and protesters set up camp, no one is expecting an easy weekend in Hamburg.

Angela Merkel pledges to work toward consensus, but foresees no miracles in her relations with the U.S. administration.

"I think there is a high degree of similarities. On other issues, there is a high degree of differences. And therefore I don't want to anticipate the talks. But I do not think we will have unified positions on all issues at the end, but it is sensible and honest to talk to each other on all issues of international diplomacy."

If leaders manage to find common ground, there will be in sharp contrast to what is on the streets of Hamburg, where protesters have been out since early in the week.

Luis Ramirez, VOA news, London.



The U.N. refugee agency has temporarily relocated its staff after armed men in the Central African Republic attacked and robbed the UNHCR's premises. Lisa Schlein has the story from Geneva.

The U.N. refugee agency condemns the attack against its staff, which occurred late Saturday afternoon.

The UNHCR says the six U.N. workers were threatened at gunpoint, but fortunately, none were hurt.

UNHCR spokesman Andrej Mahecic tells VOA the agency has no information regarding the identity of the perpetrators.

"This is obviously something that would need investigating. But, clearly in the context of the CAR, that might be a tall order given the situation inside the country."

The UNHCR provides protection and assistance to more than 8,600 refugees and more than one-half million internally displaced people.

Lisa Schlein, for VOA news, Geneva.



Qatar has announced plans to sharply increase its natural gas production by 30 percent, a move that could be seen as preparation for a protracted dispute with its Gulf neighbors.

In the background of Tuesday's energy announcement was a looming deadline for Qatar to comply with a series of demands from its Gulf state neighbors.

It's expected that Qatar will reject those demands.



Hundreds of environmentalists demanded that the Polish government stop felling trees in the Bialowieza forest, a UNESCO World Heritage site that straddles the border with Belarus.

The government said it increased logging to fight an infestation of bark beetles that has affected many spruce trees. Ecologists claim authorities have been felling not only infected trees but also healthy ones. They contend the government's stand is a pretext to increase timber production for profit.



From Washington, I'm Steve Miller.

That's the latest world news from VOA.