VOA NEWS

July 8, 2017

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



During President Trump's conversation Friday with Russian President Vladimir Putin, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Trump raised the issue of meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

"The president opened a meeting with President Putin by raising the concerns of the American people regarding Russian interference in the 2016 election. They had a very robust and lengthy exchange on the subject."

Tillerson said both countries would explore how to work together to deal with cyber threats.



The United States and Russia have reached an agreement on a cease-fire in southwest Syria.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the agreement showed that Washington and Moscow could work together.

"This de-escalation area was agreed. It's well-defined -- agreements on who will secure this area. A cease-fire has been entered into. And I think this is our first indication of the U.S. and Russia being able to work together in Syria."

Cease-fire will take effect Sunday at afternoon Damascus time.



Leaders of the world's richest economies opened the G-20 summit with low expectations and much anxiety on the part of those concerned about what they perceive as possible isolationist and protectionist tendencies of the new U.S. administration.

On the streets of Hamburg, it was another day of violent clashes between anti-capitalist demonstrators and anti-riot police.

Security forces used water cannons to disperse demonstrators who tried to prevent delegations from reaching the G-20 venue as angry demonstrators set cars ablaze.



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Donald Tusk, the president of the European Council, spoke Friday. He said Europe has been struggling with illegal migration for two years, but that the EU is making progress.

"We have worked out an agreement with Turkey and strengthened our cooperation with the Balkan states. The result is the decrease in the number of irregular migrants from 158 thousand in the first half of 2016, to 9 thousand in the first half of 2017."

However, tusk says the Central Mediterranean route from Libya to Italy still remains critical, and solidarity and cooperation of the international community is needed.



Kenyans will vote in August for posts at all levels of government. But there is something different on the ballot this year: a surge in the number of independent candidates. Lenny Ruvaga is in Nairobi.

The governorship of Nairobi County is among the most hotly contested races of this year, given the importance of the capital.

Peter Kenneth is one of five candidates, challenging the incumbent for the seat. Three of them, including Kenneth, are running as independents.

The former MP ran for president in 2013 under the banner of the Kenyan National Congress. But he didn't make the cut during this year's primaries.

"The big parties conspire against individuals."

These are only the second nationwide elections since 2010, when Kenya's new constitution allowed people to run as independents.

Some voters are embracing the added choice.

"It's not about party because at the end of the day, party will not sort out my issues."

Kenyans will have their say at the polls August 8.

Lenny Ruvaga, for VOA news.



Islamic militants in Egypt's Sinai unleashed a suicide car bomb. Dozens of masked and heavily armed gunmen also attacked a remote security outpost in the desert peninsula Friday, killing at least 23 soldiers and wounding 33.

After nightfall, the Islamic State group issued a claim of responsibility, saying it had carried out the attack as the Egyptian army was preparing an assault on IS positions in Sinai.

The attack also underscores the struggles of the Egyptian forces that they face in trying to rein in the insurgency.



The Red Cross says three men - two Americans and one Spaniard - were gored Friday at the start of the San Fermin bull-running festival in the northern Spanish city of Pamplona.

The aid agency says the 46-year-old Spaniard suffered serious injuries and had undergone surgery to his head and leg. Hospital officials said the America injuries were not as serious.

The festival was immortalized by Ernest Hemingway in his 1926 novel The Sun Also Rises.



From Washington DC, I'm Steve Miller.

That's the latest world news from VOA.