VOA NEWS

July 16, 2017

From Washington, this is VOA news. I'm Jim Bertel reporting.



The ashes of Chinese activist and Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo were scattered at sea Saturday after he was cremated in a private ceremony.

Liu, China's best-known human rights prisoner, died Thursday at age 61 following a high-profile battle with liver cancer.

He spent his last eight years as a prisoner of conscience and died at a hospital in Shenyang, where he had been moved from his prison cell in the final stage of his illness.



Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has delivered an emotional address to tens of thousands of people in Istanbul on the anniversary of a failed coup a year ago.

He backed the death penalty for coup plotters and said they should wear Guantanamo Bay-style uniforms.

Earlier, Mr. Erdoğan unveiled a memorial for the 260 people who died fighting the coup.

Since the coup, the Turkish president has dismissed at least 100,000 civil servants he has characterized as supporters of the aborted coup.

The government has arrested another 50,000 people.

Critics say the dismissals and arrests are part of an attempt to purge dissent.



There is a new women's champion at Wimbledon.

Spain's Garbiñe Muguruza has won her first Wimbledon title, defeating American Venus Williams in straight sets.

The 37-year-old 10th seeded Williams had been seeking to become the oldest women's Grand Slam champion but couldn't overcome the 14th seeded Muguruza.

It is her second Grand Slam title.

The men's final is on Sunday.



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President Donald Trump is spending the weekend at his golf resort in New Jersey.

He is apparently dismissing news accounts of the latest revelations on Russia's alleged efforts to influence last year's U.S. presidential election.

He tweeted Saturday that stock evaluations continued to climb despite media coverage of new developments surrounding the Russia controversy.

The tweet followed reports Friday that there were other participants in a controversial Trump Tower meeting that took place in June of last year. Two Russian Americans were identified by news outlets as [having been accompanied] having accompanied a Russian lawyer to the meeting, which Donald Trump Jr. originally said was just a talk about a Russian ban on Americans adopting Russian children.

This week, Trump Jr. revealed that he attended the meeting because he had been promised some incriminating information about Trump's opponent, Hillary Clinton.



The U.S. Justice Department wants the Supreme Court to block a federal judge's ruling that exempted grandparents of people living in the United States from President Donald Trump's travel ban.

On Thursday, U.S. District Court Judge Derrick Watson in Hawaii called for the use of common sense as he expanded the list of eligible family relationships allowing people from six mostly Muslim countries to obtain visas to join family members in the U.S.

Watson ordered the government not to enforce the ban on grandparents, grandchildren, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and cousins of people in the U.S.

Watson also ruled that refugees who had assurances of a placement by a resettlement agency in the U.S. should also be exempt.



Pakistan says it finds it necessary to build a fence along its long porous border with Afghanistan in part because of a lack of cooperation from authorities in Kabul. The border region has long been a source of instability, with militant groups, terrorists and smugglers using the remote, mountainous terrain as cover.

Pakistan says it is now moving forward unilaterally to improve security in the region and increase the monitoring of millions of Afghan refugees living in Pakistan.

Pakistan also accuses rival India of using growing influence within Afghan security institutions to destabilize Kabul's ties with Islamabad, accusations Afghan and Indian officials deny.



The top Islamic State official in Afghanistan has been killed in a U.S. airstrike, the second such targeted killing in the past four months and third in the past year.

U.S. military officials said Friday that Abu Sayed was killed July 11 in a strike on the group's headquarters in the northeastern Afghan province of Kunar.



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