July 27, 2017

From Washington, this is VOA news. I'm Jonathan Smith reporting.

President Trump says the U.S. military will no longer let transgender people serve in any capacity, reversing a policy former President Barack Obama's administration announced a year ago.

In a string of Twitter comments, Trump said Wednesday that "after consultation with my generals and military experts," he was ending acceptance of transgender people into the country's armed forces.

Trump's action drew an immediate rebuke from a leading group supporting transgender rights and lawmakers who had favored last year's policy change.

Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin said, "I know transgender service members and vets who have done more to serve their country than Donald Trump has in his entire life."

Congressman Steve Scalise was released from a Washington hospital Wednesday almost six weeks after he was critically wounded in an ambush shooting on a baseball field in Virginia.

He was shot in the hip when a gunman attacked a group of Republican members of Congress who were taking part in a baseball practice on June 14.

Scalise is the third highest-ranking Republican in the House.

Leaders of the U.S. central bank say they are holding the key interest rate steady at a low level in a range between 1 and 1.25 percent for the time being.

Federal Reserve officials cut short-term interest rates to nearly zero during the financial crisis to boost investment and growth. They say the recovering economy no longer needs so much help, so they've been gradually raising interest rates and they are expected to boost them further in the future.

This is VOA news.

The Trump administration on Wednesday announced new sanctions against 13 individuals connected to the Venezuelan government and state oil company.

It's an effort designed to dissuade President Nicholás Maduro from implementing a new controversial constitutional assembly.

Russia's deputy foreign minister says Moscow will likely retaliate against the United States for its imposition of new sanctions for interfering in last year's presidential election.

On Tuesday, the U.S. House of Representatives approved legislation that also expands congressional limits on President Trump's abilities to ease those penalties.

The bill also includes sanctions against Iran and North Korea.

The world's AIDS experts gathered this week in Paris. While promising gains have been announce during the conference, challenges remain.

Moki Edwin Kindzeka reports from northern Cameroon, where identifying and treating HIV positive mothers and babies remains difficult.

Hundreds of people have gathered here at the Yaounde junction in northern Cameroon to listen to people living with HIV.

In 2016, the government found seven out of ten women in the northern parts of the country were not visiting hospitals when they were pregnant.

The government reports about a third of those who did go to hospitals never showed up for their postnatal visits even if the woman had tested positive for HIV.

The U.N. Children's Fund estimates that in northern Cameroon, 40 percent of HIV positive children do not receive treatment.

Health officials say it is important to begin regular ARV treatment as soon as possible after diagnoses.

While ARV treatment is provided for free, patients are requested to pay for laboratory tests.

Moki Edwin Kindzeka, for VOA news, Guider, Cameroon.

Senior White House officials say Foxconn, a major manufacturing company, will bring 3,000 jobs to the northern U.S. state of Wisconsin to make LCD panels at the new plant.

These are key parts of computers, televisions and automobile dashboards.

Trump administration officials say their efforts to cut regulations, reform taxes and boost infrastructure investment encouraged the company to make the $10 billion investment.

You can find more on these and other stories from around the world around the clock at voanews.com. I'm Jonathan Smith reporting from the VOA world news headquarters in Washington.

That's the latest world news from VOA.