VOA NEWS

July 29, 2017

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



President Donald Trump has named a new chief of staffs electing Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly.

President Trump thanked his former chief of staff, Reince Priebus.

"Reince is a good man. John Kelly will do a fantastic job. General Kelly has been a star, done an incredible job thus far, respected by everybody. A great, great American. Reince Priebus is a good man. Thank you very much."

President Trump made the announcement in a series of tweets Friday afternoon following days of friction between Priebus and newly named White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci.



U.S. military officials spoke with their South Korean counterparts on Friday following a North Korean missile launch.

Michael Elleman [at the National Institute] at the International Institute for Strategic Studies noted that while the missile test was expected, it may not have as much impact as one may think.

"Well, it definitely changes the strategic operation once North Korea is able to credibly threaten United States territory. But the overall impact, I think, will be a lot less than people expect."

According to officials, the missile flew loner and higher than the first, according to its neighbors, leading analysts to conclude that a wide swath of the United States, including Los Angeles and Chicago, are now within range of Pyongyang's weapons.



Pakistan's Supreme Court has disqualified Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif from holding public office and ordered him to step down immediately.

A spokesman for the prime minister's office announced shortly after the court issued its ruling that Sharif has accepted the court's decision "despite serious reservations" and relinquished the charge of office.



This is VOA news.



Russia's Foreign Ministry said it is imposing counter measures on the U.S. in response to new sanctions voted by Congress Thursday. The ministry said the sanctions confirm the "extreme aggression of U.S. in international affairs."

Senator Benjamin Cardin says the legislation is now headed towards President Trump.

"It's long ??? and he will not be able to give sanction relief unless he comes to Congress and reviews the foreign policy in which those recommendations are being made."

The sanctions also target Iran and North Korea.



Against the backdrop of the site where 15 members of the notorious MS-13 gang were arrested for murder last week in Suffolk County in New York's Long Island, President Donald Trump promised to "liberate towns" from gangs.

"We cannot accept this violence one day more. Can't do it. And we're not going to do it, because of you, we're not going to be able to do it. You're not going to allow it to happen and we're backing you up 100 percent. Remember that."

Speaking to a group of law enforcement officers, Trump called on Congress to approve funds for an additional 10,000 Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers, or ICE officers, in order to "root out criminal cartels."

MS-13 is a vast organization that has cells in cities with Latino populations all across the United States. It also is said to have a significant presence in Mexico and Canada. The group was formed in the 1980s in Los Angeles area and has roots in El Salvador.



A United Nations-led polio immunization campaign to stem an outbreak of the crippling disease is under way in Syria. Lisa Schlein reports.

The campaign got off to a good start. The World Health Organization reports that hundreds of vaccinators going door to door in this embattled Syrian city managed to inoculate nearly 60,000 children under the age of five on the first day. Security problems had delayed the start of the campaign in Deir Ezzor and continue to pose problems for the health workers.

WHO reports 89 cases of acute flaccid paralysis, which is mainly caused by a wild polio virus, have been detected this year in Deir Ezzor.

Lisa Schlein, for VOA news, Geneva.



A man armed with a kitchen knife fatally stabbed one person at a supermarket Friday in the northern German city of Hamburg and six others were injured as he fled.

That man was later overpowered and arrested.

Police say the suspect is a 26-year-old man who was born in the United Arab Emirates [though he was] although they were working to establish and confirm his nationality.

Hamburg's mayor said that the man had apparently sought shelter in Germany and that authorities had been unable to deport him.



I'm Steve Miller in Washington.

That's the latest world news from VOA.