October 27, 2018

This is VOA news. I'm David Byrd in Washington.

President Donald Trump is acknowledging that a pipe bomb suspect was one of his supporters but says he bears no responsibility for the actions of 56-year-old Cesar Sayoc.

AP Washington correspondent Sagar Meghani has details.

The president says he did not see his face plastered on Cesar Sayoc's white van along with other images.

"I heard he was a person that prefers me over others."

Does he bear any blame for Sayoc's actions? "There's no blame, there's no anything."

Pointing out violence has been committed by supporters of other politicians, he'd earlier said political violence cannot be allowed to take root at home but says there is no need to tone down his own rhetoric in coming days, saying he has already done that and could ramp it up.

Asked if he'll call former President Obama or the other bomb targets, "If they wanted me to, but I think we'll probably pass."

Sagar Meghani, at the White House.

And later at a rally in Charlotte, North Carolina, President Trump accused the media of using the actions of Cesar Sayoc to score political points against him. The president said, "We have seen an effort by the media in recent hours to use the sinister actions of one individual to score political points against me and the Republican Party."

The crowd responded by yelling, "CNN sucks."

The U.N. special envoy for Syria has urged the international community to seize on the political momentum offered by several upcoming meetings to move toward ending that country's seven-year-long civil war.

Staffan de Mistura told members of the Security Council that "There is a clear window of opportunity that needs to be urgently seized."

De Mistura's comments came ahead of his briefing to a summit Saturday in Istanbul of the leaders of Turkey, France, Germany and Russia.

This is VOA news.

The Trump administration is reported to be considering a new executive order aimed at blocking asylum seekers and immigrants from crossing the U.S.-Mexico border. That comes as a caravan of migrants continues to make its way north through Mexico.

News reports quoting administration officials say authorities are weighing a range of administrative and legal actions on grounds of national security to restrict the ability of migrants to seek asylum.

No decision has been made yet, but immigration attorneys told VOA the move would be quickly challenged in court.

Meanwhile, the U.N. Children's Fund reports an estimated 2,300 children in Mexico traveling with the migrant caravan making its way to the United States are suffering extreme hardships.

As Lisa Schlein reports, it's because of the heat, the lack of basic services and multiple dangers on the way.

UNICEF says the temperature in southern Mexico is dangerously hot. Many children are ill, others are suffering from dehydration and trauma. And all lack access to essential services including health care, clean water and sanitation and shelter.

In addition, UNICEF spokeswoman, Marixie Mercado, says the children, regardless of their migration status, are guaranteed certain protection rights under international law.

"That means that it's essential that all children and families are able to apply for asylum and that they are able to have their international protection rights addressed before any decision on returns or deportations are made."

Lisa Schlein, for VOA news, Geneva.

U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen is asking the Congress to support more infrastructure, manpower and technology as the Trump administration looks to build a "border wall system" along the border with Mexico.

Nielsen made her comments during a visit to southern California where she toured the first completed section of President Donald Trump's 30-foot tall border wall in the El Centro sector.

"Let me be clear: Walls work. That's not my opinion. It's not a tag line. It's not a political statement. It's a fact. We've seen the success of walls in El Paso, in Yuma, in San Diego and in the past, right here in the El Centro sector."

When asked about a possible ban on certain people entering the country or sealing the border, Nielsen said the administration is looking at every legal option it has to make sure those who do not have a legal right to come into the United States do not get in.

Palestinian health authorities say at least four people were killed and dozens were wounded Friday by Israeli forces in protests along the border.

Israel said thousands of Palestinians gathered along the Gaza border to throw firebombs and rocks at Israeli troops.

For more, visit our website. I'm David Byrd, VOA news.