VOA NEWS

December 26, 2018

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



U.S. immigration authorities say an 8-year-old boy from Guatemala died in government custody early Tuesday, making him the second death of an immigrant child in U.S. detention this month.

AP correspondent Shelley Adler reports.

In a news release, U.S. Customs and Border Protection said the boy showed "signs of potential illness" Monday and was taken with his father to a hospital in New Mexico. That's where he was diagnosed with a cold and a fever and was give prescriptions for amoxicillin and Ibuprofen. He was released Monday afternoon after being held 90 minutes for observation.

The agency said the 8-year-old was taken back to the hospital Monday night with nausea and vomiting and died there just hours later.

A 7-year-old Guatemalan girl died earlier this month after being apprehended by border agents.

I'm Shelley Adler.



Meanwhile, here in Washington, the partial shutdown of the U.S. government appears no closer to a resolution.

President Donald Trump asserted on Tuesday the shutdown would continue until his demand for funds to construct a U.S.-Mexico border wall are met.

AP's Sagar Meghani reports.

Even as he looked to spread cheer via video conference to U.S. troops around the world, "On behalf the county, Merry Christmas, Happy New Year."

The president went back to the border wall while telling troops the nation's doing well. "We have a little bit of a shutdown because we believe in walls and we believe in borders and we believe in barriers."

And later told reporters in the Oval Office "I can't tell you when the government's gonna be open," adding he is open to meeting again with top Democrats and hopes they can make some progress in getting what he argues is money for the only thing that will stop drugs and human trafficking at the border.

Sagar Meghani, at the White House.



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Indonesian rescuers on Tuesday used drones and sniffer dogs to search for survivors along the devastated west coast of Java that was hit by a tsunami that killed more than 420 people.

Laura Ngo-Fontaine is a spokesperson with the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Society. She told VOA everything possible is being done to help those in need.

"The Red Cross has provided water trucks, ambulances and medical crews - the chance for injured people to hospitals. They've also put together a team of ... because there are a lot of injured, there seem a lot of broken bones and severely injured and survivors."

At least 154 people remain missing. More than 1,400 people were injured. Thousands of residents had to move to higher ground, with a high tide warning extended to Wednesday.



Pope Francis used his to-the-city-and-the-world message this Christmas to urge people to see their differences as a richness, not a danger.

AP's Ben Thomas reports.

In his Christmas message to the world, Francis says the universal meaning of Christmas is that "God is a good Father and we are all brothers and sisters."

He wished for a spirit of fraternity that would bring together "individuals of every nation and culture and people with different ideas, yet capable of respecting and listening to one another," hoping that would bridge the world's great conflicts citing was in Syria and Yemen, the conflict in Ukraine, tensions in the Middle East and the Korean peninsula as well as social strife in Venezuela and Nicaragua.

"Without fraternity," he says, "even our best plans and projects risk being soulless and empty."

I'm Ben Thomas.



A Nissan executive associated with the controversial chairman of that company has been released [on may] on bail.

Mike Hempen has the details.

Prosecutors say Kelly will have to follow court rules regarding as residents and travel.

Local media say now that he has been released, Kelly will be hospitalized for treatment of a chronic neck problem.

On Tuesday, his wife Donna made a plea to Japanese authorities for his early release, saying he was framed by Nissan and that he should be released to get his neck problem treated.

Mike Hempen of AP.



And Japanese stock markets are hoping to bounce back from abysmal day on Tuesday. The Nikkei index lost nearly 5 percent of its value.

Markets were closed in South Korea across Europe and in the United States



For more, log on to our website voanews.com. I'm David Byrd, VOA news.