August 29, 2020

This is VOA news. Reporting by remote, I'm David Byrd.

On the 57th anniversary of the March on Washington, thousands gathered at the Lincoln Memorial, capping a week of outrage over another police shooting of a Black man. AP's Sagar Meghani reports.

"We're tired."

The speakers included families of victims like Jacob Blake's father, who says America has two systems of justice. "The Black system ain't doing very well."

George Floyd's brother says the nation demands change and it's coming. "It's happening right now."

For Breonna Taylor's mom, though, change will come election day. "We have to stand together. We have to vote."

Decades after his dad led the original March on Washington, Martin Luther King III called on all Americans to do their part peacefully. "I ask you to pledge as my father and John Lewis did to get into good trouble."

Sagar Meghani, Washington.

President Donald Trump on Friday condemned protesters against his administration as "thugs" and predicted victory in November's presidential election.

Speaking to a "Make America Great Again" rally in Manchester, New Hampshire, Trump said that many of those protesting don't care about Black lives.

"They're just looking for trouble. Has nothing to do with George Floyd. Has nothing to do with anything. They don't even know who George Floyd is, they don't know who George Floyd. They have no idea. If you asked them who George Floyd is they couldn't even tell you. These are just bad people, troublemakers."

The president attacked Democrats for not believing in law and order and expressed confidence he will beat his rival, Joe Biden, in the upcoming election.

Trump's rally in New Hampshire on Friday evening came as he continues to flout coronavirus guidelines and launches an aggressive travel schedule headed into the fall campaign.

You can find more on these stories and the rest of the day's news at voanews.com. This is VOA news.

Japan's longest-serving Prime Minister Shinzo Abe intends to leave office because of declining health. AP's Charles De Ledesma reports.

In a country once known for its short-tenured prime ministers, the departure marks the end of an unusual era of stability that's seen the Japanese leader strike up strong ties with President Donald Trump even as Abe's ultra-nationalism has riled the Koreas and China.

While Abe pulled Japan out of recession, the economy has been battered anew by the coronavirus pandemic, and Abe has failed to achieve his cherished goal to formally rewrite the U.S.-drafted pacifist constitution because of poor public support.

I'm Charles De Ledesma.

German doctors treating Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny for a suspected poisoning said Friday the dissident is still in an induced coma but his condition is stable and his symptoms are improving. Reuters Adam Reed reports.

Some positive news on Friday for Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny's family and supporters after his spokeswoman said his condition was improving.

He remains in a medically-induced coma and continues to receive treatment at a Berlin hospital, but now his representatives are saying there is no serious threat to his life.

The Putin opponent was airlifted to Germany last weekend after collapsing during a flight on his way back to Moscow.

Doctors there have said that tests they've done indicate Navalny was poisoned, but the Kremlin called the claims inconclusive and saw no need for an investigation.

Germany's foreign minister also said on Friday that it would be ready to impose sanctions if Russian state agencies were found to have been involved in any poisoning.

That's Reuters Adam Reed.

The death toll from Hurricane Laura more than doubled Friday to at least 14 as communities began cleaning up along the devastated Louisiana coastline where hundreds of thousands of people were still without power or water.

The dead included five people killed by fallen trees and one person who drowned in a boat. Eight people also died from carbon monoxide poisoning due to unsafe operation of generators.

Lead forecaster Patrick Burke at the National Weather Service's Weather Prediction Center says tornadoes and flooding are possible as the depression moves east.

"The next couple of days, there will be bursts of heavy thunderstorms with tropical downforce in some of the mountainous terrain, you know, eastern Tennessee, western North Carolina, parts of Virginia, where they're prone to flash floodings."

Laura could become a tropical storm again this weekend when it hits the Atlantic Ocean.

You can find more on these stories and the rest of the day's news at voanews.com. Reporting by remote, I'm David Byrd, VOA news.