September 7, 2020

This is VOA news. Via remote, I'm Marissa Melton.

U.S. President Donald Trump and his administration has sparred with [the Biden campaign] the campaign of a Democratic challenger, Joe Biden, on Sunday [at the state of the] on the state of the U.S. economy. It's eight weeks ahead of the November 3 national presidential election.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on the "Fox News Sunday" TV show cited the drop in the unemployment rate to 8.4 percent in August and the addition of 1.4 million jobs as evidence that the American economy, the world's largest, is recovering from the worst of the turmoil inflicted by the coronavirus pandemic.

But he acknowledged the U.S. economy still needs at least 7.5 million new jobs to regain its footing from March, when the jobless rate [fell] was at a five-decade low of 3.5 percent.

Senator Kamala Harris, Democratic Joe Biden's running mate, told CNN that President Trump has been, in her words, "an abject failure and incompetent" in handling the economy during the pandemic.

She said Mr. Trump only gauges how well the economy is doing, in her words, "based on how well rich people are doing. One in five mothers say their kids under 12 are hungry." (end quote)

More than 50 million workers at one time or another have collected unemployment compensation in the United States this year.

At least 289 people were arrested in Hong Kong Sunday during protests against the postponement of legislative elections.

The elections were originally scheduled to be held today. They were one of the few times Hong Kongers get to cast ballots.

Riot police shot rounds of pepper balls at protesters Sunday. Hong Kong police wrote in a Facebook post that 289 people had been arrested, mainly for gathering illegally.

China's hand-picked Hong Kong leader, Chief Executive Carrie Lam, announced in late July that the election would be postponed because of the pandemic.

This is VOA news.

Rwandan President Paul Kagame on Sunday denied that his government had kidnapped Paul Rusesabagina, the man depicted in the movie "Hotel Rwanda," from Dubai last month.

Rusesabagina, whose work to save ethnic Tutsis from genocide has won him wide acclaim, has been detained in Rwanda on terrorism charges. He was detained while traveling outside the United States where he's bee living.

Rusesabagina's family has accused the Rwandan government of kidnapping him. His daughter said he last called his family from the city of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.

Speaking Sunday at a virtual news conference in the capital, Kigali, Kagame did not say exactly how Rusesabagina had been taken into custody but suggested he'd been tricked into travelling to Rwanda before he was arrested.

[Kigali announced] Kagame announced Rusesabagina's detention on August 31.

The country's criminal investigations agency has said Rusesabagina will face charges including terrorism, financing terrorism, arson, kidnap and murder. The Rwandan government has accused Rusesabagina of having a hand in alleged attacks by National Liberation Front rebels in southern Rwanda along the border with Burundi in 2018.

Tunisian President Kais Saied on Sunday condemned the attack in the coastal resort town of Sousse that killed one security officer and injured another.

Three suspected Islamic militants who rammed their vehicle into security officers and attacked them with knives were shot dead by Tunisian forces, authorities said.

Speaking to reporters, the president said, "I do not know the intentions, the arrangements, of those who carried out this terrorist act, but they did not succeed in the past and will not succeed in the future." Saied spoke to journalists during a short visit to the coastal town.

An Interior Ministry statement said the assailants took refuge in a school after the attack and died in a shootout with security forces.

Protesters took once again to the streets of Belarus on Sunday. It was the latest in nearly a month of demonstrations following disputed [elec...] elections that left longtime President Alexander Lukashenko in power.

Human rights groups have said at least 70 protesters were detained on Sunday.

Lukashenko, in power since 1994, claimed victory in elections August 9. Opposition parties, along with the United States and the European Union, say the poll was heavily rigged.

Police in Portland, Oregon, declared a riot Saturday night after several Molotov cocktails were thrown into the street by demonstrators.

The police told the crowd of hundreds their demonstration had been declared a riot, meaning it was no longer considered a peaceful protest. They ordered people to disperse immediately.

Activists in Portland have protested [for ele...] for 100 consecutive days for the Black Lives Matter movement.

Via remote, I'm Marissa Melton. This is VOA news.