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Voice of America

Voice of America is an international news and broadcast organization serving Central and Eastern Europe, the Caucasus, Central Asia, Russia, the Middle East and Balkan countries
  • Trump Due to Review Khashoggi Killing Report
    U.S. President Donald Trump is expected to review a full report from his administration Tuesday about the killing of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey last month. Multiple U.S. news agencies have cited U.S. intelligence officials saying the Central Intelligence Agency has concluded Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the October 2 killing. The State Department said publicly Saturday no final conclusions had been reached. Saudi officials have denied the crown prince had anything to do with Khashoggi's killing, and Trump has called reports blaming the crown prince as "premature." A Saudi prosecutor cleared the crown prince of wrongdoing last week while calling for the death penalty for five men, announcing indictments against 11. The prosecutor said a total of 21 people had been detained in connection with the killing. Germany's foreign minister said Monday that Berlin will ban 18 Saudi nationals from entering Europe's border-free Schengen zone because of their alleged links to Khashoggi's killing. Heiko Maas said he had consulted with France and Britain before announcing the ban.  "There are more questions than answers in this case, with the crime itself and who is behind it," Mass said on the sidelines of a European Union meeting in Brussels.  ​Trump says he has been fully briefed on an audio recording of the killing of the dissident Saudi journalist inside Riyadh's consulate in Istanbul last month, but has no intention of listening to it because of the violence it depicts. "It's a suffering tape. It's a terrible tape," Trump told the Fox News cable television station in a White House interview that was recorded Friday. "It's very violent, very vicious and terrible," Trump said. Asked in the Fox interview if the crown prince lied to him about his involvement, Trump replied, "I don't know. Who can really know?" adding, "He told me that he had nothing to do with it. He told me that, I would say, maybe five times at different points, as recently as a few days ago." Fox interviewer Chris Wallace asked Trump whether he would go along with moves in Congress to cut off U.S. involvement in the Saudi-led war in Yemen or halt arms sales to Riyadh. Trump said it depends, "I want to see Yemen end. It takes two to tango and Iran has to end also. I want Saudi to stop, but I want Iran to stop also." Khashoggi, who wrote opinion columns for The Post and was a critic of the Saudi crown prince, was killed at the Saudi consulate while he was trying to get documents for his planned marriage to a Turkish woman.
  • Nissan Says Chairman Arrested for Financial Misconduct in Japan
    Shares in automakers Nissan, Mitsubishi and Renault fell sharply Tuesday after the arrest of executive Carlos Ghosn on allegations of "significant acts" of financial misconduct. All three firms are considering replacing him as chairman. Nissan, one of the world's biggest automakers, said Ghosn falsified reports about his compensation "over many years" and that its internal investigation also found he had used company assets for personal purposes. Japanese media reported Monday that Ghosn is being questioned by Tokyo prosecutors, suspected of failing to report millions of dollars in income.  Nissan said that based on a report by a whistleblower, it conducted an internal investigation of Ghosn and Representative Director Greg Kelly and shared its findings with public prosecutors. The company said both men had been arrested. The automaker said its investigation showed that Ghosn had underreported his income to the Tokyo Stock Exchange by more than $40 million over five years. The Ashai newspaper reported that prosecutors have raided Nissan's headquarters in Yokohama.  The Brazilian-born Ghosn, who is of Lebanese descent and a French citizen, was the rare foreign top executive in Japan. Ghosn was sent to Nissan in the late 1990s by Renault SA of France, after it bought a controlling stake of Nissan. He is credited with rescuing Nissan from the brink of bankruptcy. In 2016, Ghosn also took control of Mitsubishi, after Nissan bought a one-third stake in the company, following Mitsubishi's mileage-cheating scandal.  Together, the three automakers comprise the biggest global carmaking alliance, manufacturing one of every nine cars sold around the world. The three companies employ more than 470,000 people in nearly 200 countries. Before Ghosn's arrest, Satoru Takada, an analyst at TIW, a Tokyo-based research and consulting firm, said his detention would "rock the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance as he is the keystone of the alliance."
  • Federal Judge Blocks Trump Order Limiting Asylum
    A U.S. federal judge has granted a temporary restraining order preventing the Trump administration from carrying out new immigration rules that would block asylum for people who did not enter the United States at a designated port of entry. President Donald Trump issued the rule in a November 9 proclamation, saying it was necessary to deal with the expected arrival of thousands of migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border who he said "appear to have no lawful basis for admission into our country." The American Civil Liberties Union and other groups quickly filed a legal challenge and sought an injunction against the new rules while the case makes its way through the courts. U.S. District Judge Jon Tigar issued his ruling late Monday, saying Congress has "clearly commanded" through the Immigration and Naturalization Act (INA) that anyone who arrives in the United States may apply for asylum no matter where they entered, and that Trump's rule "irreconcilably conflicts with the INA and the expressed intent of Congress." He barred the government from carrying out the new rule for one month, setting the next hearing in the case for December 19. Tigar said if allowed to go into effect, the rule would put asylum seekers "at increased risk of violence and other harms at the border, and many will be deprived of meritorious asylum claims." He wrote that the government in its arguments "offers nothing in support of the new rule that outweighs the need to avoid these harms." About 3,000 migrants have arrived in the Mexican border city of Tijuana, and more are expected to make there way there soon. They join what was already a large group waiting for their chance to seek asylum at the San Ysidro border crossing, the main port of entry to the U.S. city of San Diego. U.S. authorities process about 100 asylum claims each day at San Ysidro, meaning wait times will be long. U.S. Customs and Border Protection and some of the thousands of troops Trump ordered to the border last month briefly shut down lanes at the San Ysidro port on Monday to set up additional barriers with concrete and concertina wire. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said the measures were put in place after officials "were notified that a large number of caravan migrants were planning to rush the border in an attempt to gain illegal access to the U.S." ​She further accused some of the migrants of "purposely causing disruptions at our border points of entry." "There is a legal and illegal way to enter the U.S. We have deployed additional forces to protect our border. We will enforce all our laws," she said. Pueblo Sin Fronteras, a group that has been assisting the migrants, rejected Nielsen's statements and said the lane closures were aimed at stoking "fury and impatience" by blocking U.S. citizens who had to wait to gain entry from Tijuana. "Sec. Nielsen's false comments about the Refugee Exodus are a deliberate attempt to mislead the public and demonize refugees fleeing government sponsored violence and displacement," the group said. There have been protests by hundreds of people in Tijuana who directed chants of "get out" and "go home" at the migrants. Tijuana Mayor Juan Manuel Gastelum is among those taking a hard stance. He posted Monday on Twitter, "Human rights come with human duties," and that migrants who do not respect citizens of Tijuana can expect to face the full weight of the law. That echoes statements by Trump, who has called the Central Americans "criminals" and cast the caravans as an "invasion." Trump tweeted Sunday that the United States is "ill-prepared for this invasion and will not stand for it. They are causing crime and big problems in Mexico. Go home." But many of the migrants are puzzled by fears they are violent and criminals, saying they fled Honduras in hopes of asylum in the United States to escape violence and gangs. Al Otro Lado, one of the groups that joined in filing the lawsuit against Trump's asylum proclamation, said the only ones protesting the migrants in Tijuana "are the anti-immigrant crowd, some of whom came down from the U.S." The group said the migrants have been "waiting patiently" as they join the established line for who will get to seek asylum next. "The exodus is not a security risk. It is a humanitarian crisis. We need food, blankets, diapers, etc., not border closures and barbed wire," it wrote on Twitter.