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Poll: Safety, Time Are Women's Biggest Transportation Concerns

Safety is the biggest concern for women using public and private transport in five of the world's biggest commuter cities, according to a global poll released Thursday as improving city access for women becomes a major focus globally.  A Thomson Reuters Foundation survey of 1,000 women in London, New York, Mexico City, Tokyo and Cairo found 52 percent of respondents overall cited safety as their main worry, with women in Mexico City the most fearful about safety.  Almost three in every four… Read Full Article

Trump Backs 1st Major Rewrite of Sentencing Laws in Decades

President Donald Trump on Wednesday announced his support for the first major rewrite of the nation's criminal justice sentencing laws in a generation, but it remains to be seen whether the proposal can pass Congress. Trump said the bill “will make our communities safer and give former inmates a second chance at life after they have served their time.” Trump hailed the deal as proof that “true bipartisanship is possible” — though no Democrats attended the White House announcement.  Senators… Read Full Article

US Returns ‘Bells of Balangiga’ to Philippines After a Century

U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis on Wednesday formally returned church bells to the Philippines that were taken as war trophies over a century ago following gruesome clashes, as the U.S. seeks to close a contentious chapter in the two allies’ shared history. The decision to return the “Bells of Balangiga” to the Philippines ends a decades-long quest by Manila, including by President Rodrigo Duterte, and is expected to bolster U.S.-Philippines’ relations. But it has upset some U.S. veterans… Read Full Article

Kehinde Wiley: Obama portrait artist opens Lagos studio

Kehinde Wiley's Barack Obama painting is the first official US presidential portrait by a black artist.

Frigid Planet Detected Orbiting Nearby Star 

A frozen and dimly lit planet, dubbed a "Super-Earth," may be orbiting the closest single star to our solar system, astronomers said Wednesday, based on two decades of scientific observations.  The planet, estimated to be at least 3.2 times more massive than Earth, was spotted circling Barnard's Star, a type of relatively cool and low-mass star called a red dwarf. Barnard’s Star is about 6 light-years away from our solar system, comparatively close in cosmic terms, and it’s believed that the… Read Full Article

Sudan Diplomat: Talks to Remove Sudan From US Terror List to Begin

The process of removing Sudan from the U.S. list of states sponsoring terrorism will start soon, Sudan’s top diplomat told VOA in an exclusive interview. El-Dardiri Mohamed Ahmed said his meetings with U.S. officials were effective in convincing Washington that Sudan has taken measures against terrorism and that it is time to begin the process of removing the country from the U.S. State Department’s list of states sponsoring terrorism. “We feel that U.S. officials are ready to listen to… Read Full Article

Official: Citizenship Query Will Not Cause US Census Undercount

The U.S. Census Bureau's top scientist on Wednesday insisted the bureau can get a full count of American residents during the 2020 census, despite the Trump administration's addition of a question on citizenship. The agency's chief scientist, John Abowd, made the comments in testimony in federal court in New York, where a group of U.S. states, cities and civil rights groups have sued the administration to remove the question, arguing it could dissuade non-citizens from participating in the… Read Full Article

Draft Brexit Deal Ends Britain's Easy Access to EU Financial Markets 

The United Kingdom and the European Union have agreed on a deal that will give London's vast financial center only a basic level of access to the bloc's markets after Brexit.  The agreement will be based on the EU's existing system of financial market access known as equivalence — a watered-down relationship that officials in Brussels have said all along is the best arrangement that Britain can expect.  The EU grants equivalence to many countries and has so far not agreed to Britain's… Read Full Article

Florida's Bitter Recount Battle Lurches Toward Deadline

With time running out, Florida's election recount drama lurched forward Wednesday amid a maelstrom of courtroom arguments, broken machines, allegations of irregularities and President Donald Trump's ongoing criticism. Many counties have wrapped up their machine recount ahead of a Thursday deadline to complete reviews of the U.S. Senate and governor races, but larger Democratic strongholds are still racing to meet the deadline. Republican Gov. Rick Scott agreed to step down from the state… Read Full Article

Cameroon conflict: 'We live in fear in Bamenda'

Journalist Peter Tah describes how life in the Cameroon city of Bamenda has ground to a halt due to the separatist conflict.