VOA news for Tuesday, September 26th, 2017

VOA news for Tuesday, September 26th, 2017
Thanks to http://gandalf.ddo.jp/ for audio and text
From Washington, this is VOA news. I’m Jonathan Smith reporting.
North Korea’s Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho said Monday the United States has declared war on his country. He said North Korea would take counter-actions if threatened, including shooting down American war planes in the region.
“Last weekend, Trump claimed that our leadership wouldn’t be around much longer, and hence, at last, he declared a war on our country. Given the fact that this comes from someone who is currently holding the seat of the United States presidency, this is clearly a declaration of war.”
Ri said, “we will have every right to take countermeasures, including the right to shoot down the United States strategic bombers even when they are not yet inside the airspace border of our country.”
On Monday, the White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said, “We’ve not declared war on North Korea.” She said the suggestion is “absurd.”
Republican senators on Monday introduced a bill that, if passed, would create a pathway to citizenship for potentially more than 2 million undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as children.
If the bill is passed, it would require recipients to remain in a so-called “conditional permanent residency” for five years, while either consistently working, studying, or serving in the military.
They could then re-apply for a second five-year conditional term.
Only after a decade under the program, would they be able to have the conditions lifted, and they could apply for citizenship.
This is VOA news.
A United Nations report finds a sharp deterioration in the human rights situation in Crimea since Russia annexed the Ukrainian peninsula in March 2014, triggering the biggest crisis between Russia and the West since the end of the Cold War.
Correspondent Lisa Schlein reports for VOA from Geneva, where the U.N. Human Rights Office has published the most comprehensive report to date on Russian-occupied Crimea.
The U.N. Human Rights Office report documents grave human rights violations in Crimea between February 2014 and September 2017. It finds Russia, as the occupying power, is in breach of multiple international humanitarian and human rights laws.
The report says most of these violations, including arbitrary arrests and detention, enforced disappearances, torture and ill-treatment, involve members of the security forces and Crimean self-defense, and have not been effectively investigated.
It says there is no accountability for these crimes, so violations continue with impunity. The head of the Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine, Fiona Frazer, says dissent and criticism are not tolerated by Russian Federation authorities in Crimea.
“Criminal and administrative law that concerns offenses of separatism, terrorism and extremism are often used to stifle any such dissent.”
Lisa Schlein, for VOA news, Geneva.
Search and rescue teams in Mexico continued to look through the rubble for survivors after a third powerful earthquake rocked Mexico over the weekend. More than 300 people have died and the search for bodies is not yet over.
Violence crime, including aggravated assault and murder, rose for a second consecutive year in the United States last year.
The Department of Justice said in a statement the change represented the largest single year increases in the violent crime rate since 1991.
The rate does remain below historic levels, with the 2016 level 12 percent below that of 2007.
Chelsea Manning, a former U.S. intelligence analyst convicted of espionage for passing information to WikiLeaks, has been barred from entering Canada.
On Monday, she posted on Twitter a report from the Canadian government that identified her as a foreign national “who has not been authorized to enter Canada” due to prior convictions.
She tried to enter Canada Thursday night, planning to vacation in Montreal and Vancouver.
There is more on these and other late breaking and developing stories, from around the world, around the clock, at voanews.com and on the VOA news mobile app. I’m Jonathan Smith reporting from the world headquarters of the Voice of America in Washington.
That’s the latest world news from VOA.


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