Voice of America

Voice of America 15 May 2020

US: Islamic State Behind Attacks on Mothers, Newborns in Afghanistan

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The U.S. government says it believes the Islamic State terrorist group was behind this week's attacks on a maternity ward in Afghanistan, but one lawmaker tells VOA he does not believe the Taliban when they deny any involvement


Islamic State wives are defying coronavirus measures in Syria's al-Hol camp. U.S.-backed local authorities in eastern Syria's al-Hasakah area say they are bracing for a possible coronavirus outbreak in the refugee camp, where thousands of Islamic State families are being detained. The authorities say IS wives are rejecting protective measures for religious reasons.
There has been much attention on the Myanmar military's campaign against the Rohingya Muslim minority.
But over the past few weeks, the Myanmar army hass stepped up attacks on ethnic armed groups such as the Arakan Army, who are mainly Buddhist fighters fighting for greater autonomy.
The UN says air strikes and shelling have killed at least 32 people in two states over the past three weeks.
What's behind the uptick in violence?
And why has Myanmar's military rejected offers of a ceasefire?

Presenter: Bernard Smith

Guests:
Phil Robertson - Deputy Director of the Asia Division at Human Rights Watch
Azeem Ibrahim - Director at the Center for Global Policy and author of 'The Rohingyas: Inside Myanmar's Genocide'
Laetitia van den Assum - Member of the Rakhine Advisory Commission and a former Ambassador for the Netherlands to the UK
Tensions are soaring in Syrian prisons as the prospect of trials for accused Islamic State militants has been sidelined by the coronavirus threat.  Officials say a prison riot over the weekend was contained and no one escaped. But they warn that prisons in northeastern Syria will remain a "ticking bomb" without international support. VOA's Heather Murdock has this report from a recent trip to Hasseka, Syria.
Wisconsin's governor and six others in the Midwest say they'll coordinate on reopening their economies. The other states are Michigan, Ohio, Minnesota, Illinois, Indiana and Kentucky. (April 16)

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