VOA news 2019-06-09

This is VOA news. I’m David Byrd.

The United States and Mexico are moving from the negotiations to implementing their new deal on immigration.

As AP’s Ben Thomas reports, President Donald Trump has been hailing the deal as good for everyone.

President Trump has been trumpeting the deal on Twitter, saying Mexico has pledged to take strong measures to reduce the flow of Central American migrants into the United States.

The State Department says those measures include expanding a program that sends back asylum seekers who cross the border to Mexico while their claims are under review and the deployment of Mexico’s National Guard along its southern border with Guatemala. President Trump says that will include some 6,000 Mexican troops.

The State Department adds Mexico is also taking what it calls “decisive action to dismantle human smuggling and trafficking organizations.”

Ben Thomas, Washington.

Nineteen Democratic presidential candidates are in Iowa for Saturday and Sunday in the biggest political gathering of the 2020 election cycle so far.

As AP’s Julie Walker reports, solving the nation’s student debt burden is high on the agenda.

Several presidential candidates have made major policy proposals to address the crisis. Their ideas include wiping away debt, lowering interest rates and making college free or debt free.

Buttigieg and Biden want to expand a program that forgives federal loans for public service workers. Senator Warren wants to make public colleges free and erase student debt for 75 percent of borrowers. Senator Sanders wants to make public universities tuition free and lower interest rates. And most of the other Democratic candidates have similar ideas.

I’m Julie Walker.

For more on these stories and the rest of the day’s news, be sure to visit our website This is VOA news.

Protest leaders in Sudan are urging people to participate in acts of civil disobedience in an effort to put pressure on the military after the deadly disruption of their recent sit-in.

The Sudanese Professionals Association, which led the demonstrations that spurred the army to topple former President Omar al-Bashir, said Saturday its resistance effort would begin Sunday and would continue until the military council cedes power to civilians.

The call comes about a week after security forces moved to disperse the protest camp outside the military headquarters in Khartoum. As many as 113 people have been killed since Monday.

Meanwhile, opposition sources said two Sudanese rebel leaders were arrested Saturday soon after meeting with Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.

Thousands of people crossed into Colombia on Saturday to buy food and medicine after Venezuela’s President Nicholás Maduro reopened a border that had been shut down for four months.

The South American nation’s socialist government ordered the borders with Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao, Brazil and Colombia closed in February as the opposition tried to deliver food and medical supplies to the country.

Most of the aid was provided largely by the United States, a key ally of opposition leader Juan Guaidó who declared himself to be Venezuela’s rightful president in January. But Nicholás Maduro dismissed the aid as an infringement on Venezuela’s sovereignty and prohibited it from entering.

Meanwhile, the U.N. Children’s Fund says Venezuela’s economic and political crisis is having a devastating impact on millions of children.

Lisa Schlein has details.

UNICEF says it is scaling up humanitarian aid for children in Venezuela. Since the beginning of the year, it has sent 55 tons of health supplies and provided access to safe drinking water and other essential services for hundreds of thousands of people.

While critically needed, the agency says the humanitarian operation is barely scratching the surface. It says millions of children need to be immunized, go to school, drink safe water and feel protected though currently there is not enough money available to help them.

Lisa Schlein, for VOA news, Geneva.

Thousands of people marched in Venice on Saturday to demand that cruise ships be kept out of the city’s lagoon.

The protest was galvanized by a crash six days earlier involving a cruise ship that struck a smaller river boat in the city’s famous Giudecca Canal. Five people were injured in that incident.

For more, log on to our website I’m David Byrd, VOA news.

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