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VOA news 2019-07-07

This is VOA news. I’m Jim Bertel.

Emergency workers in Ridgecrest, California, are assessing damage after a second major earthquake struck on Friday night.

No deaths or major injuries have been reported from it or Thursday’s earthquake. But as VOA’s Michael O’Sullivan reports, Friday’s 7.1 magnitude temblor caused additional damage.

Friday’s quake was felt across southern California and into neighboring Nevada. Again, food flew off the shelves of supermarkets. At a Ridgecrest liquor store where bottles lay smashed on the floor, the owner’s son, Victor Abdullatif, said Friday’s quake lasted longer than Thursday’s, “… but also concluded with a very, very strong jolt that felt like it was gonna like knock the whole place down.”

Seismologists say Friday’s shaker was 10 times more powerful than Thursday’s, which measured magnitude 6.4.

In the desert town of Ridgecrest, residents were cleaning up as emergency workers continue assessing the damage.

Mike O’Sullivan, VOA news, Los Angeles.

The U.S. peace envoy to Afghanistan says for the first time, he can report substantive progress on all four issues, key to a peace agreement to end the country’s 17-year war.

Zalmay Khalilzad says Saturday’s talks broadened to include a timeline for both intra-Afghan negotiations as well as a cease-fire.

Authorities detained dozens of people in Kazakhstan’s two largest cities Saturday as protesters staged the latest in a series of rallies against newly elected President Qasym-Zhomart Toqaev.

Demonstrators marching in the capital Saturday were confronted by uniformed and plainclothes police officers and were forcibly dragged to nearby police buses.

Media reports say over 100 people were taken into custody.

This is VOA news.

There has been new violence in Syria’s western Idlib province. A Syrian war monitor says 13 people, including 7 children, were killed Saturday in what he called a horrific massacre.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights charges the air assault was carried out by Syrian warplanes and helicopters.

The United States will consult next week with the United Nations nuclear agency over the situation with Iran.

AP’s Jackie Quinn reports.

The International Atomic Energy Agency has granted the U.S. request for a meeting slated for this coming Wednesday.

This week, the agency’s inspectors confirmed Iran had surpassed the limit for stockpiling low enriched uranium and Tehran says it will continue to do so, hoping to force an easing of economic sanctions reimposed after the U.S. pulled out of the 2015 nuclear deal.

Tensions have been on the rise and are escalating over a new incident, in which authorities in Gibraltar detained a supertanker suspected of violating the embargo against shipping Iranian oil to Syria.

I’m Jackie Quinn.

Meanwhile, France and Iran have agreed to look at ways to resume talks to try to save Tehran’s nuclear deal amid a standoff between Iran and the U.S.

French President Emmanuel Macron spoke by phone Saturday with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. Mr. Rouhani called on European countries to act urgently to save the deal aimed at curbing Iran’s nuclear program.

The agreement has been in jeopardy since the U.S. pulled out last year.

Twenty-one people were injured in an explosion at a shopping mall in Plantation, Florida, on Saturday.

Plantation Fire (Department) Battalion Chief Joel Gordon says the building was occupied when the explosion occurred.

“Nobody was killed. Thank goodness for that. You know if it could have, as bad as it is, it could have been a lot worse ’cause it was said the LA Fitness was occupied so it could have been tremendously worse. But again, we’re still searching. We’re still looking. So any, everything at this point is tentative.”

The Sun-Sentinel newspaper reports witnesses say a vacant restaurant appeared to be the source of the explosion.

The youngest member of Britain’s royal family, Archie Mountbatten-Windsor, was christened Saturday in a private family ceremony at Windsor Castle. But the bay’s christening has renewed scrutiny over where the right to privacy begins for a family of public figureheads.

Spain’s Maritime Rescue Service says nearly 300 African migrants have been rescued in the past two days trying to reach Europe’s southernmost shores.

According to Spain’s Interior Ministry, more than 10,000 people have arrived by sea in the first half of 2019, almost 4,000 less than in the same period of 2018.

For the latest news any time, please go to voanews.com and download the VOA mobile app. I’m Jim Bertel, VOA news.

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