Listening

VOA news 2019-12-2

This is VOA news. I’m Marissa Melton.

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres delivered a sharp rebuke to world leaders on Sunday ahead of a climate conference in Madrid. Reuters David Doyle reports.

“We are confronted now with a global climate crisis and the point of no return is no longer over the horizon, it is in sight and hurtling towards us.”

With regions on every continent experiencing extreme weather from wildfires to floods, U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres delivered a sharp rebuke to world leaders on Sunday.

“Until now, our efforts to reach this target have been utterly inadequate.”

Guterres was speaking on the eve of a U.N. climate summit in Madrid, at which world leaders will be under pressure to do more.

That’s Reuters David Doyle reporting.

Cambridge University has revealed that the woman stabbed to death in a London extremist attack was a former student.

VOA’s Jim Bertel has more.

British police say Saskia Jones and Jack Merritt were the two people killed in Friday’s knife attack on London Bridge.

Cambridge University’s Vice Chancellor Stephen Toope said in a statement that Jones had been part of the Learning Together program that was being celebrated when the attack broke out on Friday afternoon.

He said the other person who died, Jack Merritt, was a course coordinator of the program and that one of the three people injured is a member of the university staff.

They were part of a gathering at Fishmongers’ Hall near London Bridge to mark the 5th year of this social justice program.

Attacker Usman Khan, a convicted terrorist who’s secured early release from prison, was shot dead by police after he was restrained by civilians.

Jim Bertel, VOA news.

You can find more on this and other stories online at voanews.com. From Washington D.C. in the VOA news center, you’re listening to VOA news.

An Australian [apa] academic freed by the Taliban in a prisoner swap has spoken of his “long and tortuous ordeal” as a hostage in Afghanistan.

[e, at a tele] At a news conference, Timothy Weeks says the time he spent as a hostage with the Taliban had an “unimaginable effect” on him.

“At times, I felt as if my death was imminent, and that I would never return to see those that I loved again. But, by the will of God, I am here, I am alive and I am safe and I am free. There is nothing else in the world that I need.”

He and an American captive, Kevin King, had been held for three years after being abducted outside the American University of Afghanistan in Kabul.

“… after almost 1,200 days, our ordeal ended as abruptly as it had begun, and a Black Hawk helicopter lifted me from the parched soils of Afghanistan.”

They were freed in exchange for three senior militants held by the Afghan authorities.

Israel has announced a plan for a new Jewish settlement in the West Bank city of Hebron, which is holy to both Jews and Muslims and is a longtime flashpoint for violence. Palestinian officials condemned the move.

Linda Gradstein reports for VOA from Jerusalem.

Israel’s new Defense Minister Nafatali Bennet announced his approval for a new Jewish neighborhood in Hebron, where about 1,000 Jews live surrounded by 200,000 Palestinians. He said the settlement, which will be built near the city’s old market, will double the number of Jewish settlers in Hebron.

Jewish hardliners welcomed the move. The Jewish Committee of Hebron called it an act of historic justice, saying the market has been under Jewish ownership since the early 19th century.

But Palestinians sharply condemned the Israeli decision. Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat blamed the U.S. for the move, saying it was (quote) “the first tangible result of the U.S. decision to legitimize colonization.”

Linda Gradstein, for VOA news, Jerusalem.

A fragment of wood reputed to be from the manger where Jesus was laid after his humble birth arrived in Bethlehem on Saturday as a gift from the pope, kicking off Christmas celebrations. Reuters Conway Gittens has more.

The people of Bethlehem have received what is believed to be a little piece of Jesus’ history in a kickoff to the Christmas holiday season.

This small piece of wood, just a Jew inches long, is said to be part of the manger where Jesus laid his head after his humble birth in the town revered as his birthplace.

The relic, a gift from the Vatican, arrived in Bethlehem on Saturday after a Friday unveiling at the Notre Dame of Jerusalem Center.

The relic, which was greeted by marching bands, was placed in Saint Catherine’s Church at the Church of the Nativity compound in Manger Square.

That’s Reuters Conway Gittens reporting.

I’m Marissa Melton. This is VOA news.

Leave a Reply

Your e-mail address will not be published. Required fields are marked *