VOA news 2020-02-05 (audio+transcript)

This is VOA news. I’m Marissa Melton.

The results from the Iowa caucuses are trickling in after a technical meltdown that delayed the outcome for nearly a full day. AP correspondent Jackie Quinn.

With nearly two-thirds of the Iowa precincts tabulated and announced, the early results show former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders leading the opening contest.

Buttigieg is campaigning in New Hampshire, the “Live Free or Die” state.

“Free means more than just living free from government interference. Sure, sometimes it means just that, like ensuring that the government stays out of the business of dictating the women whether reproductive health care choices ….”

And Sanders is there, too. “Today marks the beginning of the end for Donald Trump.”

Iowa Democratic Party Chair Troy Price is apologizing for what he calls a coding error but says he is confident the results coming out now are correct.

President Trump easily won the GOP contest.

I’m Jackie Quinn.

U.S. President Donald Trump is preparing to deliver his annual State of the Union speech tonight. The invitation to speak came as tradition dictates from the House of Representatives, which recently impeached him.

Senators are scheduled to vote Wednesday on whether or not to convict President Trump and remove him from office. It’s virtually certain they will acquit him on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of justice. His Republican Party holds a majority in the Senate, where a two-thirds vote would be needed for conviction and removal.

The theme of Trump’s [still] third State of the Union speech tonight will be “The Great American Comeback.”

Meanwhile, a new Gallup poll puts President Trump’s public approval rating at 49 percent. It is the highest ever since his election in 2016. His ratings have generally been in the mid to low 40s.

From Washington D.C., you’re listening to VOA news.

The World Health Organization said Tuesday the coronavirus outbreak is a global health emergency but not yet a pandemic. As of Tuesday, there were 20,630 confirmed cases in 24 countries. By the end of Tuesday, China had raised the death toll for the mainland to 490. AP’s Rita Foley says the outbreak may have not just physical consequences but also economic ones.

Experts say if industrial China is locked down for the next few weeks, and that’s a real possibility, retailers, auto companies and manufacturers in the West will start to run out of the goods they depend on. Not too worried? Well, most of Apple’s iPhones and other devices are made in China as are most TV display panels.

The partial shutdown of Wuhan, the city at the center of the virus outbreak, has already hit production of those TV display panels and raised prices, says a research group.

Rita Foley, Washington.

Today, February 4, is World Caner Day. The World Health Organization has released a report today, saying cancer is on the increase globally. Lisa Schlein reports for VOA from Geneva.

The World Health Organization reports one in six people will develop cancer in their lifetime, causing at least 10 million deaths from this disease every year.

If current trends continue, WHO warns new cancer cases will rise by 60 percent by 2040.

The technical officer in cancer control at WHO, Andre Ilbawi, says more people are dying from cancer in the poorer countries because they lack the services and cancer control measures that exist in the richer countries.

“Our report presents the first investment case from WHO for cancer services that governments by investing in cancer can save 7 million lives by 2030.”

Lisa Schlein, for VOA news, Geneva.

WHO says a vaccine against hepatitis B can prevent liver cancer.

As the U.S. presidential election approaches, Twitter says it’s going to start labeling altered media. [ab] AP’s Ed Donahue has more.

Twitter has new rules: sharing synthetic or manipulated material that’s likely to cause harm is prohibited. It will be labeled or in some cases removed, deciding what might cause harm could be difficult to define.

Twitter says it will be a challenge, adding they’re committed to doing this right. Twitter considers threats to a person or a group serious harm along with risk of mass violence or widespread civil unrest.

Social media sites are under intense pressure to prevent interference in the 2020 elections after they were manipulated four years ago by Russia-connected actors. YouTube has reiterated its ban on election-related “deepfake” videos.

I’m Ed Donahue.

I’m Marissa Melton. You’re listening to VOA news.

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